We know that we are asking a lot from our readers to participate in a study that takes so long to complete. The entire Best in Class (BIC) survey is broken up into three parts and each one takes about 45 minutes to fill out. That is a huge time commitment in a digital world that routinely measures time spent on a web page, for instance, in seconds and not minutes.

The survey is so long because identifying and specifying products is an arduous task. The survey breaks out 46 categories and 7 criteria points, each weighted differently based on prior audience research. We have made every effort to speed up the process and resist the urge to ask any superfluous questions.

The fact that we can conduct this kind of detailed research at all speaks very well of the E&S industry as a whole. It is filled with people who truly care enough to make their voices heard.

The net result is that the readers choose the BIC winners, not the editors of FE&S, and we think that makes these awards pretty special. Congratulations to all the winning companies listed in our 2017 Best in Class Awards.

As always, we welcome the opportunity to review these results with participating companies who are interested, but we do request a sit-down, in-person conversation because the data is complicated and rich. Those companies who have taken us up on this offer in the past, generally non-winners who felt that they should have fared better in the survey, have almost always come away with a better understanding of either the areas where they needed to improve or, at the very least, the prevailing market perceptions that they had to overcome.

While we are on the topic of well-deserved recognition, I would like to take a moment to congratulate our own editorial director, Joe Carbonara, on his finalist status for Editor of the Year for Folio's Ozzie Awards. Unbeknownst to Joe, his editorial team here at Zoomba Group got together and coordinated his nomination. Many of us will be on hand in New York next month to see if Joe takes home the big prize, but I am convinced that he has already won. First, because he is the only nominee, of the five finalists, to represent B2B publishing, which is very exciting in the B2B publishing world. Second, and more importantly to Joe, this wasn't some company effort to raise our Zoomba Group profile; his coworkers initiated the whole thing to make sure that he received the recognition that he so richly deserves.

I'm not sure it gets any better than that.