Awards and competitions are a great way to get people talking. Winners love sharing their successes – you don’t even need to ask them to share on social media!
Aside from nominees and winners spreading the word, awards are a great opportunity for press coverage. Invite the media and you’ll help them do their job, by giving them something to write about.
Awards are utilized by both B2B and B2C companies. Presenting them establishes the hosting company as an industry leader, helping build brand reputation and sell their products or services.
B2B awards focus on giving their customers an opportunity to shine. However, where there are winners, there are losers. It is imperative to make scoring criteria transparent. When people don’t win, they need to understand why. Scoring criteria helps minimize any hard feelings. The point is to get more customers – not lose them!
Award ceremonies can be pricey. They are by nature meant to be prestigious, and you need a venue which gives that feel. You won’t carry as much clout (or get as many attendees!) holding your ceremony in a bowling alley as you would a ballroom!
In addition to the venue, other aspects are expected at an awards ceremony, such as catering. If it is a sit-down meal, you’ll have other costs: centerpieces, printed menus, wait staff, and more. And then there are the awards themselves – they should be something people want to display with pride. Oh yes, and we can’t forget about the alcohol. Your catering budget needs a few more dollars when there’s more than coffee, tea, and soda! Winners want to celebrate, and you’ll be the one footing the bill.
An awards gala often also includes dancing, which means a DJ or band, and a host or emcee. Not every awards ceremony needs to go to this level, but keep in mind every potential cost before you commit to an awards ceremony.
As a side note, you can give out awards without a ceremony; it’s still a part of your marketing strategy, but it’s not event marketing.
Some awards happen with live-action competitions, rather than a written submission. Winners are decided right then and there, rather than by a group of judges before the awards.
B2C companies may do this by hosting industry-specific competitions for those who use their products.
A smaller B2C company could also hold a competition for its local users or target market. It could be as simple as a toy store holding a hula-hooping competition.
Like awards, competitions can be done without a live event, but then it is not “event marketing.”