Enter, attend, or do neither - Why should you be entering business awards?
As the awards season approaches, people and businesses will be finding themselves torn over whether to enter, attend or do neither. But don’t assume awards are just about stroking egos and getting inebriated; they offer significant benefits.
You only have to cast your mind back to early summer to see why. Arthur Sadoun, the new CEO of Publicis Groupe, famously announced the company was pulling out of next year’s Cannes Lions International Festival so it could focus on its new AI assistant programme, Marcel.
Publicis’ move was out of character, especially as the festival was hitting full stride, so the decision raised more than a few eyebrows across creative and marketing agencies.
Sitting out robbed Publicis of the chance to win awards that many view as career-defining achievements. It could also leave them exposed to poaching by rival creative agencies.
No matter the size of your agency or consultancy, you can and should enter awards. But with such a huge variety you must be careful to select the most relevant to you.
It’s important to weigh up the time and effort it would take to enter against the potential gains. To help, here are five simple reasons that awards make good business sense:
1. Free marketing
Awards are often overlooked as a tool within your marketing arsenal but just being shortlisted can improve brand awareness and promote your business to potential clients. If you’re shortlisted, ensure you maximise your PR exposure and update all your marketing materials, including email signatures and your website.
Attending a glitzy awards ceremony or dinner is a great night out, but it can also yield fantastic networking opportunities for your business and the individuals within it.
The awards application process can force you to look at your business from a different perspective, allowing you to step out of your bubble and take a glimpse in. We all want to be above the competition, whether that’s through creativity, strategy, client services, innovation or people. This process will help you think about this and highlight the areas that still need improvement.
All too often, we see businesses consumed by delivery and its people blinkered by the detail of the day job, but reflection is crucial. If you can do it, the benefits that ripple through your business could be more valuable than the award itself.
An award win, shortlisting or nomination can act as a third-party endorsement for your business. It gives the seal of approval, signals your expertise to potential clients and helps build relationships with suppliers. Use such awards to differentiate your business from your competitors and send positive signals to both your existing and potential clients.
Morale is one of our favourite reasons to get on board with awards. They recognise your team’s hard work and achievements and winning one can boost motivation across your group. Being part of an awards process also unites everyone with a single hope… to win! Your colleagues can focus on what’s great about the business and feel proud to be a part of it.
5. Talent spotting
The best employees will be attracted to the best businesses and awards can give you the edge on recruitment. Winning one allows you to highlight your abilities to potential hires, be they millennials or executives.
Attending awards also keeps you up to date on where the best talent lies, allowing you to understand your competition and perhaps even poach people within it.