Five Insider Tips to Submitting Award Winning Entries

Entering award competitions is important for event professionals—not just to win but also for the experience. Valuable lessons come from the time and effort spent preparing your entry, and the application process represents an excellent opportunity to pause, review, and take stock of your business while offering a chance to set team goals for the upcoming year.

Here are my five insider tips for making all that effort pay off and bettering your chances of winning.

Use Relevant Photos

Nothing frustrates a judge more than reading a fantastic description and then flipping to the images, and they say nothing about the event. You describe all the significant components of your events, such as the food, décor, AV or entertainment, and then you offer photos of a flower arrangement or ice sculpture. The images must mirror the story you tell in your description, or sadly, your entry could be penalized. A winning entry can lose out because the photos were poorly chosen. You don’t need to have million-dollar shots…they need to match the writing.

2. Tell The Event Story, Not Your Story

Keep your focus on the event’s story. Try to stay on course and add extraneous information that is relevant to the category. For example, if your event was a non-profit, explaining a little about the charity’s goals makes sense if it helps support your objective statement or provides context to the branding decisions. Just be sure to make it brief.

Don’t Oversell It

Sometimes, less is more. The judges need more time and a lot of entries to go through, which can take days to complete. Not only do they need to review every entry, but they need to remember them and be able to compare one to the other. Use BOLD statements with clear, snappy writing so the judges will understand the event’s message and why you think it was award-worthy without getting lost in flowery language.

Tell Them You Deserve It

Please do not be shy about stating that your event deserves to win, but be sure to back it up. In your objective statement, clearly show your event’s value, the work done, and the project’s outcome. Provide reference points for judges to look for in your overall description. In life and business confidence is key; use that same philosophy in your entry. It does make a difference.

Write For The Judging Criteria

Most award programs give you the judging criteria in advance. If the judging criteria are creativity, logistics and meeting objectives, and these are the only things being judged, then focus on these things in your entry and forgo the extra 10 hours of work on the copy that doesn’t relate. While sending in a thorough and powerfully written entry is critical, it’s more important to address the items that will earn you points. For example, you may have been passionately in love with the table treatments in your event; you designed the idea, you had them made, you talked about them on social media.. but if you are entering Most Outstanding Event, your judges will not focus on these centers so why mention them. Move on to BIG scoring areas instead. 

Best of luck with your event awards, and if you need tips or ever want to chat about your process, feel free to connect with our team on Facebook or IG


The deadline for the Canadian Event Industry Awards is coming up soon. The last day to enter is April 10, 2022. The 25th Anniversary Canadian Event Awards Gala will occur on July 13, 2022. There are 50 NEW award categories covering almost every industry sector, from wedding planning or AV design achievements to catering, décor, lighting, entertainment, non-profit, venue events and more. You don’t need to be a member of any organization to enter if your event meets the qualifications. Learn more and submit your entries at www.canadianeventawards.com.