Running an awards programme, including gala ceremony held in London, in less than 10 weeks


Talent International is a global recruitment firm servicing the tech sector and is the market leader in the Asia Pacific region. In 2014 it joined forces with The 100 Company in the UK and rebranded as Talent International, with offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol.

Fresh from the success of the Talent Unleashed Awards held in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong, Firefly was challenged to deliver the UK version – the first in the European region – of the awards in a nine and a half week timeframe in order to:

  • Launch Talent International in the UK
  • Maximise Sir Richard Branson’s involvement in the awards in general
  • Engage 30 technology companies and produce inbound recruitment enquiries

The tight timeframe was due to the prize which was a trip to the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa in November 2014, which meant, for logistical reasons, the event had to run at least a month before the trip.


Firefly recommended a new format for the awards, to simplify the process and ensure that it could be delivered in the tight timeframe. A detailed schedule was created which involved sourcing of venue, nominees and judges, and running the awards process itself – and the actual event.

The Talent Unleashed Awards in the UK had just one category, whereby a list of 15 ‘Ones to watch in 2015’ was drawn up. This narrowed the focus to target a set group in the UK’s technology sector.

Given the tight timescales, Firefly’s first task was securing a media partner in order to help drive promotion around the Talent Unleashed Awards. Firefly decided to work with WIRED, which was viewed to have the right audience profile and cachet.

Firefly launched the Talent Unleashed Awards in the UK media and called for nominations, working closely with technology incubators to put forward entrepreneurs and technologists they thought would be ones to watch in 2015. An awards management system was set up to make it easier for the panel of judges, including Sir Richard Branson and government digital tzar Mike Bracken, to review entries.

Following the judging, Firefly announced the 15 ‘Ones to watch in 2015’ to the media. The mix of finalists meant that Firefly cleverly tailored pitches and secured coverage in vertical, regional and recruitment trade titles by taking different angles on the story and profiling some of the finalists.

The Talent Unleashed event was held at the Haymarket Hotel in London. Firefly organised and ran the whole event, which incorporated a panel debate, presentations, social media activity, and a personal video presentation from Sir Richard Branson.

Following the event, Firefly secured coverage about the winner, finalists and the evening in a range of regional, trade and online titles.  Firefly also publicised Jude’s experience at the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa.


The awards ceremony was attended by every finalist, the judges and WIRED.  The whole campaign cemented Talent International’s presence in the UK, leveraged Richard Branson’s support of Talent, and placed Talent at the heart of the buzzing technology entrepreneurial sector in the UK.

Firefly ran the full campaign from start to finish, not missing a deadline and coordinating a flawless awards ceremony.

The launch in the media was also a hit. This campaign was Talent’s first dialogue with UK recruitment trade titles and Firefly successfully secured pieces with 90% of the key titles, achieving coverage in influential media including: WIRED, Retail Times, OnRec, Global Recruiter and Recruitment International, as well as titles in Birmingham and the Midlands.

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