Having come from an events and awards background it was so important for me to learn exactly how the SME Business Awards operated and what the whole experience of the awards is like for our entrants.
Throughout my time in the awards space I have heard various grumblings about business awards – and sure, there are some awards programmes out there that don’t do the industry justice – but for the most part just like us here at Events & PR we love being the organisers of prestigious accolades that celebrate the success of hard working SMEs and just want to see good businesses recognised for their outstanding efforts.
With this blog post I hope to share with you why I think we do it well, eliminate any misconceptions you had about business awards and hopefully enhance your experience knowing you’re in good hands!
1) You have to be a sponsor to win
This is a biggie, that I have heard a lot about various business awards over the years. Of course, I would say this isn’t true – but if you don’t believe me ask our judges who are also sponsors. All judges have to declare conflict of interest in any categories they sponsor or judge and can absolutely not enter categories that they want to enter.
What’s more – all judging is done remotely. The judging process is all completed online, judges do not get together and discuss entries so do not come in to contact with sponsors throughout the process. I love this method and was super impressed upon starting at how independent the awards really are and how careful Events & PR are about maintaining this.
2) You have to be a big business to enter/win
Absolutely, categorically not true. Our judges are looking for so much more than your numbers – they are looking for innovation. What sets you apart? What are you doing differently? If you’re not where you want to be with figures just yet or number of employees, there is nothing stopping you from entering the awards for your fantastic flair!
3) It’s time consuming to enter
Well, our entrants average 2-3 hours on their applications and I’m sure they’ll agree with me that 2-3 hours is more than worth it for the chance of recognition as a finalist or winner and the impact that has on your business. Even if you enter and do not win, you’re better versed in the applications and better equipped for the next time!
4) It’s costly to enter
Actually, I really think that the cost to enter of £75 (if you are an early bird) or £95 standard rate is super reasonable for:
§ Entry in to our prestigious well-known awards and all the admin and infrastructure that is required behind the scenes to make sure it’s a great experience
§ The branding you get as a finalist/winner on our website, social media, in the Awards night programme, etc
§ The chance to meet and connect with other like-minded businesses at our fantastic events or even on our social media channels
5) The same people win again and again year after year
This one is categorically not true. You only have to look at our website listing our previous winners to know that this is not the case. We have the massive advantage here at Events & PR of attracting a significant number of business from all different industries, with new ones emerging all the time! We have had winners that have won again – because of the diverse nature of the awards these people should be super proud as they’re obviously doing something very right!
6) There are no benefits if you do not win
Winning is fantastic, however just being involved in business awards can be beneficial to you and your business.
Firstly, it gives you a great opportunity to sit back and really examine your business, what you do, how and why. It also takes a lot of guts to put yourself and your business out there to be judged, for which all entrants should be commended.
If you become a finalist, this really is an achievement and comes with so many branding opportunities. I’ve seen finalists really make the most of their fantastic efforts – such as making videos of receiving their finalist’s letter and sharing it on social media. So many opportunities!
7) We’ve entered awards before but never win
This is a shame, as you obviously do have faith and see the value in entering but have been disillusioned. It usually means one of two things – the competition has been stiff, and you were outshone that year OR you’re missing something in the application process and could be presenting your fantastic business in a more effective way.
Luckily for you – our Director, Damian, has put together a great tool for entrants to use – our Top Tips booklet, to help you hone your entries.
8) We’ve won the award; we’ll post about it online once and that’s it until next year
Nope. Your journey doesn’t end here! There is so much you can do to make the most of your win. Contact your local press, use your winner’s logo in all your email signatures, post it on social media, get the logo on your website, write about your experience. You’ve put in the hard work; you’ve won and now you can shout about it and see the impact it makes to your business!
Because winning awards really does make an impact to your business, staff morale, your standing amongst your peers, your existing customers’ perception and your potential customer’s perception. Plus … it feels pretty good right?
If you have any questions, please do get in touch with us here at the Events & PR Team and we’ll be more than happy to help.