The East of England Tourism Awards is around the corner. It’s such a brilliant occasion because it recognises, supports and celebrates all those businesses and individuals from right across the East of England that play their part in a sector which gives so many people from near and far so much pleasure.

The tourism industry is also a significant revenue driver for the local economy. But it’s had a challenging and much tougher time than many other sectors over the last 2 years. We need it to come back strong and to thrive once more. And enable people to continue creating special memories that last forever.

Sponsoring an award

Which is why we were eager to help and support all the varied businesses that make up the tourism sector, and delighted to sponsor the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at this year’s East of England tourism awards.

Large visitor attractions are wonderful places that deliver positive, shared emotional experiences. Whether that be for groups of friends, or families where you can often see three generations together. Not only that, they employ large numbers of people, creating many jobs for the local economy. So it’s vitally important to see large visitor attractions flourish once more.

And the teams behind large visitor attractions. Well, they work so hard to create an environment where everyone who attends has a brilliant experience every time they visit, heading home happy, knowing they’ll return.

We’re the same. Which is why the large visitor attraction category was the one we wanted to show our support for. We work hard to sustainably provide all the print (from small to large format & signage), mailing & fulfilment, digital asset management and virtual print room services our clients need. Every time a client places a job with us, they’re trusting us to deliver a brilliant experience. And we know it. It’s their brand we’re bringing to life, so we do whatever it takes to get it right, leaving them delighted, knowing they’ll come back again.

Judging the entries

Now, sponsoring also brings with it the privilege of judging all the superb entries. And it’s going to be a tough, tough job. But someone’s got to do it as they say! But what will we be looking for?

To really stand out, the winning attraction has got to offer something for everyone – the right balance of rides, activities, attractions, dining, and access. It’s just the same for us. It’s about making sure we offer our customers the range and breadth of services they need.

You need to give people reasons to come back, so I’ll be looking for what’s new as well. Keeping innovating and moving forward is critical for any attraction, just as it is for any business. The winning attraction will need that special bit of magic that gets you all excited and you can’t get elsewhere (I’d like to think KNP offers our own special bit of magic as well).

We were part of the Suffolk Business Awards 2020. And whilst we didn’t win, the judges selected us for the final of the Small & Medium Business category. So we know all about the process and the excitement. To know what’s needed, to see the level of commitment and detail put into the entries that succeed. First of all, you have to believe you’ve got a chance, And then don’t play at it. If you enter, you need to give it everything. An approach we certainly ascribe to.

What can winning this award do for a large visitor attraction’s reputation?

Winning is like a seal of approval isn’t it. It’s the recognition that says ‘this please is the best’. People want to know they’re going to have a great day out at a visitor attraction, and I know I’d choose to go to one that other people have voted for. It instils confidence. And it brings with it greater awareness and visitor numbers.

The awards themselves

The finalists that demonstrate all those things we’ve mentioned above and more will be announced 15 January. And there’ll be a glittering black-tie event taking place at Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire, on Thursday 24 February 2022 to announce the winning attraction alongside all th other categories..

I’m going to make sure I congratulate each of the finalists on how brilliant they are. Because to have got that far, they are. You can take a look at all the award categories here.


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