Times Higher Education Awards and Conference 2023 photography in Liverpool

Published on Thu Feb 8, 2024 by

The Times Higher Education (THE) Awards – widely referred to as the ‘Oscars of higher education’ – are the biggest celebration in the Higher Education calendar, attracting hundreds of fantastic entries from individuals, teams and institutions, and from all corners of the UK and Ireland.

Nearly a thousand people gathered to celebrate UK higher education success stories. Now in its 19th year it was the first THE Awards to be held outside London, at the ACC Conference Centre in Liverpool.

The Awards themselves are just one part of an annual gathering of academics and experts, with a 2 day conference preceding the gala evening itself. The event organisers had a clear vision of what they needed in terms of photography and video work. With 2 programmes and multi-room sessions happening at the same time, the brief for the conference and awards was pretty demanding.

At an initial meeting I explained my experience working at similar conferences, for example The British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference, a 3 day event, including a gala dinner and with over 2,000 cardiovascular healthcare professionals, held at Manchester Central conference centre. And The British Orthopaedic Trainees’ Association (BOTA) congress in Edinburgh, which had 30 plus sessions over 4 days and again a black-tie awards gala evening - including a Scottish Ceilidh, which was brilliant !

And then I recommended to THE team a videographer that I had worked with before - Jamie over at Jamshakeshaft Video and I was chuffed when he and his team were confirmed on board as well.

Beyond the logistics of covering the presentations and the exhibition, the brief included standards such as registration, exhibition stands, and lots of delegates interacting. During the breaks over coffee, but also in the presenter sessions - asking questions, laughing, working with colleagues in the seminar style meetings. All good !

One unusual requirement was for extended coverage during the Awards session. They needed photos of the award being handed over on stage from the VIP, but also some more posed images against a media wall straight after presentation. With 20 awards planned in just one hour, this wasn't something I could feasible do on my own. Fortunately I have some reliable, trusted colleagues here on Merseyside and had the wonderful Michael K help me out this time michaelkirkham.co.uk. The winners also were video interviewed by Jam post presentation and he provided a runner to lead them over quickly. So with a bit of planning the team worked together and got the images and content the marketing team required.

Finally we provided rush images straight after the awards, of both the stage hand overs and the posed media wall images before midnight, so the organisers could hit social media channels and press deadlines. Yep it was a late one and we were on site from 8am until 1am !

A few stats - 30 priority awards images delivered within an hour of ceremony finishing, 100 rush images provided during the conference and 700 plus fully edited images from 2 days of conference supplied within 48 hours of event finishing.

On to more images from the Awards evening ...


Times Higher Education Awards 2023: the winners

University of the Year
Anglia Ruskin University

THE Outstanding Achievement Award
Dame Nancy Rothwell

Business School of the Year
Huddersfield Business School, University of Huddersfield

International Collaboration of the Year
Sheffield Hallam University, in collaboration with the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration

Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year
Coventry University

Most Innovative Teacher of the Year
Bill Buchanan, Edinburgh Napier University
Highly commended: Emilie Edwards, Middlesex University

Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Leadership
University of Reading

Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Cardiff Metropolitan University

Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community
University of Plymouth

Outstanding Entrepreneurial University
Royal Northern College of Music

Outstanding Estates Team
York St John University
Highly commended: Cranfield University

Outstanding Library Team
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Outstanding Marketing/Communications Team
Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield

Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year
Mark Brown, Royal Holloway, University of London

Outstanding Support for Students
Northumbria University

Outstanding Technician of the Year
Jason Daff, University of York
Highly commended: Heather Burgess, Ulster University

Research Project of the Year: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Liverpool John Moores University

Research Project of the Year: STEM
University of Nottingham

Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year
University of Galway
Highly commended: University of East London

Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year
University of Central Lancashire
Highly commended: Dublin City University


If you want to see more, the full collection from the Awards evening is on their Flickr THE Awards Photography Liverpool 2023

And if you have got this far, thank you for reading - for more Conference Photography check my main page via the link, or give me a call to discuss further, thanks, David

If you want something else to read, check one of my most popular posts - its had thousands of hits since it was published - 7 Tips For Hiring A Conference Photographer

Tags: conference, business, commercial, THE, highereduction, education, awards, gala, evening

Author: David J Colbran

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"I have employed David for conferences, presentations, social engagements, marketing materials, open days, portrait shots, official document signings amongst many others. David has always been amenable to our sometimes short notice requests and has delivered our photos in a quick time frame as agreed and sometimes much quicker depending on our needs. He has always been very helpful. He follows and delivers on brief and is able to give additional value to jobs with minimal fuss without direction. I am more than happy to recommend David and he will no doubt deliver the same quality he provides us."

Michael Humphreys, Development Officer at Liverpool John Moores University

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