By Abbey Jane

Imagine all the glamour and prestige of the seaside Cannes Film Festival with a regional twist, a slightly lower budget and not quite so many celebrities. Then put it online. Voila! It’s the Geelong Business Excellence Awards, our biggest awards night and it’s on this Tuesday night the 19th of October at 7 pm.

While it may not rival some of the world’s more exclusive ceremonies, it is an important celebration of our thriving local economy that recognises the hard work of each and every Geelong business owner. It’s just the kind of thing we need right now to remind ourselves of what we continue to achieve as one of the world’s most livable and beautiful cities. 

For obvious reasons, the physical affair has been moved online for the second year running, but there’s still plenty to look forward to. You’ll probably spot some familiar faces from the businesses you know and love, so we say, frock up, tune in and toast to the region’s clever, creative and resilient businesses. Best of all, tickets are free!

Best Frock Forward

This is your ultimate excuse to dress in formal fashion after an admittedly long stretch of track pants, slippers, t-shirts and hoodies.

Hosted by MC Natalie O’Donnell, you’ll be entertained on the night by chart-topper and local musician Taylor Henderson. Even if you aren’t nominated, you still get a chance to win. Event partners Provenance Wines and Wah Wah Gee! are awarding $250 food or drink vouchers. Simply post a pic of your awards outfit to the GBEA Facebook page and you could win ‘Most Debonair’, ‘Most Sparkly’ or ‘Most Outrageous’. Get the family or your group involved in the dress-up fun, and don’t leave out the pets!

Dress up for the chance to win food and drink vouchers worth $250 each.

VIP Table Service

It’s not really an awards night without indulgent refreshments and fabulous food. Event partners Wah Wah Gee! have got your home VIP table covered with a special Dinner and Show Feed Me banquet of Crispy Chicken Bao Buns, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Thai Green Curry with flat noodles, Pork and Chive Dumplings, Korean Fried Cauliflour and Cinnamon Donut Balls. All for just $35pp or add a cocktail jar for $47pp. Just make sure you order before 3 pm on Monday 18th October. Find out more here.

If you want to raise a glass to your favourite business, or your own, Provenance Wines have come to the party. Use the code GBEA when you order from their site for a 15% discount across their range of award-winning wines.

Here’s Your Ticket

Register to watch the live stream online through the GBEA page here. Or, you can watch the event live on the GBEA Facebook page. It will also be broadcast live on community network Channel 31.

And The Nominees Are…

Frankly, anyone who has lived and worked through the last two years deserves a trophy but luckily there are some expert judges who will make the hard decisions. You can find the full list of finalists here, but what does it mean to be a finalist in the awards?

This year’s event will be online for the second year running.

As told to the Geelong Independent, General Manager of The Salary Packaging People Glenda Garmey believes this offers local businesses well-deserved recognition and publicity.

“Being nominated for the awards was like, wow! We were actually nominated by two different people, so winning this award would hopefully put us in front of some more opportunities to further our business,” she said.

“We’re really happy that we’ve been nominated, the process has been really enlightening and just being a finalist is awesome with the publicity and getting our business out there.”

Jye Bohm at PROFINISH Fire Protection was surprised to be announced as a finalist for Young Entrepreneur of the Year, but given his dedication to making the world a safer place, the recognition is fitting. 

“In today’s day and age, no one, absolutely no one should die in a fire. This is what we hope to continue to achieve with our work in the passive fire protection industry,” Jye explains. 

This is part of what makes GBEA quite special. The entire spectrum of industry in Geelong is represented with unique services like passive fire protection alongside popular tourism destinations, hospitality venues, hairdressers, schools, florists, OHS essentials and even wart clinics! We’ll see you looking frocked up and fabulous for Geelong’s biggest awards night this Tuesday, 19th October at 7 PM. Good luck everyone!