The Spiders are Ireland’s premier online awards

The Spider Awards launch their new brand – PR

July 17th, 2018


The Spider Awards launch their new brand while keeping the focus on digital excellence.

The Spider Awards, Ireland’s longest standing technology awards, is back with a whole new look and feel to host the 23rd year of this prestigious event. After being acquired by the folks at Dublin Tech Summit, be prepared for the Spiders like you’ve never seen them before.

Taking place on Thursday 29th November in the RDS Concert Hall, the Spiders will celebrate the best Ireland has to offer in digital, from SME’s and Start-Ups to established agencies, the awards will continue to recognise the extraordinary achievements of teams, founders and CEO’s.

Established in 1996, the Spider Awards have been considered an important benchmark for distinction and excellence in web-based business strategies for almost a quarter of a century. Previous winners have been on the cutting edge of their chosen fields and have gone on to great success in their respective industries.

Standards remain incredibly high for these awards with each year’s winners showcasing their incredible innovation and creativity. With 15 categories including Best Campaign, Best Digital Start-Up and Best in User Experience & Design, the stage is set for some incredible talents to make their mark.

The judging committee is made up of Ireland’s leading web experts, business leaders and authorities on all things digital including but not limited to Phil Cottier, Ipsum Marketing; Robert Farrell, Digital Marketing Academy of Ireland; Alan Devlin, eDot Invest and Noreen D’arcy, D’Arcy Marketing & PR.

Previous winners at the Spiders, including cite the huge impact the awards have on their business:

‘At a personal level it is very rewarding for the team, who work so hard all year long, to have their work recognised and to be able to enjoy themselves and celebrate on a night out. From a business perspective it is good to continually wish to better ourselves, and measure ourselves against other businesses and benchmark ourselves internationally. [the Spider Awards] have given us real credibility in the marketplace, particularly during business development.’ – Gareth Dunlop, Fathom (Winner of the Best in User Experience at the 2016 Spider Awards).
Spiders’ judge Alan Devlin, founder of EDot Invest (and previous Commercial Director of Webfactory which became the largest digital agency in Ireland under his watch) claimed that winning a Spider Award ‘really helped [Webfactory’s] profile and added at least 10% to our revenue above standard growth’.

Speaking on the new event in the portfolio, William Brightling CEO of DTS said: “The Spiders are the highest level of accreditation for digital excellence in Ireland. The awards have been witness and driver of digital growth and progress in the Irish digital technology SME market for the past 25 years, and will continue to be a benchmark of association for digital capabilities and competencies. DTS is proud take over the Spiders, to continue and mirror the growth of technology in Ireland, and champion Ireland’s burgeoning SME and startup community.”

Nominations are now open & will run until September 29th.
Nominate now

For more details on Spiders X please contact:
Krissie Lundy
T: 237 7028

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15 categories that cover the whole digital industry

July 12th, 2018

Established in 1996, Spiders X is Ireland’s most prestigious digital awards ceremony, and receiving an award is one of the market’s most sought after recognitions for digital, web, community, and brand excellence.

Nominate now

15 categories at the Spiders Awards

categories at the spiders

Past winners at the Spiders Awards

Past winners at the spiders

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Meet the judges 2018

July 10th, 2018

Spiders X are considered an important benchmark for distinction and excellence in web-based business strategies. Our judging committee are made up of Ireland’s leading Web experts, business leaders, luminaries and visionaries, while previous winners have been on the cutting edge of their chosen fields and have since gone onto great success in their respective industries.



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Gareth Dunlop understands the importance of recognising success…

August 9th, 2017


CEO & Founder of Fathom, a user experience consultancy which works with agencies and organisations to improve online performance, Gareth Dunlop attended the first eir Spider Awards back in the 1990s and has been present at most of them since, as well as judging the Awards on multiple occasions.


When deciding to enter, Gareth felt that the eir Spiders were the ideal platform to celebrate their work with their clients. ‘They are the longest-established awards in the Irish internet calendar, and carry real clout and credibility.’

Since winning an eir Spider Award in 2016, Fathom have been doing increasing work with wearables, service design and IoT and Gareth feels that the Awards have had a positive impact on team moral and have given Fathom real credibility in the marketplace, particularly during business development.


Gareth understands the importance of recognising the success of a company’s technological triumphs, and reward the unique driver’s behind them.

‘At a personal level it is very rewarding for the team, who work so hard all year long, to have their work recognised and to be able to enjoy themselves and celebrate on a night out.  From a business perspective it is important to continually wish to better ourselves,  measure ourselves against other businesses and benchmark ourselves internationally’

To those looking to enter their names, Gareth suggests thinking carefully about how your entry might stand out from the pack, with a particular focus on business metrics and KPIs that will clarify your achievements and matter to judges and other businesses alike.

If you, like Gareth, want to benefit from worthy recognition, don’t forget to nominate your company for the eirSpider Awards. Nominations close 27th of September, apply here.


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The Next ‘Big Thing’ in Digital

August 8th, 2017

We asked some of our esteemed eirSpiders judges what they felt the ‘next-big-thing’ in digital would be, and were not disappointed by their answers…

AI, Voice search and Videoai

According to Robert Farrell there are three areas which could have major impact on the future of digital: Artificial Intelligence, voice search and video content. In terms of chat-bots, social media, online advertising, customer insights and operations, Robert believes Artificial Intelligence will have a major impact. We have seen this used very recently by VHI on Facebook, where you could engage in a conversation with ‘Vee’ (essentially a VHI chat-bot) who motivates you to start running with helpful tips and advice.

Voice Search

Robert also feels that voice search will continue to grow and will have big implications for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), eCommerce and the nature of brands.

Lastly from Robert, in a world where ‘content is king’, video continues to become more prominent in organisations’ content marketing strategies. According to Robert ‘we will continue to see organisations embrace content repurposing as we move from a blog-centred content strategy.’


Just Walk Out’ technology for Retail

amazon go

The next big thing in digital for Ian Bergin is ‘how online and offline merge. We’re seeing this with Amazon brick & mortar acquisitions, online marketing to offline sales conversions & analytics.’

For those who are not in the loop, Amazon is experimenting with expanding its footprint into retail stores. Several bookstores have already opened where customers can use their Amazon accounts to pay for books, and get discounted prices if they are an Amazon Prime member. Additionally, the concept of a checkout-less grocery store is evolving. Amazon recently acquired Whole Foods, and is using that platform to expand upon their revolutionary business model. ‘Just Walk Out’ technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store.  This might feel like shoplifting but shortly after you exit, your Amazon account will be charged. With a newly acquired patent for the ability to control online access in a store, Amazon Books is creating a new way of retail for brick and mortar stores.

walk out

This development seems like something out of a sci-fi novel but the first ‘Amazon Go’ store is already in Beta testing in Seattle, Washington so you may be visiting a ‘Just Walk Out’ shop near you soon.

The Rise of Blockchain and Augmented Reality


It is Alan Devlin’s opinion that the digital world is already ‘heavily focused on machine -learning, augmented reality and we are also looking at blockchain platforms’.

You would have to have been living under a rock to miss the rise of augmented reality (AR) when Pokémon Go hit the market a year ago and the world went momentarily mad trying to catch a Jigglypuff on the way to work. But AR is being used in a range of capacities in areas outside of gaming. Marketing is a strong arena for virtual and augmented reality. Major motion pictures like Star Wars, Jurassic World, Insurgent, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and others have released virtual reality experiences to generate interest, excitement, and a strong memory associated with the brand. AR is also being used in other sectors like healthcare, education and journalism.


As for blockchain, 2008 saw BlockChain invented as a platform for the first decentralised digital currency, Bitcoin. Bitcoin was a revolution that meant low transaction fees, no middleman, and worldwide transactions. The dollar value of a Bitcoin is constantly changing, but is currently near the $3,000 mark with over 21 million Bitcoins issued.  However, blockchain has extended far beyond Bitcoin – Ethereum, Corda and Chain Core all based around the distributed ledger system – and we can only expect to see this platform more frequently.

Robert Farrell, Ian Bergin and Alan Devlin will bring their expertise and foresight to the eirSpider Awards on the 30th November, 2017. Nominations close 27th of September, don’t miss your opportunity to be in with the chance of winning. Apply here.  

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Meet the Judges 2017: Robert Farrell

August 1st, 2017

Robert Farrell

Course Director at the Digital Marketing Academy of Ireland, Robert Farrell believes that Ireland’s adoption of digital technology and digital marketing has been a key element in our recent economic success.

‘2016 saw huge increases in online spending and ecommerce website traffic but we also saw our share of revenue from international shoppers decline significantly. This highlights the need to continue developing our digital presence on the global stage.’

As an educator Robert feels that eLearning is transforming education just as digital transformed marketing, and having judged the eir Junior Spider Awards previously he is extremely familiar with the eir Spider Awards and feels they are different from other award ceremonies in Ireland.

‘Digital excellence is at the core of the eir Spider Awards and there is a commitment to ensuring that the judges, entrants and winners meet the highest possible standards. As a judge, you need to have in-depth knowledge of your categories and be able to justify why you believe a certain organisation deserves to win compared to the other entrants.’

The best part of being involved in the judging process for Robert is seeing how Irish companies and agencies keep up to date with the latest digital trends compared to their international counterparts and thinks even the process of making a submission is beneficial as it allows an organisation to critical review their digital performance, develop their knowledge and work together to promote their organisation.

What is Robert’s advice for businesses looking to differentiate themselves in the tech space? ‘Find inspiration wherever you can, this can inside and outside of your industry. Keep up to date with international best practices and competitors so that you don’t get left behind’

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Meet the Judges 2017: Bill Liao

August 1st, 2017

bill liao

Diplomat, investor, entrepreneur, business mentor, speaker, philanthropist and author, Bill Liao has been on the eir Spider Awards judging panel for a number of years and still considers the awards a crucial part of the zeitgeist in Ireland. The best part of being involved for Bill, is the opportunity to acknowledge some of the great talents within the digital industry.

A ‘great talent’ in his own right, Bill co-founded the business social network service XING and is a venture partner at SOS Ventures, a global venture capital firm and investment management firm. He is also a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitts and Nevis for sustainable development and the environment, and founded, a not-for-profit organization that is combating global warming by sustainably and holistically reforesting previously degraded land – is impressively approaching planting its millionth tree.

However, the venture that is most commonly heard in conversation among the vox populi in recent years is that of Coder Dojo, founded by Bill Liao and James Whelton in 2011. CoderDojo is a global movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. Anyone aged seven to seventeen can visit a Dojo where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.

In a mere 6 years, Coder Dojo has grown to more than 1,100 verified Dojos in 63 countries, with new Dojos starting almost every day.

Bill views the eir Spiders as ‘one of the best ways to test your company’ and learn where you stand within the industry, and describes the standard of entries so far as ‘Outstanding, outstanding, outstanding.’ Bill recommends that those entering the eir Spider Awards be confident in their proposals, and be explicit about why they think their work is the best.

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Meet the Judges 2017: Ian Bergin

August 1st, 2017

Ian Bergin

Long-time proponent of online technologies, and current Chief Experience Officer and co-founder of, Ian Bergin is no stranger to the eir Spider Awards and has seen ‘first-hand’ what they can do for a company’s business profile; ‘These awards are prestigious, & getting one can make your efforts to gain new business with a whole new level of credibility.’

Ian is considered a thought-leader in online services, has been a judge in the SIAA CoDIE Awards for cloud service categories since 2012 and has pioneered the ideal in customer-experience-led revenue generation. According  to Ian, the eir Spider Awards ‘the’ awards for anyone in the online/digital space, and is just as enthusiastic about the awards now that he is on the other side of the judging panel.

‘Being able to look behind the scenes at some of the best digital creative out there from Ireland and see how it made a positive impact for those who commissioned it. The story behind the creative is one that rarely gets told outside the walls of the creative offices and it is too often hugely compelling and a real message about its place of importance in today’s business landscape.’

For those creating their entry brief, Ian’s advice is to ‘tell the story’, focusing on your business’s personal narrative and what makes its journey different. Ian insists that regardless of solution size or scale, personality and the ability to be a real person when dealing with customers makes all the difference in the world, and exalts the value of authenticity and understanding –  whether your business is small or a global powerhouse.

When asked what he would say to any business considering entering the awards this year, he had only two words in response: ‘DO IT.’

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Meet the Judges 2017: Alan Devlin

August 1st, 2017


It’s been an interesting year for eDot, according to its founder and 2017 eir Spiders judge, Alan Devlin. As well as taking on some truly high-profile directors including John O’Donovan, CTO and Robert Mbom, Director of International Business, it is eDot’s second year operating as a VC, ‘we’ve met some truly inspirational entrepreneurs, we have invested in some, helped some grow their business and housed others in our new co-working space’.

eDot are also setting up a Central Bank regulated Fund called an ICAV, and will close €100 million by October this year for investment into growth stage software companies in Ireland and selected parts of Europe. ‘Our new fund will be called the eDot Innovation Fund naturally we are very excited about the prospect of helping Irish tech start-ups reaching their global potential.’

As a part of the eir Spiders judging panel, Alan particularly enjoys the collaborative judging and seeing the process play out. Webfactory won 5 awards while Alan was at the helm and he insists ‘it really helped [ Webfactory’s] profile and added at least 10% to our revenue above standard growth.’

In Alan’s opinion the entries in the past have been strong, considered and illuminating and he suggests that anyone considering entering in this year’s awards should ‘be succinct, be bold, and be clear.’

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Announcing Dermot and Dave as 2017 MC!

July 19th, 2017


The search is on for this year’s technology champions – The eir Spider Awards are open for nominations!

Ireland’s most prestigious technology awards once again seek to showcase the latest innovations in Ireland’s technology space, covering a full spectrum of digital categories. Since its creation in 1996 the eir Spider Awards has recognised the achievements of hundreds of businesses, both large and small, for their ingenuity and creativity in digital excellence.

Technology is always advancing and adapting to change and this is reflected in the four new award categories up for grabs this year, Best mCommerce Campaign, Best in Social Media Optimisation, Best Use of Video and The Elevation Award. With 16 award categories a vast array of technology sectors are represented, from Best in Charity and Not-for-Profit, to Best in Business to Business as well as a variety of digital mediums such as Best in Blogging and Best in User Experience. The eir Spider Awards is also one of the only technology awards to recognise the work of Irish businesses using the Irish language on the web with the Suíomh Gaeilge is Fearr award.

Another new aspect to the awards is the eir Spiders app, where applicants can get useful information on how to apply as well as updates on future events such as this year’s programme of regional digital workshops.  Past winners will also be providing content within the app including tips for a successful application and advice on what it takes to become a technology champion. Jules Coleman, co-founder of and 2016 Internet Hero awardee describes the awards as an “amazing showcase of Irish talent”.

Paul Mulqueen, Chairman of the judging panel and Head of SMB, eir, commented, “We work closely with Irish businesses who are constantly reinventing the way they engage with their customers through the endless possibilities that technology offers. We’re proud to support these Awards. They shine a light on the great work that is being done throughout Ireland and reward the many businesses who are taking advantage of technology. All aspiring digital businesses should take this opportunity to apply and showcase their talent amongst what always proves to be a group of incredibly talented and inspiring people. For all those who enter, the awards are a great opportunity to promote their brand, engage with industry leaders and receive comprehensive feedback on their projects from a panel of judges made up of independent industry experts. Competition gets stronger every year which shows not only how much the digital sector has grown but also the exciting opportunities it brings!”

This year’s awards will take place on Thursday, 30th November in the Round Room at The Mansion House in Dublin’s City Centre and will be hosted by well-known Irish radio personalities Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore.

The closing date for all nominations in the 2017 eir Spider Awards is Wednesday the 27th of September 2017


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