We had a great night at the inaugural Blacknight Digital Marketing Mayo Awards on Wednesday, held at Knockranny House Hotel in Westport.

These awards recognised businesses across County Mayo who excel in their digital marketing. Covering multiple areas of an ever-evolving sector which includes social media, videography, blogging, websites, digital marketing campaigns, and showcasing County Mayo itself, the awards received 146 nominations for the first year. Over 100 people attended on the night.

MC for the evening was Kieran O’Malley who built an audience blogging about fashion and dating as The Galway Player. The event got underway soon after 7pm and Kieran kept the pace moving nicely, with plenty of time for everyone to have their say.

The Best Social Media award was presented by Aine McManamon, co-founder & chair of DMM. Honourable mentions were given to Sheer Fitness and My Colourful Past, and Westport Credit Union was crowned the winner.

The award for Best Digital Marketing by a Small Company was presented by John Magee from LEO Mayo. Vaughan Shoes were the winners, with a special mention for Rachel’s Irish Adventures.

The Digital Marketing Mayo organising committee

The Digital Marketing Mayo organising committee

Andrew Connolly of IE Domain Registry presented the award for Best Website. This was the second biggest category in terms of entries. LS Hair in Westport were the winners with The Lantern Chinese, Ballina, Knock Shrine and BarOne all getting a special mention.

Eoin Kennedy, founder of Congregation, announced the Little Puddins Blog as the Best Blog with honorable mentions going to the Mayo GAA Blog and Finbar Hoban Presents. Little Puddins is written by Amanda Mc Guinness, a mother of four, two with Special Needs. As a 24/7 carer, Amanda was unable to attend in person but she sent a video message accepting the award.

The award for the Best Use of Digital Marketing by a Large Company was presented by Shona Connolly, secretary of Digital Marketing Mayo. Foxford Woolen Mills received a special mention and first place went to Carraig Donn.

The award for the Best Use of Digital Marketing to Showcase Mayo was presented by Paul Cunnane from Westnet, who sponsored this category. AMayo Photography and Mayo North received honourable mentions and Mulranny Tourism was the winner.

Trophies for the Blacknight Digital Marketing Mayo Awards, sponsored by OK Trophy Centre, Castlebar

Trophies for the Blacknight Digital Marketing Mayo Awards, sponsored by OK Trophy Centre, Castlebar

Best Videography was the most closely contested category in the whole competition, so much so that the judging committee invited us at Blacknight, as sponsors, to help break the deadlock! Chloe and I reviewed the entries from The Lantern Chinese in Ballina and Westport Credit Union. We were very impressed with both of the entries (check out the Credit Union’s spoof of Home Alone!) but the final decision was in favour of the The Lantern Chinese. I emailed the committee:

“We love them both! Mayo people are very creative! We think the Credit Union videos are fantastic, but we’ve decided to award first place to The Lantern because they use literally every selling point their restaurant has, including its lovely riverside location in the town. It’s not just the food: it’s the setting, the fireworks, the performers … everything. They are selling the experience.”

 

We also awarded points for imagination, audience engagement and technical quality, all of which received high marks for both of the finalists.

The stunning award trophies that were presented to all the winners were kindly sponsored by Sharon Kelleher at the new OK Castlebar Trophy Centre and all the photos were taken by Shutter Fever Photography.

Event Director & DMM member, Alastair McDermott was happy with the night’s success.

“This was our first awards event so we are thrilled to have had well over a hundred people in attendance. It was a great opportunity for Mayo businesses to network, and of course to highlight the amazing talent that we have in the county. All seven of the awards were closely contested, and we’ll be showcasing the winners and runners up on our social media over the next month”

Jackie Ho of The Lantern Chinese, Ballina, and Conn Ó Muíneacháin of BlacknightDigital Marketing Mayo is a volunteer organisation that provides networking and training events for business professionals, connecting them with experts and showcasing Mayo as a hub for digital marketing talent. For more information, go to digitalmarketingmayo.com.

Our CEO Michele Neylon and I attended the awards, representing Blacknight as headline sponsors of the event. Alastair and the committee showed us great hospitality and Knockranny House Hotel was an excellent venue. Local businesses are our customers and our community and we were delighted to celebrate with Mayo’s digital marketers.

We’ll be back in Mayo before the month is up, as sponsors of Congregation – see you in Cong!