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Best Wellbeing Provider In The Workplace

Are Awards Nights A Scam Or Am I Just A Sore Looser?

Best Wellbeing Provider In The Workplace
Best Wellbeing Provider In The Workplace

Most people may be celebrating for being shortlisted for an award, but I seem to be feeling very different about it so I'm here to explain why perhaps it's not all it's cracked up to be. Maybe I'm being overdramatic, a sore loser, or maybe my feelings are valid? Let's dive into it and see what you think.

Let me rewind to when I found out I got nominated. I entered the Wellity Great British Wellbeing In The Workplace Awards in Oct 2023, and to my surprise, I made the shortlist! I was really happy about it, don't get me wrong. It felt amazing to see my small one-person company up for Best Wellbeing Service In The Workplace. But when I looked at the other nominees, I started feeling a bit intimidated. They were all so impressive, with big teams and fancy business models. Still, it felt like a real achievement, like my hard work was paying off.

ArtistAnd At Awards

On one hand, being recognized for an award like this feels great. It's like a pat on the back for all the effort I've put into teaching art and promoting wellness in the workplace for the past 4 years. But on the other hand, when I was at the ceremony, I couldn't shake this feeling that I didn't belong.

ArtistAnd Best Wellbeing Service
ArtistAnd Best Wellbeing Service

At first, things seemed promising. Out of 1000 applicants, only 150 of us made it to the shortlist. That's a big deal, right? But then, I realized that meant there were 150 companies competing for attention. And with 25 different categories, it felt like a lot to sit through.

It got me thinking: is this really about recognizing good work, or is it just a way for the organizers to make money?

I'll be honest, the tickets were expensive. £470 for just one! And since I didn't want to go alone, I had to buy two. People kept telling me that if I didn't go, I wouldn't have a chance of winning, so I felt like I had to. But it was a lot of money to spend. In the end, I figured I've spent more on other business events that didn't pay off, so I might as well give it a shot. I went in with the mindset that even if I didn't win, I could still make some connections and have a good time.

Portrait Drawing Challenge
Portrait Challenge

But networking turned out to be harder than I thought. During the drinks reception, everyone seemed to be in their own little groups, not really interested in talking to anyone new. We tried to be friendly and approachable, but I get it, people were there to celebrate, not network.

As we sat down to dinner, we made sure to talk to everyone on the table and that was lovely. We met some really amazing companies, (some saying they were only small with 55 people!) and we had a lovely 3-course meal. The only trouble was were left hungry at the end and the drinks were not flowing as much as we would have liked. After all, we needed to drink & eat as much as we could to try to regain some of that ticket money back if we weren't to win!

Posh Dinner
Posh Dinner

Then came the awards themselves. We sat through all 25 categories, clapping politely for each winner. But we didn't really learn much about what these companies did or why they won. It felt more like a transaction rather than celebrating real achievements.

When you start to think about the 31 tables, and 8 - 10 PPL per table you can quickly see the amount of wealth generated. You can also see the huge effort gone into the awards with the fancy dinner, the posh location and glitz and glam that everyone dressed in. I felt very out of my comfort zone from wearing jeans and trainers to borrowing friends' dresses and wearing high heels.

ArtistAnd Best Wellbeing Provider
ArtistAnd Best Wellbeing Provider

Looking around the room, it was hard not to feel out of place. There were so many big companies there, doing such impressive work. I couldn't help but wonder if I even belonged there. Maybe it's a bit of imposter syndrome. There were so many large companies in there, so many huge impact programmes that benefited their staff, and their communities and I felt like ArtistAnd was just making a small dent in a huge ocean. It was a humbling experience. Yes, my impact does have an effect on lives. I have messages regularly from my community on how coming to my classes has helped them mentally and socially and I will cherish that value for the rest of my life. But there was something telling me I was just a bum on a seat in this situation, another £1000 in the bank. In my category alone there were 13 other shortlisted. Perhaps it was hard to choose? Maybe we all deserved it? Or maybe I'm just being a sore loser?

Was this the right award ceremony for me?

In hindsight, my gut is saying maybe this wasn't. As a small business, that kind of money is a huge deal, and did I feel it was appropriate to pay that? Mixed feelings really. The opportunity to network was small, the engagement reach was tiny in terms of marketing ArtistAnd to others and so the outlay of finances compared to the return in networking wasn't equal.

Do I think the awards should continue?

Absolutely yes. For bigger companies with bigger budgets making huge impacts, I think it's important to recognise and strive towards wellbeing goals to make huge impacts in the workplace. I understand why these things cost so much money but I don't think tiny businesses should have to pay so much for this.

Would I do it again?

I think next time, I would be happy to apply for similar categories but I would need to really look at the cost of the ticket price and think seriously about the outcome. Would I be happy to spend that money and not win? Is there a financial figure I would be comfortable with losing? Perhaps.

I should summarise by not putting myself down so much. I am proud of what I've achieved and I honestly never thought I'd win my category and I was ok with that. My service is a valuable asset in the workplace and we bring people together through something different, creative and engaging. I should be incredibly proud of doing this on my own. Maybe I should just learn how to celebrate and stop being such a tight bitch.

P.S. We did manage to nab a couple of bottles of wine at the end...

Free Wine!

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