Memoirs from the UK Search Awards


The UK Search Awards is turning 10 in November 2021!

From 2011 through to today the Search community shares their fondest memories of the Awards and why they are an integral part of the Search industry year.

If you would like to share your memories email sue.johns-chapman@dontpanicprojects.com


“I cannot quite believe that our flagship event The UK Search Awards turns 10 this year. I’ve loved every second of working with the search industry. During this time, I’ve seen some truly exceptional campaigns, made some incredible friends, met so many inspiring colleagues, adjudicated some particularly fractious and argumentative judging sessions, given away over 400 trophies, sung some woeful karaoke, worn some fabulous frocks, partook in a few too many vodka luges and jaeger trains, danced till my feet bled and endured some particularly horrendous hangovers! It’s been an absolute blast!!

SShh… Don’t tell anyone but the UK Search Awards really is my favourite of the 35 awards we run, it holds a very special place in my heart and is definitely one of my proudest achievements to date. The UK Search Awards is the absolute search party of the year and the must attend event for anyone and everyone in the industry. It’s been a challenging 18 months with Covid and although the Don’t Panic team did a sterling job in creating a virtual awards for last year, we simply cannot wait to party with the search crowd in person in November this year.” Nicky Wake, Founder, Search Awards



“By far my most surprising win was in 2012 when I won “Search Personality of the Year”. I had absolutely no clue that I was up for the award or even that the award existed. Anyone shortlisted was not on the program, so when I won I had already completely let my hair down. That was a lovely moment that I will treasure. UK Search regrets… squeezing Jimmy Carr’s bottom on stage! Often, I think, we underestimate how important these awards are for our own teams, rather than any marketing purposes. The team does not always see the good work they produce, but an award like these, judged by industry peers, can do wonders for morale and a sense of pride within the group. Seeing team members that NEVER Tweet or publicly comment on anything react is in itself a reward.”Dixon Jones, CEO, Inlinks


“The UK Search Awards are the ‘original’ awards and there is a ‘special flavour’ to the event. The vibe and energy in the room on the night surpasses all other award events. Coming to a UK Search Awards event is like coming to a family re-union, where new members are welcomed like any other family member. Becoming part of this family and community, who love, cherish and grow Search expertise, could change everything for your business in terms of attracting new clients, growing new collaborations and leading Search innovation.”Laurent Bourrelly – SEO Expert & Longstanding Search Awards Judge


“My favourite memory of the UK Search Awards starts badly. There was some confusion over whether I was attending or not, so when I arrived, I found I was not expected. The Don’t Panic Team were amazing and organised what proved to be the best seat in the house! I was seated with Alex and Sarah at the Don’t Panic table and had the best fun all night.” Lukasz Zelezny – SEO London UK Search Awards Judge


“The UK Search Awards have come a long way since that first November evening at the Emirates in 2011! It quickly outgrew the first and second ‘The Big Top’ venues and now the Search Awards are one of the highlights of the year. The after parties are legendary… I think! I have memories of vodka luge (please let them be resurrected in a post covid era) and a camera blimp to capture the night. The UK Search Awards are my kind of marketing… wine, food, dancing, celebrating and all of this taking place with everyone looking at my logo! This is a sponsorship bar none! The Event is such a great atmosphere, where you can meet new contacts and solidify existing relationships and that is needed even more now that many of us continue to work remotely. What better investment? A table at the UK Search Awards; a reason to bring the team together in one place to celebrate. There are many digital awards in the industry but… there is only one Search Awards and this is it.” – Gareth Hoyle, CEO, Marketing Signals


“It’s difficult to believe that the UK Search Awards is 10 years old! Back in 2011 there was no platform for the Search industry to celebrate the creativity and technical innovation that was bubbling up all over the UK. Ten years later, these awards represent a benchmark of excellence that recognises the very best of what Search practitioners are doing today. As a judge I’m always surprised and delighted by the submissions that continue to push the frontiers of our industry. To all the past winners, and for future winners to come, I salute your dedication to making Search better.” James Murray, Product Marketing Lead, Microsoft


“I love the celebrity hosts. Mingling and celebrating… almost everyone knows everyone in the room, so it’s an opportunity to catch up and celebrate a great working year across the industry.”Michelle Wilding-Baker, Head of Digital and Content, Freesat

Take a look back at our previous Awards photographs.