How the Gaydio Pride Awards won C&IT's DEI Event of the Year

Discover how the Gaydio Pride Awards scooped DEI Event of the Year at our 2023 Awards.

In February 2023, LGBTQ+ radio station Gaydio held its inaugural Gaydio Pride Awards with a star-studded event at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel. In an evening of celebrations and entertainment, the LGBTQ+ community came together to recognise the individuals and groups working tirelessly to bring Pride to all corners of the UK.

The event was the first of its kind to operate outside of the capital, and designed to spotlight grass-route communities who don’t receive the same glitzy recognition that famous faces and well-known organisations often enjoy. CTL Communications came onboard to help make it a success.


Partnerships and sponsors played a big part, with the collective goal of making the inaugural Gaydio Pride Awards 2023 the biggest success it could be, and garnering as much media attention and press coverage as possible to set-down strong foundations, making the awards into a recognisable annual landmark event and extension of the Gaydio brand.

Gaydio’s well established and dedicated audience were leveraged to spread the word about the awards and encourage as many nominations and ticket sales for the ceremony as possible.

A key collaborator of the event was Hilton Deansgate as the headline sponsor and destination venue for the awards ceremony.

There were three steps to the awards recognition process: nominations, the community panel, and the ceremony.

The public were encouraged through Gaydio’s channels to nominate anyone who fit the descriptions of the awards, and to encourage others to nominate too. The award categories covered all sectors including LGBTQ+ Champion of the year, Voluntee of the year, Venue or Event of the Year, Charity of the Year, Pride network of the Year, LGBTQ+ Club or Sports Team of the Year, Music Artist of the Year and more.

CTL worked closely with Gaydio presenters Paris and Dave in the weeks leading up to the event to ensure their script was authentic to their tone of voice with regular copywriting sessions and off-site rehearsals.

All event collateral was specifically designed and produced to showcase the Gaydio Pride Awards branding, from printed menus to digital table plans and more. We even replaced the Male/Female toilet facility signs with Gaydio Pride Award branded gender-fluid signage – a nice design touch that didn’t go unnoticed and was very much appreciated and commented on during the event.

The bespoke award trophies themselves were designed in the style of the ‘G’ logo from the Gaydio branding, in clear acrylic to allow for the purple lighting of the event to shine through as award- winners had their celebratory moment on stage.


Bringing it all together on the night, CTL wrote and produced the show, show calling and managing the technical team, running sound checks, rehearsals, speaker management, and all the usual last minute challenges thrown their way.

Ensuring a cohesive link for Gaydio fans, CTL leveraged the existing Gaydio brand design throughout the content. During the show, each musical artist was introduced to stage by a dramatic X-Factor style intro video showcasing their previous work with flashes of music videos alongside dramatic animated text and opera-style music.

The event saw performances from award- winning artist Raye, dance music icon Sigala, popular singer Miggy Dela Rosa and Drag Race UK star and winner of Season 4 Danny Beard.

Famous faces from film, TV, and music were encouraged to attend the event and walk the purple carpet for the invited press, including It’s a Sin writer Russell T Davies, Hollyoaks stars Nicole Barber-Lane and Annie Wallace, Corrie stars Katie McGlynn and Kimberly-Hart Simpson, and the cast of BBC hit Traitors. The ceremony was hosted by Gaydio’s popular breakfast show presenters Paris Munro and Dave Cooper.


The very first Gaydio Pride Awards have been a great success garnering national press with big write-ups in The Daily Mail, The Metro, Manchester Evening News and many local news outlets. 

In the week following the awards, engagement on Gaydio’s Insta had increased by 998% with 103% increase on content reach.

Charlotte Flach Editor C&IT