At TAP we offer a research service to clients which not only looks at the awards taking place over the next 12-18-months but which also considers the suitability of both topic and category. Now, when we say suitability we generally mean whether your business activities or achievements match what we know to be the requirements of the award organisers or panel, but we also take into consideration a few other, more personal factors which may not be quite so immediately obvious.
As you might expect, we’ll research what the actual award categories are and then consider if these accurately relate to what you’ve been doing. Less predictably though, we may have prior knowledge of the judging panel and what they generally consider to be worthy of accolade. If we know that activities very like your own have gone unrewarded by a panel in the past, it’s very unlikely that they will achieve more success on this occasion. Past winners of a particular award can also give us a whole lot of information as to likelihood of success. A category which tends always to go to a large corporation would probably not be the best ‘entry level’ for a smaller business and we would instead suggest that it be viewed as an aspirational target for the future.
Moving away from the likelihood of success, let’s now consider the more practical matters when entering awards. The type of application required can vary considerably and whilst some may only involve completion of a form, others can require the submission of many additional documents relating to evidence, testimonials etcetera and, in some cases, require an accompanying video. If these are tasks which simply cannot be addressed (to the very high standard you would wish) in the time-frame available, then we would recommend that they be earmarked for the following year instead, with sufficient time diarised for preparation.
The actual deadline could also potentially be the main stumbling block to entry – if this clashes with a generally manic period within the business or another significant event, then key members of the team may not be available to offer their input and, worse still, if success comes then no-one may be able to attend the presentation events and capitalise on the great networking opportunities which surround them. Similarly, if the company is experiencing a dip in cash flow due to significant spend (planned or unplanned) then the combined cost of application and event attendance may be an uncomfortable burden to bear.
At The Awards People we are, of course, at hand to support at every stage of the award-entry and award-winning process. Our aim, however, is to showcase your strengths and realise your full potential, so within our remit sometimes we have the role of saying ‘perhaps not quite yet’ and finding alternative routes to allow your achievements to shine brightly.