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Awards schemes – Yes, is it the taking part that counts (at least it should be)

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They say the reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more – something we would all do well to bear in mind when it comes to applying for industry relevant awards.

Yes, the glamour of attending another black-tie event on a Thursday evening can quickly fade when it’s the third one you’ve been strong-armed into attending that month alone, and there’s an episode of Game of Thrones and a comfy sofa waiting for you at home.

Absolutely, the idea of standing up in a room full of people you barely know and posing awkwardly for a photo you dread appearing in press the next day is enough to bring you out in cold sweats.

Of course, giving ourselves such a publicly-scrutinised pat on the back is quite simply a cringe worthy and totally un-British thing for many of us to even consider doing.

So why do we put ourselves – and in our case the majority of our clients – through it?

Chosen well, it’s because the right awards ceremonies are far less about the glitz and all about the commercial gain. Being shortlisted alongside like-minded organisations – who by their very presence you can be sure are operating in sectors of interest to you and are doing well in business themselves – is for many the ultimate networking experience.

At the right awards do, not only should you find yourself in a room with people who have the power to make a difference to you and your business, but with those who undeniably stand to benefit from the service you are able to provide to them.

In the very best of scenarios, you will also have emerged as a category winner on the evening in question and in accepting your award effectively advertised not only your services but your complete and utter brilliance to a room full of hundreds of people – who by their own attendance also happen to be your target audience.

From this, you also have the glory of additional, positive and entirely free publicity for your organisation too.

In the other, sadly more common, scenario – the one where you don’t actually win and sit there with an awkward smile on your face and clap manically instead – the opportunities to network with your target audience are still there, and are yours for the taking in the most social of contexts you’re ever likely to have the advantage of taking in the business world.

Ultimately, applying for awards schemes should be approached in the same manner you would any other area of marketing for your business. Try and avoid getting bowled over by the overall glitz and glamour of an event and stay true to the questions that matter.

Who else will be applying for these awards who might be relevant to the business that I do? What kind of markets might can I expect to gain access to through entering this scheme? Where will my face and my brand gain exposure if I actually win?

Knowing the answers to all these questions and more before you put pen to paper can make all the difference when it comes to winning in the awards game – with the real prize being new business every time.

 

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