The first Rock Our World Awards were presented at ESTA’s Annual Dinner on Thursday evening. These awards, which recognize groundbreaking achievement by ESTA Members in new products, product applications, or projects were created to acknowledge the genius of both the creator of technology and the designer or integrator who applies the technology in a real world environment.

Over thirty nominations were received from across the industry and these were narrowed down to a shortlist of nine finalists for our distinguished panel of judges to ponder upon. The judges for this year’s awards were Rick Baxter, Ken Billington, Cory Fitzgerald, Elaine J. McCarthy, Rocky Paulson, and Bruce Rodgers.

The judges panel was chaired by Mike Wood, who said prior to announcing the winners, “We wanted to create an award series that had no rules except for excitement, no boundaries except for imagination and no restrictions other than the winners must have more magic than Harry Potter! The Rock Our World awards are intended to reflect the reasons we stay in this industry – that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when the lights dim down, the curtain goes up and you just know your disbelief is going to be suspended in a way it’s ever been suspended before...”

The judges were given free reign to select as many or as few winners as rocked their world, and the winners were:

Carallon Limited for the Pharos LPC X as used in the 'Cloud' sculpture in Heathrow Terminal Five

Element Labs, Inc. for the Versa RAY Screen as used at the 15th Asian Games in Doha

Pyrotek Special Effects Inc. for the Aqua Visual FX Water Screen

Congratulations to all winners! Now it’s time to keep your eye out for what rocks your world in the coming year. Nominations will open next spring. What magic captures your imagination and reminds you why you’re in this industry?