Decibel and The National Small Business Week Awards

Last month Decibel Management produced one of our flagship events in Washington D.C., the National Small Business Week Awards. Since this is the Decade of Decibel, we thought it might be nice to take a deeper look at this event, seeing as our partnership with SCORE and the U.S. Small Business Administration is one of our longest standing events and to show how we help their team bring this influential event to life.

So first, a little history lesson. National Small Business Week, or NSBW for short, started back in 1963 when President Kennedy signed the first proclamation recognizing the contributions that small businesses provide the U.S. economy. Since then every standing president, regardless of political party, has reissued this proclamation in the continuing acknowledgement of American entrepreneurship.

Flashforward nearly 60 years and the tradition is still going strong. Although things really got going in 2009, or so we like to think at least, when Decibel first got involved with NSBW by partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses, to host the National Small Business Week Awards in our nation’s capital. The awards aim to recognize and honor achievements by business owners from all over the country, their companies and their employees for all they do in the small business world. Categories range from recognizing business innovations to the Small Business Person Of The Year and include winners from every state in the country.

Every year the event takes on a new form as administrations turnover and different goals and challenges are set. This most recent year, for instance, Decibel tackled the addition of a NSBW bus tour, which included a custom-wrapped bus that stopped in multiple cities to honor small businesses in their hometowns.

As for Decibel’s exact role in this week-long celebration, well, you name it. Stage design, event management, execution and let’s not forget vendor management. So much vendor management. From food to travel, we covered it all. Planning and logistics are a major part of the legwork leading up to events of this caliber, but it’s important we not forget the team on the ground that Decibel sends to put out the inevitable fires to come up with any large event. But by now we’ve become expert firefighters.

Of course, our ultimate goal is always to provide a great event for all of the nominees in attendance, whether at the main stage in D.C. or along the bus tour route. Funny thing about awards shows, one of the most challenging aspects of producing them is keeping the winners a secret all the way through the rehearsals and show so that they are genuinely surprised when they win.

After producing this event for much of the past decade, with all the new faces and changes we’ve seen, there is one thing we always find to be the same. As a small business ourselves, we consistently walk away from this event feeling inspired and hopeful. Getting to meet so many nominees and winners from all over the country gives us a renewed sense of what small businesses can achieve and how they really are the backbone of commerce and business in America. This is truly one of our favorite events here at Decibel Management and we’re honored to be a part of it. Looking forward to many more!

David Sonntag
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