COVID-19: Information regarding Boost and the Awards Industry
Are awards still going ahead?
In the vast majority of cases, the answer is ‘yes’.
Our survey of awards organisers (see full article here) and our continuous monitoring of the awards industry shows that most awards with events in the next few months are delaying the ceremonies, with a smaller number making them online only. A significant number are also delaying their entry submission deadlines.
Award schemes run all year round though, so a majority have their main event from October onwards and are not announcing changes yet.
Is it worth entering this year?
Yes, indeed, If not more so. Three main reasons are:
- People and businesses become more discerning about spending their budgets during economic downturns. Awards are a cost-effective means of reassuring potential buyers.
- In terms of morale, people need a lift, and awards do just that – even if there isn’t a dinner.
- Entry numbers will inevitably be down, so this is an opportunity when you statistically are more likely to win.
What happens if I pay to enter an award and they cancel on me?
We’ve seen extremely few examples of awards accepting entries, and then cancelling. Most awards are backed by large publishing brands, events companies and business associations/institutes who understand how bad this would be for their reputation. Our recent research (see full article here) shows that ‘a delay’ is by far the more popular approach. Typically, we’re seeing a three month delay for the main awards event.
How do I keep track of changing dates and deadlines?
Please be reassured that our team is always actively monitoring awards deadlines, and during the current crisis, we’ve literally doubled our efforts here. Our Awards List sites remain incredibly popular, with thousands of users every month, so we take our responsibility very seriously.
Is Boost still able to help me enter?
Yes, Boost is still completely open for business, although working from home rather than our two offices. The whole team is here for each other and our clients. See below for some ways we can help you.
If my budget has been reduced, how can I still enter but save costs?
When helping clients with their awards strategies, we often recommend the following tactics when budgets are tight:
- Create a thorough plan and budget, then stick with it. Entering stories into awards in an unplanned way, like firing from the hip, is very wasteful and not a strategic approach. Our Awards Strategy service can help here.
- Thoroughly evaluate your stories before you write them up, so you don’t waste time and budget entering stories unlikely to win. We can help here with our Story Assessment service.
- Reduce the number of stories you write up to just one or two flagship stories. After all, writing up a story for the first time is the most time consuming and expensive exercise.
- Reduce the number of events you attend (so focus on multiple categories for a few award schemes, rather than one category in lots of awards).
- Collaborate with Boost on a shared responsibility basis. Our preference (and that of most of our clients) is that we own entries (writing, evidencing and graphic design), but if budget is tight, then we can delegate some jobs back to your team and reduce the bill accordingly.
What does Boost do?
We get asked this a lot – and it’s because we’re quite unusual! Simply put, we’re a company that helps businesses to enter and win awards. We are unaffiliated with any awards organiser although sometimes we sponsor award categories. We’ve lots of experience in entering hundreds of different awards across all sectors. Entering awards is our day job, and with 11 years’ experience and a dedicated team of writers, impact evaluation specialists and other support staff, we bring a unique combination of expertise and skills to help maximise your chances of winning.
How much do you charge?
Awards can vary tremendously in terms of what’s involved in the entry process and how much support you need from us, so, therefore, we price each award entry on a project-by-project basis. Things taken into account when quoting include:
- The level of support you require from us (it could be writing the whole submission from scratch, including design work, or just sense checking your draft).
- The awards being entered (some require a great deal of content and supporting evidence while others may be just a few hundred words).
- The number of stages involved in the entry process (some awards ask for a written entry only, others may have multiple stages – for example, a presentation).
- How much content is recycled from other entries (sometimes we can reuse content to enter other awards or categories).
Once we’ve provided a quote and if you’re happy, as long as the scope stays the same, we won’t charge more. There are no hidden extras and no surprise invoices; the only additional thing we would charge for are external expenses which are charged at cost.
To enquire about pricing for a potential awards project, please get in touch.
How much notice do you need?
We understand that awards aren’t always your priority, and often a deadline can creep up, leaving you with little time to put together an entry. Therefore, we’re well used to resourcing projects at short notice. However, a better way to manage your awards plan, is to leave the planning to us – let us manage your awards strategy, and you’ll never miss a deadline.
Do you help people get personal honours & Queen's honours?
No. We never help individuals self-nominate for honours schemes like MBEs, CBEs, Peerages etc. These schemes do not welcome self-nomination, so from an ethical standpoint, we have chosen not to be involved in any way with such activity. The Cabinet Office specifically states that it ‘does not endorse the use of fee-charging drafting services’. We, therefore, respect this.
Isn’t it just the big companies that win awards?
We cannot stress enough how wrong this common assumption is. Many of the most prolific winners of national awards that we know are small to medium-sized enterprises.
Will you be honest about our chances of winning?
We pride ourselves on our honesty and ethics and like to be transparent about when we aren’t fully confident that an entry will be successful. There are a few reasons why this can sometimes be the case:
- It’s simply too early to really see the impact of an initiative – enough to impress the judges. We often advise companies to wait and try again next year.
- There’s a condition of entry in the small print that isn’t met (for example, if the end date of a project has to be within a specified timeframe).
- The evidence of achievement is impossible to find, no matter how hard we search.
- The evidence, when uncovered, actually proves that the programme was not outstanding after all.
N.B. If during the process of writing an entry, it’s discovered there’s a strong case for pulling it, we reserve the right to charge for time already invested. We believe it’s better to be honest in order to save further time, money and possibly disappointment.
Who enters the submission? You or us?
Do we need to sign a non-disclosure agreement?
We regularly sign non-disclosure agreements with clients and are always happy to do so. Whether we sign one or not, we will treat all information provided as confidential and won’t share it outside the Boost team. We also won’t publish the fact that we work with you on our website or in marketing communications of any sort without your permission.
What happens if another company asks you to write a competing submission?
We don’t write competing submissions for single-winner awards categories. Some awards, like the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, have multiple winners in each category. We’re happy to write multiple submissions for the same category for awards like these. When awards have regional and national phases, this policy applies on a regional basis only.
I run awards but can't see them in your list?
No problem, it’s easy to add your award here – we can also do further promotion for a small cost. Our awards database is continually growing as new awards are launched throughout the year. We try to be as accurate as possible, but, obviously, with thousands of awards and a wide variation in entry formats and dates, we advise visiting the awards website for the latest information. If you do spot anything that needs updating, please feel free to get in touch and let us know.