Published: 21:31, 10 January 2019
| Updated: 10:26, 11 January 2019
More than 100 business figures from across the county gathered near Maidstone tonight for the official launch of the Kent Excellence in Business Awards 2019 - better known as KEiBA.
Success in the county's biggest awards event can deliver a boosted bottom line, improved staff morale and enhance your firm's reputation - and previous winners and finalists were on hand at the event to explain how they have benefited.
With a little over a month to go before the closing date for entries for the prestigious awards, the first major networking event of the year took place amid the splendour of Allington Castle.
Now in its 11th year, KEiBA is an annual awards night staged and produced by the KM Media Group and Kent County Council to recognise and reward excellence in Kent’s businesses.
Speaking at the invite-only launch event, KM Group chairman Geraldine Allinson said: "In business we often don't have the time to stop, think about and recognise the many achievements that happen within our work environment - we are too busy focusing on the needs and activities required to keep our businesses fit to drive into the future.
WATCH: KEiBA launched at Allington Castle
"However, the KEiBAs allow businesses to do just that, take stock and celebrate, it is not onerous and it is a great way for Kent businesses to focus on the really great talent they have.
"I urge all Kent Businesses to enter the KEiBAs, there really is nothing to lose and the positives that come out of being nominated and winning an award are well worth the small amount of time required to enter.
"The KEiBAs are the best evening of the year for the Kent business community to celebrate its successes and recognise really great work."
Also highlighting the benefits were previous winners from Jewelultra and Newton Waterproofing Systems.
They both collected awards at the gala evening held to reveal the winners and celebrate all those shortlisted at the Kent Event Centre in Detling last June.
For full details of the awards and categories you can enter, visit www.keiba.co.uk.
The closing date for nominations is Friday, February 22.
After the judging panel has examined all the entries, finalists will then be unveiled during the Business Vision Live event at the Kent Event Centre on Wednesday, May 15.
For those who make the short-list, an eagerly anticipated awards night will then take place at the same venue on Thursday, June 20.