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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

How do you get the most out of an award ceremony even if you didn't win

Five practical tips to get the most out of attending award ceremonies

Entering awards can be a significant investment for small businesses. Apart from the cost of submitting an entry, the time and effort spent preparing and attending the ceremony can be time-consuming. But what if you don't win on the day? Should you consider it a waste of resources? Not necessarily. In this blog post, I'll share some tips on how to make the most of your awards ceremony investment even if you don't win.

1. Network

One of the most significant advantages of attending awards ceremonies is the chance to network with other businesses. You can expect to meet other entrepreneurs, industry experts, and potential clients. To make the most of these opportunities, set yourself a target to meet and connect with a certain number of people. Be open, confident and introduce yourself to other attendees. You might want to prepare some conversation starters in advance. Make sure to exchange contact details, and don't forget to follow up within 24 hours with a personalised note. You can also attach any photographs you took during the event and highlight any shared interests or business synergies that you discovered.

2. Generate social media posts

Attending awards ceremonies can also help boost your social media presence. You can generate several social media posts from one event, depending on the different angles and topics you cover. For instance, you can post congratulatory messages to the winners, talk about the atmosphere in the venue, or showcase the goodie bags you received. Be sure to tag the people you met or talked to in your posts, including the hosts and winners. Social media coverage can attract new followers and improve your online visibility.

3. Write a blog

Winning an award is a great achievement, but it's not the only recognition that matters. Even if you don't win, you can still capitalise on your attendance by writing a blog post about the event. Share your experience, impressions and highlight any standout moments. You can also mention the winners and link to their websites. Writing about an awards ceremony can provide you with an opportunity to showcase your writing skills, establish yourself as an industry thought leader and improve your website's SEO. Make sure your blog post has a catchy title and is easy to read. Don't forget to tag the event organisers, winners, and other attendees and share your blog post on social media.

4. Analyse your performance

After the awards ceremony, take a moment to reflect on your performance and the effectiveness of your entry. Did you achieve your objectives? Were there any missed opportunities? Evaluate your efforts and use the feedback to improve your strategy for future awards schemes. Identify any areas you can improve, and start preparing early. Enter more categories or improve your category selection and work on enhancing your presentation materials to ensure they're on point.

5. Motivate the team

Win or lose, an awards ceremony provides a great opportunity for you and your team to take a break from work and let your hair down. It’s a chance to have fun and celebrate your business's achievements. Make sure you organise and take part in fun activities or team building exercises around the event. Also, use the experience to boost staff morale and team motivation. It will remind your team that their hard work is recognised and valued.

Winning an award at an industry event is a notable achievement, but even when you don't win, you can still reap benefits from attending. Maximising the value of the awards ceremony requires careful planning and execution, but it will pay dividends in the long term. So, keep networking, generate social media posts, write a blog, capture memories, and motivate your team. Doing so will positively impact your business and help you build new connections with other industry players. Remember, attending awards ceremonies isn't just about winning—it's about making the most of the opportunity.

Interesting in more tips for entering awards? Then read 5 reasons to enter your business into awards and good luck if you're about to enter an award or go to an award ceremony!

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