Back in September 2018, when Piers Brown, CEO of International Hospitality Media Ltd., launched the ShortTermRentalz news platform, I said to him, ‘please, please also launch an award ceremony for the industry!’

Why was I so insistent that he gives the industry an awards platform?

As the founder of a public relations firm which has a niche focus on the short-term rental industry, it’s been beyond frustrating that we’ve had a dearth of opportunities in which to celebrate the ‘movers and shakers’, ‘the innovators’, ‘the pioneers’ and the brilliant product or service providers. There’s been no place to publicly acknowledge the hardworking suppliers, individuals and property managers that are making this industry what it is.

The team at VRTech have done a fantastic job of providing a platform to celebrate tech start-ups in the industry, with the annual VRTech Awards, but that’s pretty much all we’ve had as a collective industry. An industry that is one of the fastest-growing and most innovative verticals in travel and travel technology. Shame on us really.

But why does this all matter? Aren’t industry award ceremonies at worst ‘puff and fluff’ and at best all about ‘glamour and glitter’? Aren’t they just opportunities for PR teams to strut their stuff, or for sales teams to milk?

Well, actually no….

Of course, there is a certain amount of ego-boosting, posturing and frivolity about awards. And there really is nothing wrong with that. However, in addition, there are several really solid reasons why an initiative like the Shortyz is not only very good for the industry, but also for the businesses that take part.

Here are some of the reasons why, in my opinion, the Shortyz are good for the short-term rental industry:

  • Awards like the Shortyz raise the profile of the short-term rental industry ‘as a whole’. They bring increased emphasis on standards and professionalism to the space and they mark a turning point in the maturity of the industry.
  • Awards bring credibility and validation to the entire industry as well as for each business that either wins or is shortlisted. They are a universally recognisable ‘stamp of approval’.
  • In terms of exposure and impact for each company that enters, being short-listed can be just as powerful as winning. As in the opportunities to celebrate being involved in awards are available and plentiful, so getting nominated is a valuable step.
  • Winning or being short-listed is an excellent boost for your teams. It really does feel good to be acknowledged as being part of the best of the best.
  • Awards help to consolidate the industry into a recognisable force with subsections of types of provider/service. This is again part of ‘growing up’.
  • Awards really do recognise and uphold those businesses and individuals that are doing brilliant work and providing an outstanding product or service for property managers, owners and guests.

They also make great content for PR of course….

If you’ve felt a bit shy, perhaps are a little jaded, or just have not made the time to put your business forward to enter the Shortyz, there is still time.

The deadline for entry is January 31st and all you need to do to nominate yourself, your company or one of your peers or colleagues is to email with either a 90-second video entry or a 200-word written entry.

Nominations will then be shortlisted by a team of judges (I’m one :)) and then the public will get to vote for the final winners.

Full details of categories and the actual award night can be found here.

After all, you’ve got to be in it to win it and what do you have to lose!

About Jessica Gillingham

Jessica is the director of Abode Worldwide – a boutique public relations agency and consultancy specialising in working with clients in the international short-term rental, hospitality tech and prop-tech space. Jessica writes and speaks regularly on topics related to public relations, the short-term rental industry and the travel industry. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and publisher of industry resource PillowTalk Media.