Recently we announced the European Startup Awards, 12 country-specific startup awards spanning the breadth of Europe. The awards involve an online nomination phase, a judging phase and conclude with the presenting of an award at an event in each country. The idea behind the European Startup Awards is simple: to discover and reward the best startups, founders and investors on tap in Europe today.

We’ve been absolutely blown away by the amount of interest at both nomination stage and, perhaps even more so, the award ceremony in each city itself. The demand has been nothing short of incredible but it’s something we’ve been utterly overwhelmed by. We’ve set high standards for ourselves over the years, as have you, and given the interest, the awards ceremonies deserve to be of a higher calibre than originally planned (something more akin to The Next Web Conference or the upcoming Europioneers awards for example). That being so, we’ve decided to make this year’s European Startup Awards online only followed by a meetup (see below) instead of an awards show. Voting, judging and awards will take place online and the final stage of voting will be available publicly on the web for everyone to see. More on how to track that soon.

For those of you looking forward to a good night out, or interested in celebrating your (fingers crossed) award, we’re replacing the awards ceremony with an informal meet up. You’ll not only find core members of the TNW editorial and management team but also your local tech illuminati too. We’ll be personally inviting the final nominees and winners of the awards to attend these meet ups. The results of the awards will be publicly available on the site the day before the meetups. You’ll find dates for each meetup here.

Before that though, you’ve got some nominating and voting to do. We know first hand the amount of interest, traffic and business this drives to the companies involved. Show your favorite products, companies, leaders, investors and entrepreneurs some support. Nominate and vote!

Ok that’s all for now! See you at the meet up(s). First drink is on us.