One of the things I have always appreciated about this industry is its sense of community and camaraderie. So it was with the expectation of catching up with friends and like-minded colleagues that I stepped in the Hilton Hotel ballroom on September 24 for our third annual ARN IT Industry Awards. And I wasn’t disappointed.
This year, 600 people attended our awards night to celebrate the industry’s most successful over the past year. It was a wonderful sight to behold, and our initial Champagne Reception was abuzz as vendor, distributor and reseller representatives discussed the latest industry news and war stories over a glass of bubbly or beer.
At the inaugural ARN awards in 2007, 460 individuals joined us at Doltone House to toast staff members, their companies and peers. In 2008, we upgraded to the Hilton Hotel, gambling that more people would want to come along. The fact that we had 520 people along was a sure sign we’d got the combination of awards and networking opportunity right.
To have 600 at this years’ event – the room was bursting at the seams it was so full – was an honour, and proof that the ARN awards have become the most signifi cant industry-wide occasion on the Australian IT calendar. There’s no doubt it has been a tough and challenging 12 months for everybody, so we were pleased to have so many come on-board as sponsors and secure their tables early this year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support and attendance.
The full list of winners is on page one, but I’d like to highlight our three new ARN Hall of Fame inductees – Phil Cronin of Intel, Express Data’s Ross Cochrane, and reseller veterans, Ken and Maree Lowe of ASI Solutions. The amount of industry knowledge and insight these four people possess is astounding and they all deserve to be recognised for their accomplishments.
Often we’re so busy trying to do the bits and pieces we need to do in our day-to-day lives, that we forget we’re part of a significant and influential industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people nationally. According to an Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) report in 2008, ICT spending was worth $US60 billion annually, making Australia’s ICT industry the 14th largest worldwide (even though we’re only 54th on the list by population).
Over the next week, we’ll be posting photos and videos from the reception, awards ceremony and after party on our website, www.arnnet.com.au, so look out for these slideshows. Our special ARN Awards commemorative issue will also be out in October.
Once again, I’d like to congratulate all our winners, highly commended recipients and finalists for their efforts over the past year. I look forward to seeing even more of you in the running for a gong next year, and raising a glass to your success at the ARN Awards 2010.