Last night I attended the 2nd annual edition of The Hague Awards, with the theme “Innovation by the sea”, hosted by the colourful Zuiderstraandtheater.

Organised by The Hague and Partners (a collaboration between The Hague Marketing Bureau, The Hague Convention Bureau and The Hague Business Agency) it showcased some of the best of our city.  I was also fortunate to attend the inaugural event last year: 2017 The Hague Awards.

The evening opened to a stirring drumbeat and that high energy stayed throughout the event.  Leila Prnjavorac, last year’s “Hagenaar of the Year” kept the evening running smoothly.

Firstly, five local innovative organisations were given a minute each to share what they are up to in The Hague:

Then it was on to the awards, which were presented by Deputy Mayor Richard de Mos.  This year the categories, nominees and winners were:

The Newcomer Award

Which business, recently established in The Hague, orders a distinctive or innovative service, as well as representing the entrepreneurial spirit of this city?

Nominee Restaurant 6&24 was highlighted for bringing a high level of dining toThe Hague.

Nominee Masterly The Hague is a new festival bringing together historical Dutch masterpieces and design.

Winner Samasource aligns with the city’s ambition to be an IT & Security Hub, linking high tech and corporate social responsibility.

The Success Award

Nominee ACCESS is an organisation I have volunteered for in the past, which for more than 30 years has welcomed and supported newcomers to The Hague.

Nominee Hoftrammm is a unique concept, where diners not only enjoy a delicious meal, but also see the city.

Winner De Pier has transformed a once-neglected location to a multifaceted amazing attraction by the sea.

The Personality Award

Nominee Leontine Smith is someone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several times now, she does amazing things with her business Smith Communicatie, bringing together business, products, services and people.

Nominee Marcella Maltha is an artist and project manager connecting people in The Hague.

Winner Danny Frietman was praised for his entrepreneurial spirit and driving digital initiatives.

The jury was made up of:

Public voting was also taken into account.  In the past, I’ve actually been a little critical of award ceremonies.  Though I believe winners are well-deserving of the recognition, often it can raise one business or person over another who is also very well- deserving.  To some extent this is still true, but at the same time I’ve come to realise that award ceremonies such as this still highlight the excellent contributions of nominees alongside the winners.  If anything, it’s also a great lesson to businesses and individuals to be visible – don’t be shy about sharing who you are and what you do with the world.  Whether that wins an award or not, it’s great to have a platform to learn more about the wonderful organisations and people in our city.

Fantastic food, great company and a lovely location added to the event.

Great food by Catering Meesters and communications by Happy Folk.

Always wonderful to see Deborah Valentine of ACCESS and Billy Allwood of TheHagueOnline and the Feel at Home in The Hague Fair and magazine.

Great to see photographer Guido Pijper of Twelve Photographic Services, who I’ve known for a while but not seen for ages.  So his much better photos will be available soon, but meanwhile my own photos and videos are over in my Google Album here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9KN7yfWC8o2PbdFXA

Thank you to the organisers for a wonderful event, including Marco Esser (Director of The Hague Marketing Bureau), Nienke van der Malen – van der Horst (Director, The Hague Convention Bureau) and Ilja van Haaren (Director, The Hague Business Agency).  Congratulations to all nominees and winners for their contributions to this city that I now call home.

If you’re in The Hague, then make sure you nominate or vote in next year’s awards.

http://theawardsthehague.com

Renee 🙂