Running an awards evening is really not the easiest thing in the world as it is impossible to please all of the people, all of the time.
But if nothing else, we hope this Q&A session will at least make you smile if not encourage you to enter. The awards really are anyone's for the taking.
We've not had an overwhelmingly good year this year so have nothing to shout about. Why should I bother entering?
In every year there are highlights to a business' performance, even when it is a bad year overall. Surely you have seen some success somewhere along the line or you would no longer be in business. If things are tough for you at the moment, perhaps morale is low within your company too, so what better way to lift your team's spirits than to enter them for an award, and show that despite the tough times, their hard work is being appreciated. It will mean more than you think.
We don't want to share our trade secrets with the industry in an awards entry, so I'd rather not enter.
All of the entries are completely confidential and we are not suddenly going to publish all your trade secrets for all to see. The only thing people will see is the fact that you are doing something worth shouting about and are proud of what your company and teams are achieving.
Surely only sponsors actually win?
That is categorically not the case, as many of our sponsors who have gone away empty-handed over the years will agree. The awards are judged by an independent judging panel and are scored on merit based on quality of entry. Who spends what with CRN/Incisive Media is of absolutely no consequence. Of course many people will still choose to believe the ‘sponsor wins' claim and use it as an excuse not to enter, but speak to the judges and they will put you straight on how the process works.
What's in it for me if I do win?
You will not only be awarded a prestigious award on the night in front of your peers and competitors, but you will have a badge that you can display to your customers to show that you have won an independent award from a respected industry brand. One that has been through a tough two-stage judging process. How many awards can claim that?
What if I only get a judges' commended?
Quite often the categories are very competitive, so to even be shortlisted is an achievement in itself. To get a judges' commended should be treated as a real honour, because the judges are not forced to pick a commended award winner. These badges are only given out to companies that the panel thought deserved some recognition for their achievements as well as the winner. If you choose to view that as a negative thing, well, that is very sad and we will shed a tear for you.
I don't want any of my sales team to be poached, so why would I nominate them for an award?
If your sales team, or in fact any of your employees, are happy in their jobs and feel valued, there is no way they will allow themselves to be poached as they will be quite happy where they are. If you are that worried about people being poached, maybe you need to have a long, hard look at the way you treat your staff and start making them feel more valued so they can't be tempted away by the evil competition.
We don't have dedicated marketing people, so this is not for us.
You may not have a specific marketing team, but there must be someone in the company that is tweeting, sending out information to your customers about your offerings, maintaining and updating your website to ensure you have an adequate shop window to attract new customers - don't they deserve some recognition too? If that person is you, then enter yourself! What have you got to lose?
The same people seem to win every year.
Again this is not true, but as the old saying goes, you have to be ‘in it to win it'. If you don't make the effort and submit an entry, then you are never going to make the shortlist and it will seem like the same companies, who take the time and effort to compile an entry every year, are regularly seen in the shortlist and on the winners' podium.
I haven't got time to put a fancy entry together, so will I be penalised for submitting a Word document?
Not at all - provided your entry sticks to the wordcount - you can submit it how you like - it is the quality of content that counts at the end of the day, not how shiny you can make the outside of it. However if you are going to submit a word document, or text, please do make sure it is well spaced out and easy to read. Think of the judges and their sanity! A Word document doesn't have to be bland and boring - remember to inject some colour and personality into the words. If you do that, you won't go far wrong. But please do refrain from copying and pasting from a corporate site, the judges can spot it a mile off and will probably not read past the first sentence.