by Danielle Andrews, Co-founder of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc.
I have been marking and scoring A LOT of awards submissions lately. A lot! Literally hundreds. Over the years I have sat on the jury for Canadian Wedding and Event Industry awards, Wedding Industry Awards in the United States, Mexico, India, Vietnam, and the list goes on. I am currently in the process of being on the jury for the WOW Awards Asia 2023 and the Event Management Federal Global Awards in India. The weddings I am judging are incredible, and I absolutely love seeing the talent and execution of wedding and event professionals from around the world! But what keeps going through my mind is, why aren’t more professionals submitting to Wedding Industry Awards?
I have the pleasure of hindsight from all sides of wedding and event industry awards competitions, because we also produce the WPIC Wedding Awards, and I have won Industry Awards. That being said, I thought that I should share some tips about submitting to wedding and event industry awards.
My first tip would be:
Sadly, a lot of wedding and event professionals do not submit their work for award recognition. But the people who do submit, submit repeatedly, and there is a reason why. Awards recognition improves their business!
Why submit to Wedding Industry Award Competitions?
Submitting your work to Wedding and Event Industry Awards programs just makes good business sense. It’s not just a trophy on your shelf; winning an industry award is like earning special recognition that can make a big difference to future clients, gain respect among your business peers, and gain recognition and validity for your company.
“It’s an honour just to be nominated!”
We have all heard Hollywood award nominees make this statement. Well, it is actually true! Simply posting that you are a nominee in an awards category can be a great marketing strategy for you. The fact that you and your work are being evaluated for an excellence award is an amazing endorsement to potential clients and garners respect from industry peers.
Read the brief
Every awards competition uses a different platform and has different entrance requirements. Some awards producers want to see the event from concept to creation, some want referrals from vendors, and others want testimonials from clients. Some want video, while others only want photos. Others will want essays, while others require no writing or description at all. It is important to read what is being asked of you and provide everything that the producers require for your submission.
Mistakes people make
If you are going to make the effort to submit to an Industry Award competition, make sure you read the brief thoroughly and provide all of the information and documentation required. Here are some mistakes I have seen repeatedly:
- Over-complicating or making things too difficult for the judges.
- Attaching a link but not granting permission to view it.
- Writing too much. We have hundreds of entries to read, and we can not read your book.
- Writing too little. Please explain the highlights of your submission.
- Not providing context or explanation. If it is not self-explanatory please explain what we are looking at.
- Being too cocky. Confidence is great, but remember the judges are human, you do not want to put them off by talking down to them.
- Not providing enough photos. If the submission lets you upload 5 photos, upload 5 photos.
- Not providing everything asked for (ie. video or testimonials if required).
And my last tip,
Don’t be a sore loser
You have no idea what competition you were up against and what they presented. Do not contact the judges or producers afterward demanding to know why you didn’t win and insisting you were the best. You wouldn’t believe how many times this has happened. Be gracious, and if anything, ask how you could improve your submission next time. Remember, it was an honour just to be nominated!