7 Ways to Create Winning Industry Award Entries

Make your company stand out above the rest with an industry award like CTA’s TechHome Mark of Excellence. Here are 7 tips to elevate your entry.

Coleen Sterns Leith

When you're proud of your work, there's nothing like having your industry peers provide the endorsement that you have the best service, design or installation out there. Besides the feeling of personal achievement, industry awards speak volumes to your customers and prospects. 

We’ve submitted hundreds of client award entries for manufacturers and dealers over the past 20 years, and many have won, providing crucial marketplace credibility for their service or product.

I’ve also served as a judge for CTA’s TechHome Mark of Excellence awards that are presented each year at CES

Based on that experience, I want to share some tips for creating winning award entries.

1. Make the Time to Enter

Just like in the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t enter. When judging, I’ve seen product categories with only one entry. Guess who wins? 

2. Only Submit One Project or Installation per Category

For example, if you submit two projects for Luxury Home of the Year, you are cannibalizing your own entry. Don’t compete against yourself.

Enter the projects in different categories or if possible, enter them together to make a stronger entry.

3. If You're a Dealer, Work with Your Customers and Manufacturers to Submit Project Awards

Manufacturers are often open to working with their integrators as often times they don’t take the initiative to submit their own outstanding work.

If you are working on a newsworthy job, reach out to your manufacturers to see if they might be interested in working with you. Everyone wins with this approach.

Do you do commercial work? Submit to Commercial Integrator's 2017 Integration Awards

4. Plan Ahead… Way Ahead

Know what awards make sense for your company and plan those entries throughout the year.

Make sure you have photos at a minimum. Some entries accept videos also. Know that ahead of time so you can prepare an award that wins.

5. “Why Guess When You Can Ask?”

This is one of our company mantras. If you aren’t clear about how to answer a question or what category would be best to enter your service or project, ask. 

6. Answer Each Question Individually 

If the entry asks for benefits to the customer and a project summary, don’t cut and paste the same information for both responses.

You will typically have a limited number of words per entry question. Use these words wisely.

7. Make It Easy to See Why Your Project Should Win

It’s fine to use bullets instead of a paragraph of complicated specifications to organize your information. It’s much easier to absorb the content this way.

Author Coleen Sterns Leith is president of Marketing Matters.