When it comes to planning an industry award program, there is a lot involved. With so many different awards out there for every different industry vertical, person and department you need to make sure that yours stands out from the rest.
Majority of companies today have probably applied for at least one award at some point. One thing that everyone can agree on is that the award application process is time consuming. There is a lot involved, that is why as the award organizer you need to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible for your nominees.
Here are a few tips to get you started when it comes to planning you next award program:
1. Offer Categories That No One Else Does
With tons of awards for every industry, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself. When looking at the big industry awards that people apply to every year, see where there is a void that needs to be filled. If you are hosting an event industry award show, think about offering a category for each event technology industry out there:
- Best Mobile App
- Best Registration Software
- Best Audience Engagement Tool
- Best Beacon Campaign
Look at what is popular in your industry. You probably attend the same events as the people who will apply for your awards, so you know all the amazing companies that are out there. Give them a platform to talk about their success and to be praised for their work!
2. Have a Killer Promotion Plan
Do you want people to apply to your program? Then you have to promote it! As with any event or product launch, you need to start months in advance. When it comes to awards, having a 6 month lead time is ideal.
Email an announcement to your database, create advertisements on industry websites, use social media and don't forget to keep them up to date. When you are a month or weeks away from the submission deadline, increase the frequency in your promotion.
The Event Technology Awards submissions are due May 31st and these past two weeks they have increased the frequency of emails to people who are in the running for categories to complete the application. It is a great reminder!
3. Clear & Simple Questions
The worst thing that you can do is make the questions complicated and then make the nominee dig to find the content. For the MICE Awards taking place in Singapore in September, they asked one question: why should you win the award? While it does leave it completely open and a lot of people prefer to have structured questions, it also doesn’t limit you in what you can talk about. You can talk about events you have produced, your organization’s sales growth, your organization’s expansion into other markets or even a new big client that you secured.
4. Don't Go Through Email!
There are so many awards today that still use email to collect submissions. Think about having an awards program with 30 different categories and 20 or more people applying for each... that is a lot of emails! Don't flood your inbox with them; instead use a tool to help you manage the process on the cloud. I am sure you will have more than 1 judge who will be picking a winner so using an abstract management tool like etouches eSelect will make it easy for nominees to complete their application online and for judges to review.
Don't make your awards complicated. Follow the above tips to make your awards stand out, get people to submit and make the process easy for both you and the nominee! What other suggestions do you have?