10 top tips for creating a winning awards entry
The entry deadline for the 2018 Parking Industry Awards is Thursday 19 July, so the sooner you send in your entries, the better. Here are 10 tips on what to include, and what to leave out, in order to maximise your chances of success.
- Keep it simple
Be clear and specific. Ensure your entry is easy to explain concisely, give some background and outline your objectives and strategy. Give specific examples – facts, not fluff – and avoid jargon.
- A clear format
Structure your entry. For example, say what the issue was, what you did and what the outcome was. Be consistent, logical and tell a story. Creating a narrative can help keep the judges’ attention.
- Answer the question
For example, if you are entering the award for excellence in technology and innovation, telling the judges what systems you have invested in is great, but they will also want to see the impact this has had on the business. Make sure you check the criteria for the category.
Provide solid evidence against the criteria. Spell it out – avoid vague generalisations. To give your entry the best possible chance be sure to include parking measures such as car park counts or traffic measurement, as well as business measures, such as customer service or profitability.
- Stick to the word count
Judges have many entries to review, so keeping your entry within the word limit will work in your favour. Don’t include too much extra literature – make sure any supporting documents are relevant, not just included for the sake of bulking out your entry. The message will come across far more clearly if you can describe the project with energy and passion in a few short words than if you submit huge amounts of generic supporting material that is unlikely to be read.
- Keep timescales in mind
If you are still in the middle of an initiative, make sure you can demonstrate some results, rather than simply speculating what the impact might be in the future. Preference will be given to completed actions rather than prospective results.
- The business case
Try to relate your initiative to the requirements of the business – how did it support the business and what was the return on investment? Tell the judges what business problem you were trying to resolve and how your solution helped in commercial terms. Show how the initiative was done for the business not just for the department.
- Be passionate
Ask someone objective to read your entry. If they are not impressed, our judges won’t be either. Tell them why you are passionate about your project and why they should care about it. If your project has saved money, what is that money worth to your organisation? Provide context so the judges can understand the scale of what you have achieved.
- Proof read your entries
Make sure your entry has been carefully read by at least one other person not directly involved in compiling it before you send it in. Spelling mistakes and typos can ruin an otherwise sound entry. You’ll be surprised how many judges have bemoaned entries that are simply confusing and complex.
- Start now
Give yourself plenty of time to put together a solid entry – keeping in mind that it only takes a couple of hours to put together a good submission. Make sure you plan your submission by reading through the category criteria.