B2B tech awards: Tips for getting submissions right
There are countless B2B tech awards to vie for each year, often with umpteen categories to sift through. It feels like a black art for entrants but there are some basic things that will maximise your chances.
I’ve managed numerous award entries for clients over recent years, the majority of which have been shortlisted. Over 25 per cent went on to win, so here’s what I’ve learned from the experience to help your next awards endeavours.
Picking the category
Before you even think about the category, identify the most successful projects you’ve delivered.
This makes it infinitely easier to understand where you should focus your efforts in B2B tech awards.
It never works as effectively if you identify the category and then try to mould the project to fit it.
If you don’t have a great project, I suggest passing on that year’s awards. It will save you time and money (and disappointment!).
Review the criteria thoroughly
It sounds really obvious but it is critical that your entry addresses every single aspect of the criteria.
Failing to do so will immediately put it at a disadvantage when judges review it alongside completed submissions.
You are not going to be given a chance to correct this after it’s been submitted, so get it right first time around.
Watch the word count
As with the above, if there’s a word count make sure you stick to it. It’s not an optional thing in B2B tech awards.
The judges have to leaf through multiple submissions and the word count is designed to help them compare likely for like levels of detail.
Get your strongest wordsmith to craft the copy or at the very least, edit down the content you’ve pulled together to keep this in check.
If you don’t have a copy writer to hand, write your responses in Word to make it easy to check the count throughout the drafting process.
Think about the narrative
Typically the entry form will guide you through the specific elements you need to cover but remember your entry still needs to tell a story.
Don’t view the elements as isolated sections. Instead, use them to piece together a narrative flow so the story progresses from one to another.
At the heart of great storytelling is the idea that, despite it being your award submission, your customer is the hero and not you.
Show the human impact your work has had and it will resonate far more with the judges.
Answer the questions
Despite the fact you need to tell a story, you have to answer the questions directly. The narrative can’t lose sight of the facts you need to provide.
Get an independent person – someone who has not been involved in pulling the award together – to sanity check this point specifically before you submit it.
Most B2B tech awards ask for quantifiable evidence, so you need to be clear on what you can and can’t include about projects.
Sometimes there can be a degree of sensitivity around disclosing numbers, but you can clarify in the submission what is and is not able to be disclosed publicly.
If they are requested, and you don’t have any to include, give serious thought about investing time and money in the submission.
Even if an award doesn’t ask for numbers, I would always encourage you to include them. They could be the element that makes the difference.
Right person, right time
I learned this the hard way. Fortunately I was able to rectify it immediately and it didn’t impact the final outcome.
Send it to the specific person it needs to reach, packaged as required in the criteria.
Crucially, make sure you aim for the first deadline. There’s no guarantee of an extension so don’t rely on it. It’s not a risk worth taking!