Top ten tips on entering the AV Awards
Every year we get inundated with companies feeling disgruntled because they didn’t win in the category they entered. Don’t be. The winning company may simply have had a better product or entry. However, avoid any own goals. Many submissions are let down by the entry itself.
To help you put together the perfect entry, we’ve come up with a ‘Top Ten Tips’ on entering:
1. Choose the right category
We’ve outlined who should enter what category on the website. Closely review these and determine which is most appropriate. You can enter more than one relevant category to increase your chances of being shortlist.
2. Don’t underestimate the time needed
In our experience a good award entry can take 4-6 weeks to put together. This allows enough time for initial fact-finding meetings, several versions of the entry form and presumes you’ll need a few different people to look at it and sign it off. Really the more time you have the better.
3. Follow the instructions and format correctly
The judges should sit at the head of your thinking when preparing your entry as they make the decision. Follow the instructions and recommended format, it’s there for a reason. If you don’t, you make it difficult to handle your entry, and make it annoying to the organiser and judges, and at worst find yourself ruled out for non-compliance.
The awards entry deadline is not plucked from thin air, it’s part of a schedule for a large and complex process. Hitting the deadline will make you favourites with the AV team, and will allow the judge the maximum amount of time to consider your entry.
5. Get the judges’ attention
Judges will be looking at more than one entry. Just as when you turn up to a job interview knowing the panel will be seeing others, the same is true for your entry – why should you win! The end-user judges spend days reading through entries, in their own time, so a clear, concise and formatted entry will make it obvious why it should be a winner.
6. Read and answer the questions
If there is a ‘most important’ tip, then this is it. Read the criteria for the particular category you are entering and answer the questions – like an exam. Then make sure you give direct, easy to find answers against *ALL* of the criteria.
7. Prove it!
You could tell a story to rival a Shakespeare play, but if there’s no evidence it won’t make it through to the shortlist. Think carefully about how you can prove your claims and look at both the qualitative and quantitative metrics you could use. Customer testimonials can have great impact!
8. Trust the judges
Don’t be concerned about supplying confidential information, the information in your entry will remain confidential between the AV Awards team. All of our judges are bound by Non-Disclosure Agreements.
9. Don’t do a half-hearted attempt
If it’s worth doing, do it well! Designate someone in the company to coordinate everything, follow-up on evidence and draft copy. Give them the information, resources and time they need to put together the best entry you can.
10. Final Checks
Once drafted, get a critical eye to look over it. Check spelling, grammar and punctuation and check through all supporting documentation. Cross reference and make sure every question in the criteria has been answered.