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As I sit down this weekend to finalize our contest entry for the National Star Event Awards, I realize how valuable the process of writing a contest entry is. It’s a chance to scrutinize our work and really evaluate the pros and pros of an event. Strangely, I find this process therapeutic and good for business. My favorite contest-winning event was such fun to create and design, that winning an award was icing on the cake!  Click on the photo to view the entire event and see for yourself. It was one of my top 5 events from the past 25 years in business. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when entering any industry awards contest.

1. READ, READ, READ – Read the contest rules thoroughly and make a checklist of all of the things to do as per the rules and regulations. Highlight the “do not’s” and note any other specific rules. There are so many things that can disqualify you. This step is very important. I read on the weekend that if you save your file with a dot “.” in the file name, the file is disqualified. Judges have very specific rules. Make sure you adhere to them.

2. POINT FORM – Look at each of the sections in the entry and make strong bullet points that you feel are most important. The judges are looking for reasons to award you the trophy, so give them lots of reasons to do so. Include challenges and obstacles, objectives, ROI (why the event was a success), highlights of the events, and a glowing letter of reference from the client.

3. PREPARE & PLAN – Plan your timeline to finish the entry 48 hours before it is due. You must allow for all sorts of problems – sizing issues (example: does the entry have a maximum file size?), Internet problems, uploading files, website issues, etc. Murphy’s law could mean all your work crafting a great entry is for nothing if you miss the deadline. Plan for something unexpected to go wrong, right when you are down to the wire trying to submit an entry online.

Good luck with your entry and wish us luck! I’ll keep you posted as to how we place in the contest!

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