Awards span pretty much every industry and activity, and come in all kinds of styles and sizes – from local to international, and professional and slightly unusual.

No matter how niche your business, or how common your services, there will undoubtedly be an award that you’re suitable and eligible to enter… but how do you choose the right one?

There are lots of things to consider when choosing the right award(s) – for more on how to find a good award, read our other blog here. Our top tips are to consider:

Your industry – when it comes to your industry, what really matters? What are the defining characteristics of what you do, and what are things that are most important to your stakeholders? What awards reflect these factors or exist in your specific industry? This is a great place to start looking!

Credibility – not all awards are created equal, so do your homework! There are some awards that are essentially little more than a money-making model, and won’t carry much kudos. Some awards may be hard to win if you’re not part of the network that ultimately decides your fate – think ‘old boys’ club’ and you get the picture! You need to ensure that the award is transparent and credible, otherwise it won’t bring any value in the long-run.

Judgment day – what’s the judging process? Are there different stages or ‘knock-out’ rounds? Will the judges require further input or evidence if you’re shortlisted? Will they want to meet with you face-to-face? Find out and make sure you’re prepared.

Timeline and timing – think about submission deadlines, award ceremonies and the time investment required by yourself and colleagues, and make sure you don’t have other commitments or scheduled activity that could impact on your submission and any subsequent success.

Budget – even if you don’t have to pay to enter the award, you still need to factor in other possible associated costs such as tickets, travel and hotel accommodation for the ceremony. Do you have the budget to cover this? Remember that the time of travel, day and the location can have an impact on prices too.

Categories – look at the criteria for all the award categories, and decide if you can actually fit into more than one. Could you enter into another one simultaneously to increase your chance of success? If so, would you need to make any changes to your original entry to meet the criteria (in our experience, almost always)? It’s also worth considering if one will be less competitive than the other, as this will help guide you on where to focus your efforts.

A few more unusual awards…

For most organisations, business and industry focused awards are going to be the main attraction, but we’ve also come across some more rather more unique ones too – where losers can finally become winners!

  • Darwin Awards – for those who died due to their own stupidity
  • Bad Sex in Fiction Award – this Literary Review award speaks for itself!
  • Lanterne Rouge – celebrating last place competitors in cycling events such as the Tour De France
  • Ernie Awards – An Australian award event for the most sexist remark made against women by the media
  • Chip Shop Awards – a great award for the creative industry, this one gives you complete free reign to design the ads you wish your clients would commission, but that you’d never get away with!

All joking aside, writing award entries is serious business, so why not take advantage of our awards research service and let us the hard work for you, finding the right types of award for your organisation – just call us on 0208 720 7307.