The eagle-eyed among you will notice that every year there are new categories rearing their heads in the Sales and Marketing Awards. Sara Yirrell explains why.
Entries for CRN's Sales and Marketing Awards are trickling in already, but some may be confused as to why a category that wasn't an option last year is suddenly on offer now, and why some others have vanished.
Running an awards event is never a straightforward process, people are always time poor because they are focusing on their core business, and often forget to even enter. So getting entries in is one of the biggest challenges we face. However I cannot stress enough the importance of entering your company into these awards.
It not only gives you the chance to really shout about your successes, and give your teams a great night out to boot, but it shows that you take pride in your company, and also in the industry itself.
It is also advised to plan an entry rather than cramming it into the last minute, poor quality entries do stand out to the judges.
Entries do not have to be fancy PDF or videos if that is not your thing, but the content has to be right. All the category criteria can be found here on the dedicated hub. Please do read them before crafting your entry.
The categories themselves are carefully examined every single year by the CRN awards team, and those that fail to draw many entries are replaced. There is no kudos winning an award when yours is the only entry.
That is also why in CRN's Ts&Cs there is a disclaimer that states if a category has too few entries, then it will be dropped. Unfortunate for those that made the effort, but without proper competition, winning can seem a little hollow and it doesn't reflect well on the rest of the industry.
Also, the industry itself changes all the time, not only are new technologies shaping the way channel firms do business, but the priorities of channel firms change as well.
As a result, we constantly introduce new categories and retire the tired, less loved ones. If the awards failed to move with the times, they would not be relevant to the constantly evolving channel market they serve. We also listen to feedback and criticism and act on it where possible.
This year, for example, we have opened up the ‘Best Place to Work For' category to distributors and vendors as well as VARs. Many companies have some fantastic benefits and perks on offer for their staff, and what better way to attract new talent, and keep existing staff happy than by winning an accolade that confirms what a great employer you are?
In the VAR category we have also split the Best Company category in two - sub £50m turnover and £51m+ turnover - giving those smaller players who perhaps cannot afford as many perks as their larger competitors, a chance to shine.
Also, with marketing, the very nature of marketing is changing in this era of digital transformation, so it is only right that social media is recognised as an award in its own right, and some of the inspirational campaigns that have happened over the past year are given proper recognition.
To conclude, there really is a category out there for everyone; and I, and all the judges are looking forward to reading all about the excellence that has been taking place in the channel over the past 12 months.
The award categories will continue to evolve each year, so if there is a category that you think has been missed out in 2018, then please do let us know.