This year we have touched on many of the individual aspects of award entry. To end the year – and to make sure that we are all totally award-entry ready for the shiny new year to come – we thought it might be nice to remind you of a few of the key things to think about.
Make sure you look at the year ahead and decide, in plenty of time, which awards you’d like to enter. If you already have award entry experience you may feel confident in short deadlines but for the novices amongst you, we’d suggest that you look at the awards which have closing dates no closer than a month or so away.
No-one has ever written their very best submission when under severe time pressure, especially if it leaves no opportunity for checking or tweaking so be realistic about the time you have available and don’t be pressing the ‘submit’ button with just seconds to spare! Also, with the whole calendar in front of you why not choose 3 or 4 for the year which are nicely spaced out?
Be open minded
When you are looking at the awards plan for 2019 remember that you needn’t only consider those directly related to your market. There are many events and many individual categories which consider, for example, social, environmental or entrepreneurial attitude.
Have a really good think about what qualities your business (over and above the day-to-day stuff) and it may well be that some of your greatest achievements are not necessarily product or service-specific. It is also worth remembering that the more unusual or niche categories can often be undersubscribed, so you may just have a greater chance of achieving that win.
Be clear on why you want to win
Your chances of success will be very much increased if you are clear on exactly what the award – and therefore the award win – will mean to you. This will not only allow you to focus on submitting the right kind of information within your entry, but it will also automatically add an element of enthusiasm which will be apparent to the judges as they read your answers.
What’s more, if you have a clear idea of the true value of the award (e.g. it is important to your target market) then you will be in a better position to capitalise on every opportunity which it presents if you win – and there will be many!
Allow yourself time and space
Having checked your deadlines for submission, make sure that you allow yourself the time, in a suitable environment, to really do your entry justice. Depending on how you work best either take a large chunk of time to do it ‘in one go’ or schedule in a number of shorter slots to tackle it on a question-by-question basis.
Choose a place where you can fully concentrate on your award submission without other interruptions, perhaps away from the office. It’s easy to let the day-to-day job take over everything, but remember that getting your entry in, and therefore being in the running for something that matters to the business, is part of your strategy rather than an inconvenient distraction.
Ask friends and colleagues to help
It is sometimes difficult to be truly objective on your own achievements; in terms of business practice, what is ‘run of the mill’ for you may be far from normal within other organisations and as modest humans we all have a tendency to be a tad humble about our successes. Don’t be afraid to chat to family, friends, colleagues about what they believe is special in your business or how you do things.
Sometimes we all need a reminder and something which happened nearly 12 months ago can easily be forgotten. It is also worth remembering that these people genuinely care about you and want you to succeed so enlist their help when the award entry is complete. Having someone cast an eye over your application prior to hitting send is always a good idea – and even better when they know you and your company.
As you know by now faithful followers of The Awards People, this is just a small selection of tips from our bottomless list of jolly good advice.
If you have already identified your target award, or are just coming around to the idea of it being a great way to increase your turnover (yes, it works!) then have a chat to us taking those important first steps. We can take you through the process from start to finish, or simply support you with the bits where you think our help would be of most value.
In the meantime, we would like to wish you all the very best for the festive season and hope for a bright, award-winning new year to come.