Open Day

Awards Winners

As another Open Day passes, so does another National IT Reseller Awards competition and ceremony. 2015 was a year to remember as the quality and calibre of entries was higher than ever. It was also the first year we've had a celebrity present them. Dennis Taylor, 1985 World Snooker Champion announced and presented the Awards. And afterwards gave us a after-dinner talk to remember. 

If you’re new to the National IT Reseller Awards they exist to reward and celebrate your hard work. Being in business can be a thankless task and we think you deserve to be recognised. But not by us, the Awards are the only Awards for the Trade voted on entirely by the Trade. The businesses who win do so because you choose them to.

Paul Cubbage presents ShopTalk National IT Reseller AwardsThe Awards span the key areas of running a successful business. So Best Shop Window, Best Business Idea and Best Website are examples of the 10 categories available. They're run as part of ShopTalk, our free business advice service dedicated to helping the Trade be more successful. Crucially, we take no part in the Awards other than providing the means for them to take place.

This section of the website is devoted to the winners and their entries. If you want to know who won what and why, take a look here. With separate pages listing the winners and the awards they won, we’ve also pages devoted to sharing the detail of their winning entries. If you’ve an area of your business you’d like to improve – be that marketing or signage, shop layout or use of a PC configurator - this is the place to get good ideas.

Welcome to the National IT Reseller Awards.


The Winners

The happy winners received their awards from our special guest, Dennis Taylor.

To see their winning entries, click the links below each winner.

Winning Entry: Best Business Idea

Computer Assist

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
Simple pricing & priority jobs

Winner - Best Business Idea

Describe the idea. Explain what it is.

For years we have offered people same or next day repairs, but there has always been problems with this system due to unforeseen problems causing work to take longer and people always calling to see if their job was complete. Then there was also the ongoing labour charges and customers that were unsure of how much something would cost. So we restructured our pricing system to be clear, simple and based on priority. Customers can have as much work doing as is required and not have it cost any more labour than originally quoted. We also get the pressure taken off us in the workshop to turn the majority of repairs around as quickly as possible.


What caused you to introduce it? Describe why you introduced it and what you were trying to achieve.

After looking through reviews on ourself, the one thing we always saw people mark us down on was pricing. Saying it cost more than originally expected, or took longer than I was quoted. As anyone knows in IT repair, some jobs are simple and others can cause hair loss (when you thought it ws going to be simple.) We wanted to improve our ratings and reviews and in turn become that little bit busier so that we could afford to take on the much needed extra technician.


How successful has it been? In what ways has it changed your business?

So far it has been very successful, Our workshop has been the busiest it has been in years (even in those quiet months). Our reviews have improved and best of all we dont spend half our day on the phone explaining to the customer that their system is next on the bench, or still on the bench being looked at. Best of all, we have taken on the extra technician and it might not be to long before we need another...

Winning Entry: Best Shop Layout

Premier Computers

Winner - Best Shop Layout

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
We needed more space 

What overall impression and specific message(s) are you trying to convey?
We were doing ok with PC & laptop sales and wanted to push things further. We wanted to have a shop that was welcoming, well laid ok and hopefully made customer relaxed enough to spend time browsing. We decided to move our workshop from the front of the shop to the rear. This gave us the space to create a showroom type layout for builds, etc and then expand on the retail side where the systems once were. We are very proud of what we have done as all the work has been done by us, including making the units and gondolas from scratch.

Winner - Best Shop Layout

Who / what types of customers are you trying to appeal to?
Typical PC world customers. Trying to look more professional and getting the customers that would normally feel comfortable paying a bit more for good customer service, etc.

What products and services do you specifically aim to promote?
Creating the showroom helps us promote PC & laptops better

Winner - Best Shop Layout Winner - Best Shop Layout

How have you used shop layout to emphasise those products and services and maximise the number of them a typical visitor would encounter?
Creating the showroom feel was important as customers see it as a separate part of the shop and many now walk straight into that area once through the door. Creating the showroom feel was important as customers see it as a separate part of the shop and many now walk straight into that area once through the door. With header cards on the gondolas and walls hopefully customers can find the relevant products they are looking for. All items have a price label with a description to help identify the products. All systems and laptops have the spec of the systems and the price. We also have different colour banner at the top of the system "ticket" This helps to identify new laptops from refurbished, etc.

Winning Entry: Best External Signage

Premier Computers

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
Recycling saved us money

Winner - Best External Signage Winner - Best External Signage

What message(s) are you trying to convey?
Clean professional appearence, we wanted people to feel comfortable approaching the shop and coming in.

Who / what types of customers are you trying to appeal to?
Typical PC World customers, who want good service, good products and dont mind paying a bit more for it :)

Winner - Best External Signage

Where is it and why?
This is our main fascia signs. we are on a major junction with moving traffic and wanted the signs to be clear and easy to read.

How well does it prompt comment and create enquiries?
Nobody has said anything bad and we hope having the word computers in our name there shouldn't any question what we do or sell.

Winner - Best External Signage

Any additional information...
When we moved premises approx 3 years ago the old shop was all black. We brought all the letters and logo from the old shop and used them for the new one although the background is now white they still look great. The "PC" logos are backlit so have a sort of halo effect at night

Winner - Best External Signage

Winning Entry: Best Internal Retail Display

Premier Computers

Winner - Best Internal Display

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
Thank god for Ikea

Winner - Best Internal Display

What caused you to create the display?
We needed a way of displaying our systems and laptops but didn't have loads of money, so we built all our own plinth units and table. The plinths have worked out great and allow the showroom to moved around to create interest and show off different products. We wanted to use the intel ipos system but didnt want to have money tied up with display PC's. We created our own which looks the same but just uses a very basic motherboard and updates itself over wifi, so we can change the spec, etc. Some of the cases are even empty with the motherboards hidden inside the plinths.

What overall impression are you trying to create?
Easy to browse and navigate a place where people can feel relaxed when making a bigger purchase. We also have a seating area so we can sit and chat if needed.

Winner - Best Internal DisplayWinner - Best Internal Display

What specific message(s) are you trying to convey?
Professional and we know what we are talking about.

Who / what types of customers are you trying to appeal to?
Anyone who wants a PC or laptop and doesnt mind paying for good products and service

Winner - Best Internal Display Winner - Best Internal Display

How effective has the display proved to be at prompting comment and enquiry?
Very good. Although we would like it to be busier hopefully that will come with time.


Winning Entry: Best Marketing

Airedale Computers

Winner - Best Marketing

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less

Set out the overall purpose for the marketing and the goal to be achieved
The overall purpose of this idea was to increase consumer awareness and continue our charitable theme.

Winner - Best Marketing

Who / what types of customers is the marketing intended to appeal to?
It appeals to both clients who donate IT equipment to us and to customers in our shops who are helping their own community by shopping with us.

What caused you to introduce it? Describe the reasons why you created it
Being a charity I am loathe to spend money on advertising. Newspapers need stories so I create them.

Winner - Best Marketing

How well does it prompt comment and create enquiry?
Many customers mention the stories when they visit and we are sure to point it out to our clients as another reason to do business with us. On the back of these stories we have done a lot of paid work for charities too and we have also received their older kit to recycle.

Any additional information ...
You don't buy a newspaper to read the adverts, you buy it to read the stories, so why not be the story. A few donated computers that have been refurbished and have cost you next to nothing can be utilised in such a way as to get your name out there and in the papers. We recently donated a couple of refurbished computers to Keighley Sea Cadets "This unit of highly shipshape cadets is well worth sinking a few computers into".  I took the photo and did a write up and sent it to our local paper. They love human interest stories. It went in their local paper too. It also went on my website and theirs and our logo is in their programme. Here are a few other donations we have made that resulted in newspaper coverage:

Winner - Best Marketing

Bloodbikes. The concept of a rapid response motorcycle based charity, run by unpaid volunteers has an impressive track record. We were more than happy to wheel in a computer for this good cause.

URBAN SPRAWL. Urban Sprawl are a theatre company which works with homeless people in Leeds and devise plays with people who have experience of homelessness and then tour those plays such as "Plague".

Pontefract Liquorice Fair. A while ago we set John on the right lines with a computer so he could advertise his service to charity galas, where he sets up his train & track and gives rides to kids and their parents with the proceeds going to the charity. Here he is at last year's Liquorice Fair in Pontefract.


Winning Entry: Best Shop Window

PC Hut

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
Not Just A PC Shop

Winner - Best Shop Window

What are the main forms of footfall passing the window i.e. pedestrians, motorists?
Our shop is situated in the town centre of Sleaford. We have a prime location, therefore both motorists and pedestrians can see our shop clearly, and we are in the busiest area of the town.

Who / what types of customers are you trying to appeal to?
Anyone with a computer, tablet or smart phone! We pride ourselves on creating an accessible platform for all types of customers, whereby they can feel they're welcome to approach us with any question or problem. Our posters are high-impact, informative, and make it clear to the customers that they are very welcome to come in store and ask us for more details.

Winner - Best Shop Window

Why did you design the display the way you have?
Our shop front has a large amount of window space, and the positioning of the main door means that we decided to opt for high-impact A0 posters to draw attention to our shop. We've used bold lettering with concise information to inform potential customers of the services and products that we offer. The posters are also designed using our brand colours, blue and green, so that all the visual elements of the shop front are consistent.

How well does it draw people and encourage them to visit?
Ever since we put up our poster advertising in the windows, we have had a noticeable increase in interest. A lot more people are stopping to look, and we have had an increase in enquiries  relating to the information that is displayed on the posters.


Winning Entry: Best Media Coverage

Chips Computers

Winner - Best Media Coverage

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
Not a long time ago, on a website far, far away....

Which media covered you?
Covered online by Hard Ocp, KitGuru shared by a few others

What was the content of the coverage i.e. what was the story?
We built a new Star Wars Millennium Falcon Custom PC...  The Websites are aimed at mainly gamers and people and people who like to know about the latest computer news.  The Falcon is made from a plastic mould and was custom painted and modded by us. It houses an ASRock ITX motherboard With a Dual core Pentium Processor, with 8GB ram, 120GB Kingston SSD and now running on Windows 10.

How did you prompt the media to become involved?
The media got involved by seeing out post that went viral on Facebook/twitter and asked for more pictures and information

Winner - Best Media Coverage Winner - Best Media Coverage

How effective has the coverage been in prompting comment and enquiry?
Even though the story only went Viral around a month ago it has had a large impact in business. we have had people enquiring about custom PC's for them selves in the future on Facebook and e-mail as well as a few coming into the shop.  We have also had a increase in repairs of gaming PCs as well as people wanting a Gaming tune-up on their PC, we have even had contact from a company who makes/restores old furniture and turns it into SteamPunk items, about adding computers into their furniture.

Winning Entry: Best Event or Activity

Tech CPR

Winner - Best Event or Activity

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
Try The Future TODAY! Outdoor Virtual Reality

Describe the event or activity - what did you do?
We took our Early developer kit Oculus Rift into the town centre to allow the public a chance to try out the Future. A nice little set up, new signs and lots of lights and sounds, oh, and a few scare pranks! The laughter and screams created a real buzz and brought plenty of people to try the technology.

Why did you do it? What were your aims?
Something different, one of our directors has worked on the market for 16 years, so he knows the attraction that it can be. Our aim was simple, get our name to more people in the local community while having a fun day at the same time. The feedback was really good, the people enjoyed it, the market even invited us back as it created a huge amount of attention!

Who / what types of customers were you trying to appeal to?
Our aim was to attract all customers, young and old, tried and enjoyed the technology. We are not known for gaming equipment so our  hope was that we could attract more 'gamers' to come and chat to us, and on the whole we believe this worked. Out side of computers we do mobile phones, tablets, game consoles and more so leaflets were given to all.

Describe any marketing or publicity created to promote the event
The only marketing we did was on facebook, We were unsure on the build up to the event what would happen, or if the technology would perform flawlessly. We had generic reach into the 100s and paid for reach of thousands, we also had established local businesses and market traders plugging the event.

How effective was it at prompting comment and creating enquiry?
All 3 directors were present on the day, and very often was speaking to, and advising potential customers. We made several new business contacts, one of which (so far) turned into a customer. New enquiries and visits to the website have increased significantly. Feedback was great on the day, and feedback from Market personal and management was excellent.

Any additional information ...
We took a risk, we closed the shop on a Saturday, we did advertise a little and we went to market with a lot of expensive equipment. 2 of us went into it with trepidation and didn't really know what to expect. However the idea of doing something different in Chesterfield was interesting so we took the plunge. There are a lot of good Repair companies around us, we needed to stick out and we believe it worked.


Winning Entry: Best Website

Premier Computers

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
Clean, professional and easy to navigate.

Winner - Best WebsiteWinner - Best Website

Provide the full URL to the website

What overall impression are you trying to convey?
We are trying to give the impression that we are not just the "usual" computer shop, but somewhere you can come for a complete solution, whether that is a repair, or a completely new system.

Winner - Best Website

What are you trying to promote in particular? Products? Services? Something else? Why this in particular?
We are trying to promote products and services that we offer our customers.

Who is the website aimed at and why?
The website is aimed at both residential and business clients.

How have you achieved this in the websites design and layout?
Made it easy to navigate so you don't have to go too far to find what you are looking for.  Everything is laid out in a way that isn't too crammed together. Our main services and offers are made very obvious at the top of the page.

Winner - Best WebsiteWinner - Best Website

How effective is your website in attracting customers? Is there anything you have done that has increased traffic/ sales via the website?
We have made sure that we create content that goes in hand with our search keywords, as a result we are quite high in organic search results.

Winning Entry: Best Use of PC Configurator

Premier Computers

Winner - Best Use of a PC Configurator

Give your entry a distinctive title using 12 words or less
Self service kiosk

Explain any other approaches to how customers are introduced to and encouraged to engage with the tool
We have used a self service touch screen kiosk to promote the configurator. Accompanied by 2 banners that help promote and explain the benefits of using the system. The kiosk can be used without our help for customers to price there own builds. We have also set up a menu on the kiosk so they can read about warranty information, etc. We have also set timers so that after a period of inactivity the kiosk resets ready for the next customer.

Winner - Best Use of a PC Configurator

How do you promote the PC configurator service? Provide photos of marketing, images of promotional emails, website promotions, website SEO, posters etc. as relevant
We also promote this on our website and Facebook etc

Who / what types of customers are you trying to appeal to?
Anyone after a custom built PC

Winner - Best Use of a PC Configurator

How do you go about making the service accessible to customers?
We try to position the kiosk so its appealing and easy to see. Being portable means we can move it to different areas and try out different locations