The winners of the 2023 GCVA Hall of Fame Awards, which celebrate the best of the UK gift card and voucher industry, have been announced.
Hosted by the Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA), with Blackhawk Network as the lead sponsor, the awards showcase creativity and innovation across the retail, leisure, incentives, and payment sectors.
Winners of the 12 categories were announced during a glittering ceremony at a brand-new venue, 8 Northumberland Avenue in London. Winning organisations spanned retail, experiences, rewards and incentives, tech and industry suppliers highlighting how the use of gift cards is continuing to evolve. A rise in B2B winners also reflects how B2B now represents 70 percent of the gift card market.
Savvy, which provides stored value processing and analytics, took home the “GCVA Member Organisation of the Year” award. Selected and voted for by the GCVA Executive Board, this category awards organisations spearheading progression and Savvy was recognised for its ideas, knowledge, and analysis that drive the industry forward.
“Retailer of the Year” was won by M&S for its successful gift card innovations and engagement across the entire business. The retailer has introduced several ingenious and inclusive products, including gift cards for visually impaired individuals, in partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
A new category for 2023, the “Rising Star of the Year” was awarded to Katie Lavis Founder of Little Starts, which provides gift cards for baby, toddler, and preschool classes. The judges were impressed by the success of this innovative product that Katie recently bought to the gift card marketplace, which now has more than 85 providers on board and is accepted at over 9,000 children’s activity outlets. Little Starts also received the award for Best B2C Product or Service.
To commend the work of supply chain teams through another challenging year, the GCVA also introduced a second new category, “Manufacturer of the Year”. This was awarded to Incodia for their strategic, results-driven approach to market opportunities, their drive for product diversification and their focus on sustainability.
“Team of the Year” went to InComm Payments, the payment technology innovator, and Sainsbury’s. The brands formed a partnership to review and implement new innovative approaches for the gift card programme, with impressive results.
Rewards and incentives platform Tillo was awarded “Service Provider of the Year”. The business demonstrated that the customer is always the top priority, maintaining high standards around privacy and security and seeking continued product development.
Other worthy winners included Motivates, Currys, Cadogan and B4B Payments, who took home awards for achievements across marketing, product development and ESG.
Caroline Watson, CEO of Voucherline, received the coveted “Honoured Industry Contributor” award, the night’s highest accolade. Caroline was praised for the passion, energy, and innovation that she has brought to the gift card market, challenging the industry through reinvention and upholding consumer protection.
Commenting on her win, Caroline said: “I’m honoured to have received this truly special award at an event that brings together the very best of the gift card community. It was a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of all the winning organisations and the success of Voucherline is a testament to our wonderful team – many of whom are my family members!”.
Gail Cohen, Director General of the GCVA, received the one-off “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” award ahead of stepping down from her role at the end of the year. The award recognises Gail’s eight years of service to the industry and celebrates all her achievements during this time.
Presenting the award, the GCVA Executive Board said: “Gail has been the shining light within the GCVA for the last eight years and has tirelessly driven our industry forward. Delivering fantastic growth not only across our membership but in the value that the Association delivers, part leader and part magician. The GCVA has become the go-to Association globally for gift card data and knowledge sharing, delivering the world’s largest conference and bringing incredible value to its members.”
Reflecting on the success of the evening, Gail said: “The Hall of Fame Awards are a highlight of the industry calendar and have become a highly anticipated event within the gift card community. I’m extremely grateful to receive such a special award and am privileged to be part of this amazing industry.
“Congratulations are in order for all our wonderful winners, it’s always a pleasure to hear about and celebrate the incredible achievements of our members. Whilst this might be my final Hall of Fame Awards as Director General, I’ll continue to be involved in the gift card community and champion its ongoing innovation and the fantastic people behind it.”
Full list of winners:
- Best Industry Innovation
– Winner: Cadogan
– Highly commended: Green Gift cards
- Best Creative Marketing Campaign
– Winner: Motivates
– Highly commended: One4all
- The Big ESG (environmental, social, & governance)
Highly commended: Bravand
- Best B2B Product or Service
Winner: B4B payments
Highly commended: Prezzee
- Best B2C Product or Service
Winner: Little Starts
Highly commended: Society of London Theatre
- Team of the Year
Winner: InComm Payments
Highly commended: Jigsaw
- Manufacturer of the Year NEW FOR ’23
Highly commended: Green Gift Cards
- Service Provider of the Year
Highly commended: Savvy
- Retailer/Issuer of the Year
Highly commended: Motivates
- Rising Star of the Year
Winner: Katie Lavis, Little Starts
- GCVA Member Organisation of the Year
- Honoured Industry Contributor
Winner: Caroline Watson – Voucherline