FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the AV Awards?
Firmly established as the unrivalled badge of excellence for the AV industry - the AV Awards is the benchmark for the highest possible professional standards and best practice, recognising the outstanding achievements of individuals, companies, projects and technology across the AV, events and production sectors.
Since our launch in 1999, the AV Awards have been renowned worldwide for promoting best practice, raising standards and rewarding excellence and innovation across our incredible industry. For that reason, we audit our judging process and categories every year using a carefully curated steering committee to ensure your entries are being properly and fairly evaluated. This way, we ensure our Awards are independent robust and transparent.
For over 20 years, the AV Awards has grown in status and size, attracting almost 1,400 industry professionals from all over the world. It is the biggest and most prestigious night in the AV calendar, where every part of the AV world joins together to network, share successes and, of course, to party.
The 2020 AV Awards will take place on 20 November at Evolution London.
What are the key dates to know?
w/c 24 February 2020 - Entries open
1 May 2020 - Early entry discount rate expires
19 June 2020 - Entries close
10 - 30 August 2020 - Video judging days
w/c 7 September 2020 - Shortlist announced
30 October 2020 - Shortlist party
20 November 2020 - AV Awards
What are the benefits of entering the AV Awards?
Increased brand visibility
By winning an AV Award (or even just by being shortlisted) your business will be exposed to many marketing and PR opportunities. Your business will be seen as setting the industry standard for a particular category which may, in turn, lead to breaking into new (possibly previously unattainable) markets, acquiring new clients as well as earning greater respect and credibility amongst your existing customer base.
Your business also will be exposed to increased publicity (including enhanced brand recall and increased traffic to the website and social media pages), especially winning an award from and being associated with a highly respected and well established awards scheme such as the AV Awards.
To read more about the AV Awards and our history, click here.
Opportunity to assess your current business model and processes
By entering the AV Awards, you have the opportunity to assess your business from a different perspective. You will be able to evaluate whether your technology, company performance and current business practices and processes give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.
It allows you to benchmark your company against others within the industry and helps you to identify where you may need to improve and how you can go about doing so.
Increased employee motivation and morale
Entering the AV Awards, and eventually winning, allows the business to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that is exhibited by their employees to make the business triumphant. Employees will be motivated to keep working hard and contributing to the business’s success if they know that you truly value them and are rewarded for their efforts.
Why not book tickets to the AV Awards for your incredible employees as a way of celebrating and thanking them for the great work they have done?
Winning the award also aids businesses in attracting and retaining top-class talent. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that is seen as the best of the best in the industry?
Winning your category at the AV Award acts as a third part endorsement for your company as it increases your credibility amongst industry peers and positions you an expert in your particular field.
Taking home the coveted title also clearly differentiates you from your competitors and gives you an edge when acquiring or retaining customers or suppliers.
While attending the actual AV Awards (on 20 November at Evolution London) is a fantastic opportunity to network with your industry peers, being shortlisted gives you the chance to discuss your employees, innovations, technology, business and best practices with key industry players. This is especially beneficial if you are a start-up or small business trying to break into the AV industry.
Chance to treat your clients, partners and suppliers
In addition to treating your clients, partners and suppliers to an evening of glitz and glamour, by inviting them to the AV Awards you are able to show them, first hand, the incredible work you have been undertaking. Even better, if you win an AV Award these influential individuals will be around to see you rise up amongst your competitors. We have no doubt that these key decision makers will be the first ones in line to recommend you to others, proving that that word-of-mouth and personal testimonials are the most effective form of marketing in the B2B space.
Who attends the AV Awards?
The AV Awards attracts almost 1,500 international attendees from all areas of the industry, from integrators working on a both global and local projects, through to end-users from all markets and technology consultants. The guest list also features some of the most innovative, creative and experiential agencies along with production and rental companies of the highest calibre.
The AV Awards has grown in status and size, attracting international audiences, key decision makers from a range of markets. View past AV Awards attendees here.
How did the AV Awards begin?
When the AV Awards launched in 1999, there was no other publication or industry organisation in Europe recognising the excellence and innovation of the AV, events and production industry.
Since then the AV Awards has helped define and raise industry standards and become the most talked about event in the AV calendar across the globe.
In 2019, the AV Awards celebrated its 21st anniversary. To mark this occasion, the AV Awards moved to a new venue, got a new look and staged a high-tech production to give the best experience to our industry. Innovative technologies and creations by our sponsors helped bring it to life like never before.
We also received a record-breaking number of entries and hosted the awards for the first time at Evolution London, enjoyed by almost 1,500 key industry professionals.
Top 10 tips to entering the AV Awards
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.
Who can enter?
The AV Awards are open to all organisations working in the global AV industry. There’s a category for every part of the supply chain. This includes manufacturers, distributors, integrators, installers, resellers, specialist AV companies, freelancers, creative/digital agencies, production, rental and staging companies, consultants, and end users.
Can I enter if I am outside the UK?
Absolutely! There are no geographic limitations with the AV Awards. You can be based in any country and the project or event can be from anywhere around the world.
Can I enter directly or does someone have to nominate me/us?
Companies or individuals may submit entries on their own behalf, or on behalf of other individuals or organisations, including colleagues, industry peers, suppliers or clients. If submitting on someone else’s behalf, please ensure you have their permission to do so.
Can a PR agency submit projects on behalf of their clients?
Yes! We do, however, advise running all content through various parts of your customers' businesses for approval, and we highly recommend you avoid marketing jargon.
Which category should I enter?
We’ve outlined who should enter which 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 shortlisted.
View the categories here.
When is the application deadline?
Early entry deadline is 1 May - submit your entry by this date and SAVE 35% off the entry fee.
The final entry deadline is 19 June.
Will there be an extension to the deadline?
The awards entry deadline is not plucked out of thin air. It’s an important element of a large and complex process. Getting your entries in on time means the judges are given the maximum amount of time to consider your entry.
How much time should I allocate to submitting my entry?
In our experience, a good awards entry can take up to 6 weeks to put together. This allows enough time for initial fact-finding meetings, several versions of the entry form to be drafted, and presumes you may need a number of people to look at it and sign it off. The more time you allow yourself, the better.
Can I submit an entry in more than one category?
Yes. However be mindful that each category has a different set of criteria so do not copy and paste.
What is the eligibility time frame for entries?
The eligibility period for submissions should relate to the period from February 2019 to May 2020. Please make sure that your entry only contains evidence of activity that took place during this period.
Can I submit an entry from a previous year?
Entries submitted for the 2019 AV Awards cannot be entered for the 2020 Awards unless you can demonstrate that substantial developments or improvements have taken place.
Can I upload documents rather than fill out the form?
No. What the judges want to see should be foremost in your mind when preparing your entry, as they make the decision whether to proceed with your entry or not. Follow the instructions and recommended format - it’s there for a reason. If you don’t, you may find you’ve been ruled out for non-compliance.
I haven’t got video to support my entry, will I still be considered?
Yes. A video is a great way for the judges to put context to the entry. If you cannot provide video, ensure you have strong photographs, customer testimonials and any other evidence needed.
Your video does not need to be professionally made. Video footage produced via a mobile device/video camera/iPad is acceptable.
Please note that the video will be part of your supporting material and, although it may strengthen your entry, you will not be penalised for not providing it.
Due to the impact of Covid-19 and the current lockdown, we are sadly no longer able to offer a bespoke video service to support entries for the 2020 AV Awards.
Do I need customer testimonials?
Yes. Your entry will not be shortlisted without any quantifiable information that can demonstrate your entry is based on fact. Where we ask for testimonials, you should obtain these from clients, partners and industry figures, rather than employees of your organisation.
Do I have to answer all the questions within the application?
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 – as you would do in an exam.
Then make sure you give direct, easy to find answers against *ALL* of the criteria.
Including supporting material on your entry
Supporting material is optional and at your own discretion. It is limited to up to three images and one video link per entry. Please upload the supporting material as one .zip file.
Any additional documents, such as PowerPoint presentations of your award entry, will not be accepted.
Can I send a hard copy of my entry in the post?
What is the cost to enter?
The entry fees are as follows:
- Early bird entry fee (until 1 May): £100 + VAT
- Standard entry fee (after 1 May): £160 + VAT
How do I pay the entry fee?
Upon submitting your entry you will be given the option to pay via PayPal or invoice.
Please note that if you have opted to pay by invoice but have not paid by 9 October your entry will be removed.
Do I have to present to the judges?
If you have entered any of the awards listed below and are shortlisted, you will be invited to present at the Judging Day, held on 10 July at the QEII Centre, London.
- AV Design Consultancy of the Year
- End User Business of the Year
- Distributor of the Year
- International Integrator of the Year
- Manufacturer of the Year
- National Integrator of the Year
- Small Business of the Year
- Rental, Staging and Production Company of the Year
If you cannot join us at QEII Centre, you can present via video presentation. If successful, you will be notified by 18 June.
These presentations need to be 10 minutes in length, with an additional 10 minutes of Q&A. We expect these presentations to be attended by senior representatives of the companies or the companies involved in the award. We recommend no more than 2 attendees.
Who are the judges?
Each award has a specially curated judging panel, featuring a cross section of AV technology end users and industry specialists, relevant to the award category. We go to great lengths to ensure each panel has both expertise and diversity, so that every entry can be assessed accurately and from a range of viewpoints.
View our judges here.
How will the entries be judged?
To ensure a rigorous, fair and transparent judging process, we undergo two judging stages:
The judges individually study all the submissions received in their allocated categories online. Each entry will be scored against the category's set criteria. From this, the highest scoring submissions will make it through to the second stage - Judging Day.
In light of COVID-19, Judging Day will take place via video calls throughout August. The judges will separate into groups based on their specific expertise. A second round of judging will then commence where each submission is discussed in depth, and each judge independently re-scores each entry. Individual scores will then be collated and, in the presence of the independent moderators, the finalists and winners for each category will be confirmed. This information is not shared with the judges.
What is your confidentiality policy?
All the information in your entry will remain confidential. All of our judges are bound by Non-Disclosure Agreements.
When will the shortlist be announced?
Will I be notified if I am unsuccessful?
Yes. You will be notified if your entry is unsuccessful.
Can we get feedback if our entry is unsuccessful?
Yes. Please allow four weeks after the shortlist has been announced to query your unsuccessful entry.
When will my ticket be delivered?
You will receive a physical ticket two weeks prior to the event.
Please ensure that you let us know your preferred postal address one month prior to the awards so we are able to send your ticket to you.
Do I need the physical ticket to enter the awards?
When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced during the AV Awards ceremony on 20 November 2020 at Evolution London.
What are the costs to attend?
Ticket and Table packages will be available soon.
What is the dress code?
The dress code is Black Tie.
Where are the AV Awards being held?
Evolution London - Queenstown Road, London SW8 4NW
What are the timings on the night?
17:45: Arrival & networking drinks reception
18:30: Call for dinner
21:30: Awards ceremony
22:30: After Party
Please note: Timings are subject to change without warning.
What is the cost of drinks?
The costs of drinks and drinks packages will be available shortly.
Do you cater for special dietary requirements?
After booking your ticket or table package, we shall contact you to clarify any dietary requirements you or your party may have. The menu will not accessible until the evening of the AV Awards.
If you haven’t been contacted for your dietary requirements two weeks before the event, please email Katie Shopland.
Can you help with accommodation bookings?
Preferential accommodation options will be released shortly.
How do I get home from Evolution London?
Evolution London is in the middle of a highly secure park. The park closes to the public at 20:00.
Upon leaving the awards ceremony, there will be plenty of licensed London Taxis available directly outside the main entrance to the venue. We recommend using licensed taxis rather than private hire vehicles such as Uber, as these vehicles cannot pull up directly outside the venue and have to wait in a separate parking area five minutes' walk from the venue.