Next in our blog series, we speak to the computer whizz-kid of the panel, Kevin Cassidy. With an impressive array of big companies and even bigger roles on his CV, having Kevin on the eir Spiders team is most certainly an advantage. He is an expert in all things tech, digital and marketing. Now working with Sage as the Senior Marketing Automation Manager and one of the founders of the wonderful social enterprise 100minds.org, we are extremely grateful that he still manages to find some time for the Spiders!
Recognising that the eir Spiders is the longest running web awards in the country; Kevin has witnessed the progression of the awards and the constant growth in entries and quality campaigns. “There are no low-end entries anymore. It’s a matter of finding the cream of the crop – which isn’t always easy to do.” Of course, the ever-growing calibre of entries makes the job of judging a little difficult, but only adds to the intrigue that forms part of an eir Spiders panel position.
When we consider the longevity of the Awards, it is interesting to see how tech trends slowly become integrated into the categories. What happens in the digital world is reflected by the Spiders. Noting this, Kevin details how mobile has become a major factor. “The biggest changes has been the move towards mobile-first websites as well as mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.” Indeed, we can probably accredit the success and strength of the Awards to the fact that “it changes each year to stay fresh and relevant”.
At the eir Spiders HQ, we always try to stay ahead of the curve; attempting to stay as creative as our contestants is priority numero uno. But it isn’t just the innovation and achievements of our entrants which pushes us to make the eir Spider Awards the best in the industry. We believe that the evolution of the programme also helps to encourage Irish organisations to push themselves to be the best they can be. Kevin knows this all too well; rewarding the work being done in the tech and digital fields has a knock-on effect with positive outcomes that benefit us all. “This helps to build Ireland’s reputation bringing in a diverse workforce, FDI and of course, boosting our tourism”.
As one of the founders of the social enterprise 100minds.org, it is clear that Kevin is concerned with the charitable side of things. He declares his passion for the Best in Charity and Not-for-Profit category; admitting his oftentimes amazement at what these charities can produce with a bit of creativity and passion. The acknowledgement and awareness of these organisations and their campaigns through this particular Spiders category is evidence of the efforts of those who do not create for cash purposes only.
Kevin echoes the majority of eir Spiders attendees in saying that the night itself is a fantastic event. “Everybody who has worked really hard gets to share in their achievements together.” But for those of you looking to get yourself a spot on the shortlist, Kevin advises getting the basics of your campaign, your entry and your work right. “There’s no point in building something amazing if it’s sitting on shoddy foundations!”
And for those of you who may only be starting out and not quite yet ready for the Spiders, Kevin passes on some wise words sure to comfort any amateur worries. By realising that there are no limits to what can be achieved, he doesn’t underestimate the potential success of even the smallest companies. “The smallest companies with the smallest budgets can, with some creativity and drive, compete in any market with any competitor.”