The Forex Magnates Awards Dilemma: If, How and Who. A 300 GBP Question

Our yearly London Summit is just one month away, and with it comes the annual awards debate. Since we receive

November is only two weeks away, which means it’s time for the annual Forex Magnates London Summit. With the Summit arrives the dilemma of awards. Now that voting is over, I thought it would be useful to share this dilemma with our readers and Summit attendees. Actually, there are two of them:

Dilemma number 1: How shall we decide upon who the nominees and eventual winners are to be?

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Michael Greenberg, CEO of Forex Magnates, during last year’s awards ceremony

This one brings A LOT of issues with it, mainly feedback/complaints from companies who aren’t happy if they aren’t listed as nominees, or if they don’t win. Choosing the categories is not a big issue: we review what has happened lately in the industry, hold discussions with some key executives and eventually end up with 10-15 of the most relevant categories for our market. The far more complex part is to decide who the final nominees for each category should be, and how to select the one winner from the list of nominees. There are a few ways in accomplishing this:

1. Open Public Voting

  • Pros: The public can suggest any company, and it is the end-users (mostly) who end up voting.
  • Cons: This system can be very easily gamed, and it could become a victim of companies trying somehow to fake votes.

2. Panel of Judges

  • Pros – select industry experts who will tend to make an informed decision.
  • Cons – selecting the judges is like selecting the award winners – this too will come under criticism; judges from the industry ARE from the industry, meaning they have business relations with some of the companies they are supposed to be voting for.

3. Voting by Summit attendees

  • Pros: Large number of senior industry figures, which should minimize any bias.
  • Cons: Selection is not done by end-users, therefore, some people may not vote subjectively.

4. Forex Magnates makes its own choice

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  • Pros: We use our experience and inside knowledge about the industry.
  • Cons: We will most likely be blamed for selling the awards / being subjective / being unprofessional / assassinating JFK, etc. We’ve literally heard it all.

As you can see there’s no ‘perfect’ option here; each option comes with its own set of pros and cons, and any option selected is equally ‘bad’ or’right’. Last year (2012), we opted for the judges’ panel, which came under a lot of criticism (just like any other option would), so this year we have decided to let the Summit attendees pick the nominees, and eventually the winners. To our massive surprise this has also come under a lot of criticism. Ironically, quite a few companies didn’t even recommend themselves for certain categories (this was open to all attendees), however, they did write in to voice their complaint as to how they don’t appear in the final selection.

As you can see, we’re still wondering which is the best way to execute this stage, so if any of our readers have feedback they are welcome to leave their comments here, or write to us directly.

Dilemma number 1 (and the ensuing criticism) actually brings upon Dilemma number 2: To award or not to award.

Since we have little to gain from giving the awards and lots to lose from it, this whole procedure is something we consider time and time again. On the one hand, we think that the industry deserves credible awards, and there are many categories for which only Forex Magnates can really provide awards.

On the other hand, we are the only organization in the market that actually loses money on the awards: Each statuette costs us 300 GBP, and we don’t sell our awards to the highest bidder. But it’s not really the money issue: While we make 10-15 companies happy when they win, we also may make 100-150 others very unhappy, so is it really worth it?

Personally, I still believe that we should provide the awards even if there isn’t one single perfect solution on how to pick the winners, however, it’s a decision that requires a lot of effort and perhaps unnecessary friction every year. We think that you deserve to hear the whole story behind these dilemmas.

Happy to hear your thoughts on the matter.

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