“It’s amazing, we’re absolutely delighted. I still can’t believe it,” said ProCo chief executive Jon Bailey.
“I genuinely was humbled by the reaction, everyone was really pleased for us, they were delighted for the team and the amount of love from competitors was really humbling.
“It’s absolutely about the team. We push very hard at our place, we graft to get it right and we keep trying. And even when we think we get it right we don’t accept that’s good enough and I think the award is testament to that."
Around 800 guests attended last night’s glittering ceremony in the Great Room at the Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane, where this year’s host, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin entertained the audience with a set that included an impromptu show-stealing appearance by BPIF chief executive Charles Jarrold.
However, the real stars of the show were the night’s 24 category winners.
After being shortlisted last year, CS Labels was crowned SME of the Year at the second time of asking.
Managing director Simon Smith said: “We’ve undertaken a huge investment programme over the last 12 months to try and develop the business and raise its profile in the industry – it’s really about where we want to be in the next 10 years.
“We’re absolutely blown away by the win. The last 12 months have been an incredible journey and this is a recognition for all our staff and the hard work they have put in.”
One of the most hotly contested categories this year was Customer Service Team, with this year’s trophy secured by Impress Print Services in Walton-on-Thames.
Helen Floyd, Impress sales and marketing director, said: “Customer service is a real team effort. The guys have worked so hard, and been so good in looking at how we can change things in our procedures to make things even better, so it was great to have that recognised. Everyone in the business is incredibly chuffed.”
“It gives real credibility to what we’re doing, a real pat on the back that the company is going in the right direction and then there’s the kudos it gives to the team. They can all be so proud of what they’ve achieved.”
One of the night’s double winners was London-based Boss Print, which took home the Prisms for Luxury Packaging Printer of the Year and Book Printer of the Year. Managing director Fenton Smith said: “It was a fantastic night, and I’m sure it will result in some new leads and new enquiries.”
One of the most popular categories, as ever, was the Trainee of the Year Award.
Dayfold production manager, Shaun Kempshall, who collected the Award on behalf of apprentice Stephen Dando, said: “Stephen is a great kid. He was 17 years old when he knocked on our door four years ago and asked for a job.
“Since then he’s gone from strength to strength at the firm.”
This year’s event also played host to a prize draw in aid of The Printing Charity, which raised £3,700. The £1,200 Virgin holiday voucher was won by John Brown Media production manager Mike Lamb.
“I think the last time I won anything I was twelve and it was a sweet raffle at school,” he said.
“I always enjoy going to the PrintWeek Awards as you a guaranteed to meet up with new and old colleagues and contacts within the industry. Winning the prize draw just made it all the more special.”
The final word goes to ProCo’s Bailey, who said he encouraged everyone to look at entering next year’s Awards.
“I really believe that if you’re really passionate about your business and what you do and why you’re doing it then you should enter, because if you win it’s fantastic, but even if you don’t it really channels your mind and reminds you of all the good things you’re doing.
“When we’re all moving so quick, just putting the entry together, it reminds you of all the great things you’re doing – it keeps you focused.”
To register your interest in the 2019 PrintWeek Awards, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Trainee of the Year
Sponsored by Heidelberg
Winner: Stephen Dando, Dayfold
Amy Craig, Security Print Solutions
Luisa Federico, Impress Print Services