Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been lucky enough to have had quite a bit of exposure to business awards. It has got me thinking about the pros and cons of entering awards.
We have seen the value of business awards from both a sponsoring and a winning viewpoint during the last couple of weeks.
As a Sponsor
During April, we sponsored the Wantage and District Business Breakfast Club Local Business Award. Our sponsorship comprised of giving a voucher to the winner to pay for social media training /consultancy as well as presenting the prize at the Awards breakfast. I’m looking forward to working with Ronald McDonald House to help them use the prize to their advantage.
Why Sponsor? Well a number of reasons spring to mind:
- I was really pleased to be able to help this networking group – one that I have been a member of for the past 8 years or so. Even though my attendance has been rather sporadic – over the years, I have found clients and suppliers at the supportive network.
- It also felt good to be in a position to be able to sponsor an award – another milestone in the development and growth of Concise Training.
- Publicity – yes it is always good to increase our brand awareness. I was able to show our banners and remind people within the group about what we did. The award was announced on social media – more brand awareness and I obtained more links to my website.
As an Award Winner
Last week we picked up the small business Gold Scoop Headline Award for Training and Education.
What did we need to do?
We applied for the award in December – having heard about it by email. To enter, we just needed to write our story in 1500 words with a 150 synopsis. I have to admit that I don’t like writing about myself – and find this difficult so I asked Caroline Brake to write the award entry for me and I’m delighted that she was able to capture why I started and grew my business in the story. Then it was a matter of waiting.
We found out in February that we had won either Bronze, Silver or Gold. We had to pay for the presentation package (which includes the ceremony, plus another presentation ceremony at the House of Lords in November, along with some other bits) – which I think is fairly standard. Viv Bryan and I attended the ceremony in London in April where we found out we had won Gold. The presentation was an interesting experience, allowing us to network with a number of interesting businesses – some of whom were collecting their 10th or 14th award!
Was it worth it?
Yes, definitely – for a number of reasons:
- Once we announced that we had won the award on social media, we got lots of likes and comments – so a great way of putting us back in front of mind with our existing contacts.
- ‘An award winning business’ gives a certain amount of kudos – a bit like ‘published author’ did when I first published ‘Social Media Made Simple‘. Even if we never win another award, we are still ‘an award winning business’.
- We are going to send a Press Release to the local papers which will give us the opportunity for more publicity.
- This award also gives us the National Business Leader award – presented in November at the House of Lords. Another chance for publicity.
- We can add logos to email signatures and our website to remind people we have won an award. It might give us the edge when comparing us to the competition.
- It has been good for the team to know they are part of an ‘Award Winning Business’.
- The networking opportunity at the presentation ceremony was interesting and we met some other very interesting businesses.
So what now?
Now, we need to look at other awards to enter. We are more aware of what evidence we need to collect to demonstrate why we meet certain criteria and will be collecting evidence and case studies over the next couple of months to be ready to identify awards to apply for during the Autumn. It does take quite a bit of work – but if the story is right, it does prove to be worth it.
What are your experiences of applying for awards? Do share.