International Business & Leadership Awards

Meet Graham Shapiro – Chair of Judges, ARCET Global

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Graham is an award-winning inventor, designer & digital entrepreneur, Fellow member of The Chartered Society of Designers and Chartered Institute of Marketing, Entrepreneur in Residence for the University of Chester and Ambassador of Innovation for The University of Cambridge. Graham also invented the interloopmailer® and Reggie®. For 25 years his company Graham Shapiro Design (GSD®) has created online and offline visual communication for some of the world’s most respected companies.
In total Graham has won 25 Design Awards and 10 Business Awards, including: UK Technology Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, Finalist GB Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 and a 3 time IBX Awards winner. Graham has also judged at several business awards worldwide.


What is your role as chair of Judges?

I facilitate the judging process. I will help vet new judges, lead the judges briefing on the morning of the finals for each programme and overlook the scoring aggregation, adding another layer of transparency. I’m not directly involved in reading submissions or sitting on the judging panels but serve to provide guidance and support to judging teams and help to resolve problems should they arise,, for example a large discrepancy in scores 

What are you looking for in potential Judges?

Being one of our judges,  ideally you should have years of business knowledge and experience., preferably to have even judged before. Judges listen, understand and advise.

Other attributes include: patience, open-mindedness, punctuality, firmness (if required), compassion and common sense. Those qualities should be demonstrated consistently.

Our judges should be personable, approachable, offer constructive criticism and provide valuable feedback for our finalists.

How important is the assessment process and what is ARCET Global doing differently?

Very important!

The purpose of the ARCET Global scoring model and criteria is to ensure that business stories, teams and leaders are scored accurately, effectively and independently, which gives both entrants and judges confidence that the winners are deserving.

The difference is that: A leading UK University, University of Chester has endorsed this scoring model alongside their entrepreneur in residence, ME!

60% marks on Written Submission
40% marks on Presentation

That gives all participants a chance to get their points across in writing and verbally to clarify their success. Not only that but there is also an opportunity to improve scoring at presentation stage.

 As a multiple award winner what advice do you have for the Entrants?

I’ll spilt this into 2 categories

1. The Written Submission

  • Pay attention to the word counts and answer the questions properly. Judges will have to read many entries, so you need to summarise why you deserve to win being as concise and detailed as you can, without waffling or going off point.
  • Feel free to attach pictures and graphs to illustrate your success.
  • In particular as a judge I’m looking for entries that ‘stand out from the crowd’ and demonstrate a real sense of creative thought and imagination. Entries that really wow me include those where they have returned clear evidence of success for their business.
  • Get others to proof read the entry before sending.

2. The actual Presentation itself

  • Plan and prepare your presentation in detail to answer the criteria properly and within the time constraints. Practice on delivery time over-and-over with a stopwatch.
  • Stay calm and speak clearly, addressing all of the award category objectives.
  • Ensure the night prior to the presentation that all audio-visual equipment or technology works to deliver your pitch.
  • Make your presentation memorable for the right reasons.

 What advice would you give to the other judges to get the most out of the awards process?

Exchange business cards and network with as many people and like-minded entrepreneurs at the awards, this will allow you not only to raise your profile but create new exciting business opportunities and collaborations, that worked for me.

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Judge Spotlight

Meet Graham Shapiro – Chair of Judges, ARCET Global

Graham is an award-winning inventor, designer & digital entrepreneur, Fellow member of The Chartered Society of Designers and Chartered Institute of Marketing, Entrepreneur in Residence