Comms Dealer Marketing Forum 2019: Why enter industry awards?

On Tuesday 19th November, our Head of Marketing, Lauren McManus, was invited to speak at the Comms Dealer Marketing Forum, providing valuable insight into the world of awards and the best practices for success.

Taking place at the offices of Gamma, in London, marketing professionals from across the Channel came together to share their experiences of entering awards. The event opened with a panel presented by Editorial Director of Comms Dealer, Nigel Sergent, addressing the importance of entering awards.

So how do awards benefit Digital Wholesale Solutions? In addition to industry recognition, Lauren highlighted the importance of staff appreciation. “From an internal point of view, it builds motivation and increases staff morale as they are recognised for their hard work.”

When asked if awards really matter to staff, Lauren remarked, “Absolutely. The amount of people who come up to me and say ‘Have we entered this?’ ‘Do we have a table?’ is astonishing. Just speaking with our Hosted Voice support team and the fact that they know that you’re writing a submission which features their work and their team, even if we don’t win, knowing that someone in their business cares about their work, is really important to them.”

The Channel is constantly growing, with new businesses entering the arena every year, bringing new competition for businesses both large and small. For smaller resellers, it might be intimidating to enter awards for the first time, but it is important to remember that anyone can win.

“At the Comms National Awards this year, there was an awful lot of new names and businesses we hadn’t heard of and they were smaller resellers and new businesses that we hadn’t seen within the Channel before. I think it’s really exciting that the Channel affords these smaller businesses opportunities to gain recognition,” commented Lauren.

For anyone wanting to enter awards, but not sure where to start, the key is in the preparation. All four industry experts agreed that you should never leave it to the last minute as it can show in your final entry. Speaking about how she prepares the awards entries for DWS, Lauren said, “I look at the categories and decide which ones are the best fit for us to enter, then I take a couple of weeks to think about the questions and how we can demonstrate our achievements. I start planning it and speaking to our teams and departments to get the relevant facts and figures before compiling the actual entry and sending it to our designer.”

In the second panel of the day, attendees got to hear from some of the judges of the Comms National Awards, who had a lot to say about whether entries should be beautifully designed or restricted to a simple template. Panellists were split on whether a visually pleasing entry helps or hinders an application, however, they could all agree on three core elements that every winning entry needs:

  • Directly answer the question – there’s no room for waffle
  • Stick to the word count – this is in place for a reason and exceeding the limit can cost you points
  • Let your company’s passion and personality shine through – businesses enter awards because they care about what they do and who they help, so let your enthusiasm flow freely

Whether you’re looking for the kudos from the industry, a new way to reward your staff or just the pride of being shortlisted for an award, here at DWS, we advise our partners to take advantage of these opportunities for exposure that awards can afford you. If your business is doing something that you are proud of, put your heads together and come up with an awards entry. You never know, you could be the next winner of a Channel award!

If you’re a partner and would like some advice regarding your next awards entry, contact us today and our marketing team will be in touch.

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