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  • Follow this Checklist When Planning a Juried Awards Program

     
    FROM THE Fall 2014 ISSUE
     

SIX MONTHS TO ONE YEAR IN ADVANCE:

  • Identify award categories and establish entry rules
  • Decide how entries will be submitted (in a binder, on a USB drive, all online)
  • Determine the cost to enter
  • Determine the process for judging
  • Determine specific program and marketing information required with submissions (logo, photos)
  • Determine the submission deadline (will there be an early-bird deadline?)
  • Create an application for submission
  • Identify who will handle the entries (note: Ideally, this is someone not entering the competition)

SIX TO EIGHT MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

  • Announce a call for entries
  • Begin marketing the competition
  • Recruit judges who are experts in the fields of the various categories that need to be judged
  • Create a judging form and tracking spreadsheet
  • Code each entry for tracking as it is submitted
  • Design the style of the actual award and determine what information will be included on each individual award
  • Confirm the venue for your awards program
  • Select an emcee, entertainers, photographer or other vendors needed for the awards program

TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

  • Entry submission deadline
  • Distribute all entries to judges for their review and grading or hold judging parties to gather all judges together
  • Set a deadline for judges to have their determinations back to the awards program coordinator
  • Begin preparing the script for the awards program
  • Determine your presenters
  • Send out invitations to the awards event

ONE MONTH IN ADVANCE:

  • Provide results to the awards program coordinator
  • Order awards for engraving
  • Begin building the awards program presentation for video screens
  • Notify awards finalists to ensure attendance

TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE:

  • Proof awards to ensure all information is correct and proceed with production
  • Hold a production meeting with the emcee to review how awards will be announced and which presenters will announce which awards
  • Provide the photographer with a shot list for the awards program
  • Finalize all details regarding the actual event

ONE WEEK PRIOR TO EVENT:

  • Finalize the script and video screen presentation
  • Prepare script cards for each presenter
  • Assign someone to handle social media announcements of award winners throughout the program

EVENT WEEK:

  • Pick up awards and do one final check that all are correct
  • Prepare registration check-in lists
  • Double-check all orders and deliveries for the event

EVENT DAY:

  • Set up the venue
  • Display awards so guests can’t read the winners
  • Check your program presentation media to make sure it is working

POST-EVENT:

  • Send a press release of award winners to the media
  • Post a complete list of winners on Facebook and your group’s website
  • Provide award winners with a winner icon that they can post on social media


Shelly Tolo is president of Tolo Events, an award-winning event production company headquartered in Seattle. Immediate past president of the ISES Seattle Chapter, she recently helped produce the organization’s 2014 Emerald City Applause Awards and the Esprit Awards Gala for ISES Live. To contact her, email shelly@toloevents.com or call 206.962.0012.

The following checklist is an abridged version of one created by the University of British Columbia’s Equity and Inclusion Office.

 

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