Thomas Fairbairn, Author at Awards International


Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnOctober 28, 20203min6710

On 21st October, Awards International hosted a wonderful 4th edition of the Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards!

At the event, the region’s top companies detailed their work to improve environmental and social responsibility in the Gulf – and we were delighted to hold the Awards Ceremony live in Dubai for the first time since the pandemic began. 

Click here to read the full list of 2020 winners.

Over two days, we held the Awards in a hybrid format: presentations took place online, then the next day we enjoyed a live ceremony. Massive congratulations go to Splash, who amazed the judges and walked away as the Overall Winner.

Our Regional Manager for the Middle East, Aleksandar Ilic, did a fantastic job of hosting the Awards, and was delighted with how the day went: “It was wonderful to  hold the Awards Ceremony live in Dubai again. Thank you to everyone for getting involved in such an inspiring day!”

Gathering in person for competition was really special, but this was also about affirming a shared commitment to the planet. In partnership with Goumbook, we planted a tree for every guest at the Awards – and we planted many of those trees during the ceremony itself!

Thank you to everyone – finalists, judges, sponsors and more – who helped make this event so special. It’s inspiring to know there are so many people who care about this planet, and are working hard to protect it for future generations. Thank you for doing such great work! 

We very much hope to see you at next year’s edition of the Awards – we hope you can join us for more competition, recognition and celebration! 



Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnSeptember 22, 20203min10920

We’re delighted to be joining with the Collaboration Network for an upcoming webinar!

Held on 24th September at 2pm, this week’s Collaboration Webinar will examine how firms can achieve excellence in complaints handling during challenging periods. We’re pleased to be working in association with the Collaboration Network for this one, as it promises to be an engaging and insightful session.

This session will be hosted by Michael Hill, Complaints Management Ambassador to the Collaboration Network and Chair of Judges at the UK Complaints Handling Awards. Michael is one of the foremost leading experts in complaints handling with nearly 30 years experience and will be setting the scene for us with his own insights.

Neil Skehel, CEO of Awards International, will be providing an update on the UK Complaint Handling Awards 2021 and how firms remain keen to demonstrate excellence in customer care throughout turbulent times.

Our Guest Speaker on this webinar will be Ciaran Harkin, Managing Director at QASSS who won two awards at the UK Complaint Handling Awards 2020 including Silver in the category of Best Complaint Handling. Ciaran will give us an insight into how QASSS achieved this and what activities they are undertaking to help raise standards in customer support.

This will be followed by an interactive session ran by our in-house experts, Caroline Wells and Sarah Lawrence. We will debate questions, utilise breakout sessions, run a poll and get guidance on top tips for a best in class approach to complaints handling.

You can register for free here


Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnSeptember 22, 20202min9170

In such a transformative year, it’s essential for CX professionals to know the latest quantitative data so they can understand the scale of change in the industry. 

That’s why Awards International teamed up with Ipsos for their latest piece of research, CX Voices: 2020. It’s a wide-ranging, “state of the nation” report, shining a light on the various ways that CX professionals have responded to the pandemic. 

And we’re pleased to say that CXM will be holding a free webinar for anyone who’d like to hear about this research in-depth. This will be held from 10:30 – 11:15 (UK time) on Tuesday 6th October, as part of our CX Day celebrations. Click below to register!



The format for the webinar will be:

Introduction: Jamie Thorpe (Ipsos)  and Neil Skehel (Awards International) – 5 mins

CX Trends: Jamie Thorpe  – 15 mins

CX Voices: Katherine Shipton (Ipsos) – 20 mins

Q&A and wrap: Jamie Thorpe and Neil Skehel – 5 mins


You’ll have to come along to discover why Ispsos have referred to this report as “a tale of two halves”. It gives a nuanced picture of the challenges and opportunities faced by CX professionals during the pandemic – and is an invaluable resource for anyone in the customer experience space. 

See you on 6th October! 






Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnSeptember 15, 20201min7460

We’re delighted to announce that we’re partnering with Fintech Finance for the upcoming International Business Excellence Awards.

Fintech Finance showcases the most up to date news coverage, and produce engaging content throughout all areas of the financial industry. By producing unique Virtual Arenas three times a week, as well as video episodes which look at a range of topics within financial services, they bring key topics and updates into the financial arena.

With many different FS companies due to present at the Awards, it’s a perfect fit! As our Regional Manager (Middle East), Aleksandar Ilic, put it: “Fintech Finance will be an outstanding partner for the International Business Excellence Awards and we look forward to working together, spreading the word about financial excellence!”

The entry deadline for the International Business Excellence Awards is September 17th – enter now!

And if you’re interested in becoming a judge, click here!


Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnSeptember 9, 20202min6070

The Gulf Customer Experience Awards is going to be a very special day. After a long period of lockdown, we can’t wait to hold a live Awards Ceremony again!

But there’s more good news! We’re partnering with CXO Insight ME, the most trusted source of strategic intelligence for IT decision makers in the Middle East.

Backed by media experts of the highest order, CXO Insight ME offers incisive perspectives on current and emerging trends shaping the regional technology landscape. They deliver unmatched news coverage and in-depth analysis of the technologies and opportunities that should be on the radar of IT professionals and decision makers looking to address today’s business problems. With real-world insights into technology vendors, products and services, they help the C-suite and thought leaders make prudent IT purchase decisions.

Whether promoting a new product, creating brand awareness or generating sales pipeline, CXO Insight Middle East offers a wide array of digital advertising tools to engage with your target audience throughout the buying cycle.

Aleksandar Ilic, Awards International’s Regional Manager (Middle East) commented on the announcement, saying:

“It’s a pleasure to have CXO Insight ME as a partner for the upcoming Gulf CX Awards. As a world-class intelligence source, they help IT professionals stay ahead of the curve, and we’re big believers in the importance of technology in advancing CX. I look forward to us working together!”

There’s still time to get your early bird discount for the Gulf Customer Experience Awards: until October 22nd, you can save AED 400 on your entry!


Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnSeptember 9, 20202min5580

We’re delighted to announce that we’re partnering with CustomerService.ae for the upcoming Gulf Customer Experience Awards.

CustomerService.ae is the only resource in the GCC region which publishes best practices, expert interviews, in-depth articles and industry reports to enhance customer experience for all types of businesses. It also offers all-in-one social media management, training programs and DIY productivity games for customer service departments.

Aleksandar Ilic, Awards International’s Regional Manager (Middle East) had this to say about the news:

“We are thrilled to have Customer Service AE as a partner for the Gulf Customer Experience Awards 2021. They are the leading publication in the region when it comes to customer service and CX and we couldn’t think of a better partner. After a year like 2020, we all have so many things to celebrate and be thankful for, and I think the categories in this edition of the Awards really reflect that.”

Speaking for CustomerService.ae, Hamza Nasir, Director of Strategic Relations, said:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Gulf CX Awards where CX professionals can celebrate their achievements, gain insights and learn about the innovation and progress made within the sector. We hope to change the way experiential training programs can shape the future of CX. We look forward to working together.”

You still have until October 22nd to get your early bird deal for the Gulf CX Awards – a saving of 400 AED!

Once again, many thanks to CustomerService.ae for teaming up! We can’t wait to see you in Dubai on February 16th for a memorable celebration of CX excellence!


Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnAugust 21, 20203min4660

We are pleased to announce that EME Outlook Magazine will be a Media Partner at the International Business Excellence Awards 2020.

EME Outlook is a digital and print product aimed at boardroom and hands-on decision-makers across a wide range of industries in the region.

With content compiled by our experienced production team ensuring delivery to the highest standards, they look to promote the latest in engaging news, industry trends and success stories from the length and breadth of both Europe and the Middle East.

The magazine is owned and published by Outlook Publishing, who also produce global business titles, Asia Outlook and Africa Outlook, providing a superb platform for advertisers and media partners to showcase your services and place you in the hands of the continent’s most influential people.

“We are thrilled to have EME Outlook Magazine as our Media Partner for the International Business Excellence Awards 2020,” Aleksandar Ilic, Regional Manager (Middle East) explained. “They do amazing work in highlighting the most important issues in business right now, and we look forward to this partnership as we approach the Awards in November.”

We are happy to have EME Outlook Magazine as our new partner alongisde  Customer Experience Magazine and the Cranfield School of Management.


Sponsoring the International Business Excellence Awards means aligning yourself with leaders in business innovation, and supporting the development of ethical business practice in the Gulf.

For more details on sponsoring our events, click here.

For more stories from Awards International, click here.



Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnAugust 21, 20203min2790

For the International Business Excellence Awards on November 3oth, we’re pleased to announce that we’re partnering with Gulf Property.

Gulf Property is among the UAE’s premier monthly business magazine that covers news primarily related to real estate, construction, tourism and related issues.

Now in their tenth year of publication, Gulf Property offers better and real value to readers. The magazine thrives on providing news and information that its readers are interested in and find real value in.

A team of experts work hard to select a series of topics and issues that are important and close to the hearts of thousands of real estate professionals and investors. People with a wealth of knowledge on real estate and construction have been engaged to provide the real time information and market intelligence report for the readers.

Today, Gulf Property commands a healthy circulation of 20,000 and is available in newspaper and magazine stands, retail outlets, airport lounges and duty-free outlets.

Aleksandar Ilic, Regional Manager (Middle East), had this to say:

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Gulf Property for the upcoming Awards. As an organisation that recognises business excellence, they’re a perfect media partner for this event. We look forward to working together as we approach the big day!


Sponsoring the International Business Excellence Awards means aligning yourself with leaders in business innovation, and supporting the development of ethical business practice in the Gulf.

For more details on sponsoring our events, click here.

For more stories from Awards International, click here.


Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnAugust 21, 20202min4510

We’re delighted to announce that we will be partnering with Amigos do CX for the upcoming International Customer Experience Awards.

The purpose of Amigos do CX is to bring together professionals to discuss and exchange experiences about the Customer Experience market and everything that is linked to customer happiness and success.

They have developed several initiatives: face-to-face meetings, a spreadsheet of national and international courses, a calendar of CX and CS market events, disclosure of members profiles that are seeking for a new job, market job offers, members’ articles and relevant market content. They are also the organisers of the Wow Summit, CX masterclasses, and are co-authors of a book with 33 authors from Brazil, the US and the UK. The group’s goal is to disseminate and evangelize the Customer Experience subject to accelerate market development and inspire people on the subject.

We look forward to welcoming them to the online event on November 30th: we hope you can join us too!

The entry deadline for the International Customer Experience Awards is September 4th – enter today!

Sponsoring the International Customer Experience means aligning yourself with CX leaders and supporting the development of customer experience around the world.

For more details on sponsoring our events, click here.

For more stories from Awards International, click here.