I am so delighted that after this toughest of tough times so many of you have been determined to build on the reputational gains that research has made in so many client companies and set out your stall by entering the various Awards and recognition processes we, at MRS, curate for you.

By the looks of the Oppies entries and a sneak preview of the MRS Awards entries, it looks like so many of you have achieved a huge amount over the past year.

We want to celebrate as much as we can as safely as we can. We also want to assure ourselves that we follow our own best practice guidelines. You will have noticed that the government is proposing to roll back recently granted relaxations of its pandemic rules by requiring ‘vaccination proofs’ for nightclubs from September for example.

With this in mind, as well as the uncertainty created by the impact of new variants and the recent increase in infection rates, MRS will be publishing guidance advising continued caution for those working in face-to-face environments. All this will influence this year’s awards events.

The MRS Excellence Awards lunch will go ahead at The Langham London on 17 September. This is a seated daytime event with a limited capacity, in many ways a restaurant environment, and our team will work closely with the venue to ensure social distancing can be maintained and risks mitigated.

The Oppies party on the other hand is an evening drinks reception that traditionally involves much more mingling of guests making it very much more difficult to achieve social distancing. So we have decided, regrettably, that it cannot go ahead as a live event. We will present the winners via an online broadcast on 23 September, as we successfully did last year, and hope that an in-person event can return for 2022.

A final decision on the MRS Awards dinner, scheduled for 6 December, will be made before the finalists for those categories are announced in October.

I know this news will be disappointing for some, but we feel this is a reasonable and responsible approach under the circumstances and hope you will understand the decision. I will look forward to celebrating the winners’ success however their trophies are presented.


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