RCA honoured at European Association Excellence Awards

The Racecourse Association (RCA) tasted European success last Friday as they collected a Highly Commended Award for the 2016 Showcase & Awards at the European Association Awards in Brussels.

Nominated as a Finalist in the Best Association Awards Event, the RCA impressed the judges with the seventh annual Showcase event held at Doncaster Racecourse last November and partnered for the first time by Moët Hennessy as well as Racing Post. With 13 Awards in total, the Showcase Awards celebrate excellence and innovation on British Racecourses in improving the customer experience.

The European Association of Communications Agencies won the Awards Event category for their Euro Effie Awards with the RCA being awarded a Mark of Excellence. The judging panel commented:

“The RCA’s Showcase event saw a refreshing approach, great partnerships and a good angle on networking. This event appears to have brought a positive impact to its cause and objectives, while providing insights for the attendees.”

They added:

“There was a lovely feeling to this entry, intimate and well connected and clearly trying to go beyond the ‘usual suspects’. Very impressive feedback and a wide stakeholder base.”

Stephen Atkin, RCA Chief Executive, said: “I am very proud of the team for all the hard work they have put into Showcase and this award is fully deserved.

“The Showcase & Awards have grown and evolved considerably since the inaugural event in 2011 and to gain European recognition really is exceptionally pleasing.

“We must also thank the hosts Doncaster Racecourse and their team for assisting us in creating such a wonderful event. Equally, we are grateful for all of the racecourses who engage with the Showcase & Awards and make it such a success, without them it would not be possible.”

Paul Swain, Racecourse Services Executive, added “the 2016 Showcase & Awards was a fantastic event for racecourses and to cap it off with such recognition is truly humbling.

“The event is hosted completely for the benefit of racecourses, providing them with a platform to share best practice and enhance the overall customer experience. This award is really for the great support we receive from racecourses, Great British Racing (GBR), our hosts Doncaster Racecourse and our generous partners Moët Hennessy and the Racing Post.”

The European Association Awards recognise exceptional achievements and campaign excellence taking place throughout Europe, at both in-country and pan-EU levels.

Winners were chosen from among more than 60 finalists, and include both individuals and teams who have worked to ensure their organisation’s members’ voices are heard.

Claire Wormsley, Managing Director of Global Conference Network (GCN), the Award organisers, said, “More than half of the ceremony attendees today are director level and above, and this reflects the real importance of these awards.

“Our judging panel, including Secretary Generals from leading European Associations, worked diligently to review the entries. Selecting the final winners was not an easy task, and we’re very grateful for their support.

“Today’s winners should be proud. Earning a European Excellence Award is a significant achievement, and reflects the exceptional efforts and outstanding results they have achieved in the association sector.”

The 2016 Showcase Awards enjoyed record numbers, with 258 guests attending. This included 41 of the 59 RCA member racecourses, a record number for engagement.

2016 attracted 77 submissions from 41 racecourses, equalling the second highest engagement level to date and an increase on 2015.

The Awards also attracted VIP guests from the wider world of horseracing, including Chairmen and Chief Executives from the British Horseracing Authority, Horsemen’s Group, ITV Sport, and VisitEngland.

The event is now firmly in place as the recognised racecourse industry awards and this year’s feedback was particularly impressive.