Benchmarking to inform awards refresh

RICS is a globally recognised professional body for chartered surveyors, promoting and enforcing the highest professional standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. We were invited to review the well-established RICS Awards programme, undertake a benchmarking and opportunity scoping exercise to inform a refresh.


Gathering market feedback

We gathered market feedback, speaking to a network of contacts as well as RICS members and affiliates to gauge perception of the awards programme. Among those who had entered or attended an awards event, we sought insight on how they thought it could be improved. Desk research assessed market position of competing awards in the property sector, their categories, pricing, event format and attendance levels. This provided context and facilitated benchmarking.



Aligning with new values

We knew from our knowledge of the real estate market that a shift was occurring, with a focus on sustainability, social value and positive impact becoming more important. This aligned with the RICS’ vision. Our research report and recommendations concluded that the RICS had the opportunity to celebrate the benefit that the built environment delivers to society, better reflecting its goals.


A new awards programme

The result was a new awards programme launched in 2020, The RICS Social Impact Awards. At the time, this was the only national awards programme highlighting the positive impact our built environment has on people’s lives. Since then, almost every other sector awards programme has followed suit or introduced more categories to focus on social value.


Engaging the industry

We were able to help further, using our engagement skills to encourage the involvement of external influencers in the judging process. We secured guest judges such as Polly Neate, CEO at Shelter; Stevie Spring, Chair at MIND; and John Alker of UKGBC to add gravitas and open up the awards’ relevance to the general public. We also wrote all collateral for entrants and promotion.