A step out into the unknown

It would probably be fair to say, most of the judges and agencies at last nights Kent Digital Awards had never heard of us before we entered.

This was our first foray into entering our work for awards in the six and a half years we’ve had our doors open and I’m not really sure why. I’ve known we’ve been doing good work that we feel passionately about for years – but this year, we really felt as though we wanted to see what our peers thought of that work, and maybe even get recognised for some of it.

As the deadline for the submissions neared its close, we decided to take a punt on some of the projects we have worked on over the last 12 months that we felt passionate about. These included the Hop Farms’ much needed new site, which helps Kent’s visitors discover one of the best days out the South East has to offer. The Country Eye app, which we conceptualised, designed and built under the guidance of CRAG and Kent Police. Kent Rural Careers, an app dedicated to helping young people discover careers in the rural sector. Last but not least, we decided to enter our website, because ‘hey, why the hell not?!’.

When the nominations were announced we were frankly shocked to discover that all the projects we entered were finalists in the categories! Maybe it was worth putting ourselves forward!

Thursday night seemed to roll round quicker than Bolt charging the 100m, we put on our Sunday best and headed up to Brands Hatch for what we just expected to be a fun night out.

As the night progressed we got increasingly nervous. We had some idea that we might win ‘something’ in the app category, since we had two entries in there, but nothing prepared us for the overwhelming acknowledgement that ensued!

When all was said and done we won Gold for The Hop Farm site in the hospitality and leisure category and Gold for the Country Eye app in the App Design category. We also won Silver for the Kent Rural careers app in the App Design category and Silver for our own beloved site in the Creative & Marketing category.

When we were announced, it was genuinely surprising. As a small team, in a room full of local giants, we felt like the odds were stacked against us. But, it goes to show, the passion and commitment we put into every project is recognisable and worthy of praise.

I feel incredibly proud to have the team we do at Ether. A bunch of like-minded, hard working and opinionated (in all the right ways!) group or designers, developers and marketers who never settle and always push.

Now, we need to start plugging away on what will turn into next year’s entries!