In order to answer this question, we must first consider who the judges actually are. That’s not to say we need a list of actual names covering the entire page – after all, with thousands of awards in the space of a year and a number of people involved with each that could be a very long list indeed…
By ‘who they are’ we mean who are they in respect to the awards themselves? They will undoubtedly be experts in their own field, most probably (but not essentially) or in a category-related field. This means they will ‘know their stuff’ and will recognise what is and isn’t remarkable in the way of achievement.
In sending off your awards entry you are in effect presenting yourself to these people and you should therefore prepare in a similar way as you would for a a face-to-face presentation. That means thinking about what they may ask you to explain and being ready to justify the answers you have provided. This level of detail may not be necessary to provide in writing at the entry submission stage, but it is useful to think about and will make your answers more compelling; and, of course, this degree of preparation actually will be needed should you get the opportunity to present to the panel as the decision-making process progresses.
At The Awards People we also suggest that out entrants get to know the judges as much as they can. There will seldom be an opportunity to meet in person before the entry is submitted but the one very positive thing about this internet age in which we live, is the fact that we have a plethora of information at our fingertips. The awards website itself is a great starting point as it will typically give a brief biog of the individual judges. Our friend Google can then usually provide another level of detail which will give an idea of the judges own achievements and interests. (This may be a good point to say that we would never condone on-line stalking – simply getting to know your audience in a little more detail is the kind of inquisitive level we’d like to encourage!!)
In the excitement and enthusiasm to impress, it can sometimes be forgotten that judges are human beings too – and we ignore this fact at our peril when completing an award entry. Even if they are experts in your product or market, they will expect the following simple rules to be followed when it comes to your submission: –
- It should be well written and grammatically correct
- It should be easy to read and ‘to the point’ therefore long, rambling sentences and poor punctuation should be avoided
- It should contain as little technical or industry-specific jargon as possible, unless entirely unavoidable
- It should have an obvious relevance to the award and category being considered
- It should answer the questions being asked in a logical manner and avoid ambiguity
With the above points in mind, and a great business or personal story to tell, you will have given yourself the very best chance of progressing through the judging stage – and perhaps even hearing your name called out at the awards event. At that point you will know that, regardless of who the judges actually were, you impressed them!