The fourth annual Warman Martensville Business Excellence Awards (WMBEXA) will be taking place May 3rd at the North Ridge Community Centre in Martensville. Each year the spectacular gala seems to gain more and more attention within the region and provides an excellent opportunity for local businesses to showcase themselves as well as network with other businesses within the area.
Award options include; Business of the Year, New Business of the Year, Customer Service, Community Involvement and Non-Profit of the Year.
This year, nominations for WMBEXA were on par with previous years; however, according to Jaimie Malmgren, Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, this year they saw an increase in customers and clients nominating businesses they support. “That is something that we really want to see, getting the entire region involved in nominating those businesses and showing them that they are noticed and appreciated for all of the hard work they do,” Malmgren said.
It seems since the event first began, not only residents within the region, but businesses are becoming more aware of WMBEXA. From nominations, applications, sponsorship and more, the event continues to grow. Currently, there is a waiting list for sponsorship opportunities as businesses have seen the benefit to becoming involved in the event. “We never imagined that this event would become what it has even in the first year. It took us by surprise, but we are thrilled that it has grown to what it is today. Each year, we try to grow it in one way or another to keep building it and continue to make it a really spectacular celebration for businesses within our region. This year is no different as we have some more things up our sleeves that we are looking forward to,” Malmgren explained. The sold-out event will see approximately 350-400 people attend this year.
Prior to Christmas, businesses received an in-person visit from either Malmgren, or a member of the PSCC board to notify them of their nomination. “That is literally my favorite time of the year. The reactions that you get from the businesses are amazing; lots of surprises, big smiles and sometimes even tears,” said Malmgren.
Following the nominations, the application period will take place from January 1st to February 4th. Businesses that have been nominated, or wish to self-nominate can download application forms from the PSCC website.
On January 10th, the PSCC will be hosting a WMBEXA luncheon which will feature the previous year’s winners and provide information on their experience, the application process, the benefits of applying and the value that they see from the event. “In addition, we have reached out to some of our previous judges and asked for some feedback on what they see from their perspective. The goal is to be able to provide as much information as possible to help the applicants put together the best application they can because there is a lot of competition out there,” added Malmgren. “It is all about what you put into it and spending ten minutes on it won’t earn you a spot as a finalist. It is really a great opportunity to take a step back and look at your business and see if there are things you can be doing differently, what you are doing right and to get some input from your staff and customers as well.”
Malmgren wanted to express how valuable the luncheon is for nominees and encourages all business owners to either attend, or send someone on their behalf. For those that are unable to attend, you can also contact the PSCC for more information. Businesses that have not been nominated, but would still like to submit an application can also attend, or businesses that are not eligible to apply this year can attend to learn more about the process in years to come. “By attending the luncheon, you get an understanding of what a spectacular evening it is. The spotlight really shines on these businesses and you get a ton of visibility and promotion through it. We have found that it has been incredibly valuable to small businesses.”
Additionally, WMBEXA provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to network with one another. “It is a room full of movers and shakers, so if you want to be a part of it, it is better to get your tickets sooner than later because we always sell out!”
For more information, or to purchase tickets once they go on sale mid-January, visit www.prairieskychamber.ca, or call (306) 292-7066.