Business awards can have multiple benefits whether you win or not. Whilst some people and businesses may not think awards are relevant or mean anything, a company that wins an award can receive many different returns from winning or even just been shortlisted for an award. So apart from the trophy itself what are the benefits of applying for an award.
Exposure and PR
There are awards for almost anything and it can be hard to determine between the gimmicky token awards and the serious ones that are recognised in business and in your industry. The majority of awards are free to enter and there are awards to suit every company needs, from industry awards to business awards, there is something for everyone.
If your business or an individual of that business (because don’t forget there are awards for individuals too) is shortlisted for an award then this is something to shout about. Not everyone who completed the application process made it to that shortlist so this is an achievement in itself.
Usually, the awarding body will want to really shout about their awards and the awards events and there is usually a big marketing campaign around it. It doesn’t matter if it is an individual or the business that is shortlisted, it means you will be part of this campaign and this is great free PR exposure for you or your business and your brand. Usually, your name will be put out across various media sources from Social Media to local or even national press. The interest levels will vary depending on the awards that you enter, for example, if it a national award then other press publications may want to share this news and you or your business should be ready to produce your press release about making it into the final as a form of further marketing.
Some awarding bodies not only have a big marketing campaign to push the awards to fill seats but some produce footer style logos that can be placed at the bottom of emails to show the world that you are shortlisted. This type of marketing looks good when sending to a potential client, it adds gravitas to you and your business.
As for the award’s ceremony itself you will be named in the table programme, logos and images of you and your business will be placed either on a screen, table programme or both along with some information about what you do as a business to a room of potential clients or suppliers, not bad so far for just completing an application.
If you win
It is a real achievement to be shortlisted but if you actually take home the award then this is something to celebrate. There will be a further marketing campaign by the organisers announcing the winners and this time you will receive exposure that is focused around you. There is also usually images and posts throughout the event in the evening, announcing the winners and if you have the relevant Social Media channels then you will be tagged into this. Winning means more media and PR and again be ready to write that press release on how you feel about winning the award.
As with being shortlisted, some awarding bodies produce logos for the winners of the award and the category and again this can be placed on anything from brochures, websites and email footers to help promote you and your business.
You should always update your company messages when taking home an award as you are no longer a business, you are an award-winning business and have the silverware to back it up. I have seen so many companies that state that they are ‘the leading business’ or ‘world’s best’ in what they do, but what gives them the authority to say that? If you win an award you not only have the goods to back up what you are saying but you can now say ‘award-winning’. Let’s face it if you had to choose between two fairly identical products in every way from price to capability and one had won an award and the other hadn’t, which would you choose?
If you are shortlisted for an award the chances are you will want to attend, just in case you win.
These events are a nice way of sharing your accolade with your hard-working team or even clients. Some businesses use the event to take to clients to not only show them how well they are doing as a business but to help celebrate success as clients make up a big part of your success as well as your hard-working team that helped the business get there. In that awards room, there will be a variety of business attending, depending on the type of awards you have entered and that means that the event is a perfect opportunity to network. If it a formal award presentation then there will a drink’s reception before entering the main dining area which provides a great opportunity to network and once the dinner is done, again this is a great opportunity to network. If you win, people may want to congratulate you or you might want to start up a conversation with another winning party, especially if they could become a client. Either way, the evening can be a celebration of your business whether you take home the award or not and you might even be able to pick up some fresh new contacts too.
So from completing the application you can gain free publicity for your business, increase your brand awareness, generate new leads, reward staff and clients and pick up a new trophy for your office, not bad. There are so many other positive rewards from applying for awards and for those who say awards are a waste of time, see how many they have actually won.