Lots of people ask this question when they are looking to enter the Awards for Excellence. To help you understand the process, we spoke to Chris Allen, chairman of the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce, who was chairman of the judging panel last year. He said:
The judges are chosen from all sectors of the island's business community including finance, engineering, media and egaming. There are also representatives from the charitable sector and from government. All the judges are highly respected in their own field and bring a wealth of expert knowledge to the judging process. Every one of them recognises and appreciates excellence when they see it and all were impressed by the high standard of entries last year.
The judging process has been designed to work in a way which is simple and transparent. The 16 judges are paired off and each pair judges two categories. They individually mark them against a number of set criteria and then the pair will get together to decide their top choices in each category.
When it comes to what they are looking for the first thing is whether the entry matches those criteria and demonstrates clearly key achievements or results. It has been noted, both last year and in previous years, that some otherwise exceptional entries have not been winners simply because they have offered an autobiographical account of themselves or their companies without actually answering the questions on the submission form.
One key criterium is sustainability: the judges are looking for great achievements over the previous 12 months that are not just a flash in the pan, but will continue into the future. So, inevitably, some of the discussion about the merits of each entry will relate to this.
The judges are also looking for entries that demonstrate a real commitment to the island: if it's a business this might be not just demonstrating the success of that business but also going the extra mile for the community through supporting charities or offering employment and training opportunities to local young people.
Also impressive are people or companies who bring business to the Isle of Man or positively raise the island's profile around the world through an exceptional product or service.
When each pair of judges has had a chance to mark and discuss their two categories and select their top three, the final judging day sees them putting their results to the full judging panel, which may see their order endorsed or completely overturned.
Often the discussion can get quite intense as the judges are demonstrably passionate about excellence and their own view of it.
Sometimes it will happen that a judge has an involvement with one of the entries in the category under discussion: they are asked to leave the room while it is finalised and they will not know the result until Awards Night.
Well known local businessman, radio presenter and owner of 3FM radio station, Ron Berry, was a first-time judge last year. He said: