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I used to work for a man who ran a small but fairly successful events company. One day I suggested we enter some of the fabulous work his team delivered into our industry awards. He gave me a dark look and made it pretty clear that he thought awards were wrong. He said they were ‘dangerous, vain and attention seeking’. I was disappointed because my experience of awards – and award-winning for that matter – has been that everyone’s a winner. Here are just a few reasons why I think this way:

  1. Unifying, team & company pride: it is exciting and uplifting for everyone involved to a) enter an award and b) win one. It means you’ve already got a vote of confidence from your company if they are happy to pay the entry fees. Just getting shortlisted is an achievement, considering you’re up against the whole industry; and if you win it is amazing recognition that the whole company can be proud of.
  2. Marketing and PR: If you win an award it the best excuse in the world to have a crow!! Press releases, potential press interviews, e-shots to your clients and to your prospect database, badges on your website and e-mail footers. You have been recognised as experts in your field. You have been acknowledged by your industry peers as being ‘top notch’ at what you do. And let’s not forget, a good award entry makes a great case study for prospective clients.
  3. Clients like it: Assuming your client gave you permission to enter the award in the first place, they are going to love the award win – and love the team and your company for winning it. Your client is part of your team too; you worked on this project together so you have ‘all’ been recognised for your tremendous achievement. Award winning is a great way to cement your relationship with a client, not lose it.
  4. Attracts fantastic staff: The best, most talented staff want to work for the best companies. If you have a good track record of winning awards it says a lot about your business. You will find that quality candidates send in their CV’s unprompted – and it will save you a fortune on recruitment fees.
  5. Great for your career: On a personal basis, being part of a team that has developed and/or delivered an award winning event is great for your reputation and it looks fantastic on your CV. Most prospective employers are likely to feel reassured if you’ve been involved in an award winning event.
  6. Aspirational: When you work in an award winning company, it raises the performance bar. Quality, innovation and creativity become the norm. Your team will gain huge experience from delivering an award winning event, but all of your employees can gain insight from the award entries; and everyone can aspire and set their sights on a new standard of excellence.

This is  a guest post by Debra Nightingale. Debra is the Owner and Creative Director of Black Boot Communications; a video, communications and events production company. Debra has over 25 years’ experience in the B2B sector, creating and delivering award winning projects for both national and international brands, in the UK and across the globe. Black Boot works directly with corporate clients and often successfully partners with other agencies and event management companies.

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