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Australian Accounting Awards sets engagement records, unveils THE BALLROOM innovation

Australian Accounting Awards sets engagement records, unveils THE BALLROOM innovation

22 June 2020

Australia’s accounting profession emerged from isolation on 19 June to celebrate excellence and reconnect at the 2020 AccountantsDaily Australian Accounting Awards.

Jim Hall - Australian Accounting Awards

“The Momentum team has been quick to respond to the opportunity to build a brand-new architecture, process and delivery engine for its business awards events.” Jim Hall, director – SME and Accounting, Momentum Media

The COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia with such ferocity that in a matter of days a number of industry sectors, like aviation, were decimated, while others were propelled into the spotlight – including accountants. 

The Australian Accounting Awards for 2020 presented the ideal opportunity for Momentum Media to back the sector and affirm the positive role it has played during COVID-19.

The awards program, supported by principal partner FAST, is the universal benchmark for excellence in the profession of accounting, recognising the businesses and professionals positively shaping the development of the sector. 

According to Jim Hall, director – SME and Accounting at Momentum Media, the 2020 event was especially memorable, not only because of the unique environment accountants are operating in, but in the delivery of the awards as an immersive live broadcast experience leveraging Momentum’s purpose-built technology THE BALLROOM. 

“Fractured in isolation and disconnected, the accounting sector has not only had to deal with the crisis as individual businesses, it has become the central conduit between SMEs, the government and regulators,” Hall said.

“Accountants are at the cusp of the government’s COVID response – interpreting and helping it deliver the relief package. 

“This sector has been the doctors and nurses for Australia’s SME sector (the economic backbone of the nation) during COVID-19.”

The awards, powered by THE BALLROOM, was a moment in time that will forge a collective memory for the industry – a positive shared experience in a bleak and uncertain world, Hall said.

“What a great opportunity to emerge from isolation with friends and colleagues and affirm the work of the accounting sector. 

“The awards showcase how stoic and courageous the industry is – helping to support better mental health, promote resilience and remind us about all that is great about the profession,” he said.

Since 2014, the Australian Accounting Awards has recognised excellence across the accounting profession, highlighting the most outstanding individuals and firms.

Committing to the delivery of the program during COVID-19 was a core corporate strategy, and a huge success.

According to Hall, Momentum was quick to affirm its commitment to the continuity of its awards programs, including the Australian Accounting Awards.

“Despite the circumstances of COVID-19 and the challenges faced by the accounting sector, we had to adapt to the environment – and Momentum is in a strong position to ensure we keep our communities connected, engaged and better informed.

“We’ve embraced this philosophy in delivering the Australian Accounting Awards this year, playing our part in supporting the profession and recognising excellence at a time of increased distress, anxiety and fear for many of its participants,” Hall said. 

“For those that lead their field, it’s never been more important than now to be acknowledged for the work they have done over the past year.

“These professionals and organisations may not choose to trumpet their achievements right now while times are tough, but it will certainly be of huge value when business and communities begin to emerge."

Speaking on THE BALLROOM innovation, Hall said the Momentum team was quick to respond to the opportunity to build a brand-new architecture, process and delivery engine for its business awards events – eventuating in an Australian, if not global, first. 

“While COVID was the trigger, this innovation will be enduring and shape how Momentum approaches all events into the future,” he said.

“I’ve been blown away by how quickly our team has responded to the challenge to rethink business awards, and create what is now the benchmark for business awards programs in the post-COVID world. 

“I’d also like to acknowledge our sponsors and commercial supporters who have backed us as we delivered on this pivot – and in the process reaffirm our collective passion for supporting the accounting sector.”

The delivery of the awards program was a complete rebuild of the Momentum awards format, including innovation powered by THE BALLROOM.

Rather than a one-way transmission, THE BALLROOM facilitated an immersive live awards broadcast experience complete with networking. 

“We did this by delivering a ‘traditional’ business award program with over 30 categories via THE BALLROOM to 800+ logged in users, 300+ logged in finalists and over 3,500 participants/viewers.

“With the nation in lockdown, we successfully brought Australia’s accounting sector together during the biggest crisis of our generation – unifying them from their lounge rooms, dining tables, boardrooms and offices from a multitude of locations, helping them to engage, network and celebrate success. 

“Since there was no precedent to base our innovation on, the steps to ideate and launch THE BALLROOM was completely home grown, drawing on the talent of a very capable team across a range of departments at Momentum,” added Hall.

Australian Accounting Awards MC, and one of Australia’s top comic talents Vince Sorrenti, echoed Hall’s remarks – pointing to the speed of the innovation and watertight execution.

“Momentum Media has done what a whole bunch of organisations are thinking about but lack the attitude, capabilities or talent to do. 

“Their new awards architecture and model, delivered in conjunction with THE BALLROOM, is the new standard for business awards as we emerge from COVID.

“They’ve absolutely nailed it and delivered immense value, entertainment and engagement. It’s completely unique, innovative and visionary,” Sorrenti said. 

The full list of award finalists and winners in each category can be viewed here.