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 2021 AV Awards will take place as a hybrid event on 5 November. There will be an in-person ceremony at London Evolution, subject to prevailing government guidelines, and the event will also be live streamed enabling everyone who is unable or unwilling to attend the physical event, to take part.
What are the key dates to know?
Key dates for the 2021 AV Awards are as follows:
24 March: Entries open
11 June: Entry deadline
w/c 19 July: Shortlist announced
w/c 26 July: Ticket and table sales open
5 November: AV Awards ceremony
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.
Chance to treat your clients, partners and suppliers
Inviting your clients, partners and suppliers to the virtual AV Awards enables you 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 and 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.
Due to the global pandemic, the AV Awards transformed into a virtual-only event in 2020. Our cutting edge online platform enabled over 2,000 attendees from around the world to come together, celebrate, and to enjoy a great show hosted by Rich Hall which included entertainment from acclaimed string quartet Siren and mindreader Alex Crow.
For 2021 the Awards will take on a hybrid format - we'll be back at London Evolution for the industry's biggest celebration of the year, but we will also provide a superb experience for those unable to join us in the room using our platform to live stream the celebrations
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.
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.
Where are the AV Awards being held?
The 2021 AV Awards will be held at London Evolution, Queenstown Road, London SW8 4NW. The event will also be live streamed online.
When is the application deadline?
The deadline for entries is 11 June 2021.
What is the eligibility time frame for entries?
The eligibility period for submissions should relate to the period from February 2020 to May 2021. Please make sure that your entry only contains evidence of activity that took place during this period.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can I submit an entry from a previous year?
Entries submitted for the 2020 AV Awards cannot be entered for the 2021 Awards unless you can demonstrate that substantial developments or improvements have taken place.
Can I send a hard copy of my entry in the post?
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.
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.
The judges for the 2021 AV Awards will be announced shortly.
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.
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.
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 to the judges at the Judging Days, taking place in August.
- 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
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. Attendees are restricted to 2 presenters per organisation.
If you are required to present to the judging panel, you will be notified by the end of July.
When will the shortlist be announced?
The shortlist will be announced during the week commencing 19 July via email, online and social media.
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 the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced during the AV Awards ceremony on 5 November 2021.
What are the costs to attend?
What are the timings on the night?
Timings for the 2021 Awards will be announced in due course.
Can you help with accommodation bookings?
Preferential accommodation options will be released nearer to the event.
Do I need the physical ticket to enter the awards?
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.
How do I get home from London Evolution?
London Evolution 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.
What is the cost of drinks?
The costs of drinks and drinks packages will be available nearer to the event.
What is the dress code?
The dress code is Black Tie.
When will my ticket be delivered?
More details on ticketing arrangements for the 2021 Awards will be announced nearer to the event.