As RAC launches the 2011 Awards, Andrew Gaved gives some pointers on giving your entries the best chance to shine
This year’s Cooling Industry Awards offers all innovative firms and individuals in refrigeration and air conditioning the opportunity to win the industry’s most well-regarded accolades.
My task then this month is to give all you prospective entrants some general pointers as to how to make your entries shine. There is nothing more disappointing than to see the judges reject an entry because the applicant didn’t do enough to explain their project or product.
So here is my Rough Guide to getting on the shortlist for 2011. The categories and the web address are all listed overleaf.
- DO take note of the deadline and put some time aside to prepare your entries. It may sound obvious, but every year we see entries coming in at the last possible deadline that have clearly been written in a tearing hurry. These rarely win.
- DO read the categories carefully overleaf and check out the entry criteria on the website for your category, to make sure that your entry a) is eligible and b) contains the correct information
- DON’T just stop at one entering one category, if you have more than one worthy submission.
- DON’T enter the same project or product into several categories unless you are going to changing the entry to suit – the judges do notice.
- DO use the 1,000 words wisely. The judges want you to convey exactly what makes your entry a potential winner. If they are left thinking ‘I am still not sure why this should win’, there is something missing from the explanation.
- DO put relevant supporting material in as attachments – spec sheets and evidence of your claims are fine, entire product catalogues are not.
- DON’T leave important details in those attachments, expecting the judges to find them for themselves. Put the important stuff in the entry itself.
- DON’T go past that 1,000 word mark.
- DO use headings and paragraphs. An entry written entirely on a Blackberry does not get a warm reception when the judges read the printout.
- DO make sure that you include data and other evidence where possible to back up your claims.
- DO think about the quality of the photos you submit. If you are shortlisted, your photos will be printed in the Winners Brochure and projected onto a big screen in the Hilton. Do you want your company, project or product to be represented by a photo taken in the office car park?
- DO make sure you check out the three individual awards – Environmental Pioneer of the Year, the new Fred Jamieson Award for Industry Achievement and of course the Student of the Year
- DO enter – If you have done something great in the last year or are in the middle of doing something great, you stand a great chance of getting recognition. But you can’t win if you don’t get your entry in.