Winning awards helps boost your brand recognition, confirms your expertise, and contributes to your overall credibility as an industry leader. As added benefits, event award recognition can grow your revenue and even increase morale among your staff! Follow my top tips for successfully crafting event award submissions below.
1. Choose Wisely
Not every event award is going to fit every business. Even if your fiercest competitor has a coveted award on his or her trophy shelf, it doesn’t mean that the same award is meant for you. Seek out competitions that award recognition for the kind of work at which you excel. Applying for every single award out there, regardless of merit, can damage your integrity. Competition for such recognition isn’t about what your competitors can do – it’s all about your strengths.
2. Start Small
It might be tempting to aim for the stars and pursue big, national or international awards right out of the gate. And it’s entirely possible you have the talent for it! However, until you’ve amassed a good number of local or regional titles (event associations are a great place to start!), you probably don’t have the reputation and expert recognition yet to compete at the top.
Build a foundation first and you’ll take home the most coveted awards soon enough.
3. Follow the Rules
Before you even start writing your first submission, read, then re-read the entry guidelines. There are a lot of details to attend to when crafting successful award submissions – word and character counts, deadlines, and required descriptions to name a few. Make sure your entry for the award is a fit. If you fail to review the specs, you may miss out on awards solely on a technicality.
If anything is unclear, contact the organization early to ensure you have all the details you need in order to submit your best entry.
4. Enter Work That Matches the Award
It might be tempting to take your favorite event, create a glowing write-up and assemble phenomenal images, then submit it to every award imaginable, but resist the urge. Every award recognizes something different, and you need to choose work that addresses the criteria successfully if you really want to win. Tailor every submission to each award’s guidelines to improve your odds of winning.
5. Pay Attention to Voice
Use your own voice when writing up your submission, and speak with the judges, not at them with jargon, acronyms and technical phrasing that may distance them from your story. You never know who will ultimately review your submission so speak in a way that ensures that anyone with any amount of knowledge about the subject will understand the story you are trying to share.
Do feel free to include data and compelling images to build credibility and sway votes your way.
6. Practice Truth
This may go without saying but we’ll highlight it regardless: always tell the truth in your entries! You can (and should) be disqualified for lying about your work, so just don’t do it. If you need to exaggerate to win, you’ve chosen to apply for the wrong award. If others were to find out that you lied, your brand could be irreparably damaged.
7. Proof Your Entry
Ask a peer in the industry to help proof your entry. He or she can read your entry for you to check your grammar, spelling, and most important, how well you communicated your message. The presentation is as important as the content of your entry itself, so it’s worth reaching out to a trusted colleague for a review and feedback. Reach out early: you don’t want to wait until the last minute to get feedback or worse, submit it without proofing it at all.
The hardest part about submitting your work for event award consideration is waiting for the results. Be patient, and if your first attempts are not successful, don’t give up! Keep searching for opportunities that match your unique talents, and you’ll soon find the right awards for you.
Have any tips that helped you win an event award? Share your must-know secrets in the comments or let us know on our Twitter, @socialtables.