How to make the most of your awards entry

Congratulations on getting through another busy year and rising to the challenge of an Australian Tourism Awards entry. Sometimes the process can feel like an additional burden for your team but thankfully, the time has come to reap the rewards.

To make the most of your entry and the gala ceremony, we’ve prepared a few helpful hints to guide you through awards night like a seasoned pro.

Our top tips

Click on titles for tip details:

One thing you can do to ensure you have a fabulous awards night is to temper your expectations. Try to use ‘whatever the outcome’ in your language with your team so they don’t feel the tension of the night like you are probably feeling. Remember that regardless of the outcome, it’s a good idea to express your gratitude to your team, your stakeholders and your competitors on the night. There will be time for reflection later when the judges’ comments are released but awards night should be viewed as a reward for a year of hard work. Just by making an entry, you and your team are kicking goals.

Consider preparing a few words of gratitude about your team and your business should you be called upon to make a speech or give a vox pop interview on the night. If you’re lucky enough to win, you will be asked to formally comment, resulting in a quote – so why not have some prepared. If you place (Silver or Bronze) you will still be having informal conversations with the industry and your team, so it’s handy to have a few positive pearls up your sleeve to prevent any unintended slip-ups in your comms.

Don’t leave this part to chance. iPhone images are needed to provide candid happy snaps and team images you can share with family and friends. They can also be used in internal comms, on your business and individual social posts on the night. Importantly, these images are available to you in real-time; as opposed to the official photos that take a few days to be released. On occasion these iPhone images make all the difference in securing local media coverage that goes to press immediately with your local hero news announcement.

We recommend that you ask your media team to prepare your awards comms ahead of time. You can site the details of the gala event; number of attendees (the ATA Gala is often called the tourism industry’s ‘night of nights’) the number of categories, the quality of the competition and you can write up your announcement with gold-silver-bronze as an interchangeable status that can be updated on the morning after the event. Finish off the job with your CEO’s quotable quote and appropriate images. Make sure you speak to your website content manager so they are poised to upload the news to your website and link the page to your follow-up social posts (FB, Linked-In).

In the days after the awards gala, you may wish to prepare a media backgrounder for local, regional, and state media enquiries. Your official images from the awards night will likely be used for this more extended business success story. Enlist your media team to pitch the story to relevant outlets (local press, local VIC network, regional tourism PR rep, and regional and national news outlets).

One of the best outcomes from an awards win or placing is the benefit to your team morale and the opportunity to refocus your team towards the business vision. You might consider asking for a thoughtful piece from your CEO in the days following the outcome of the awards.

It’s surprising how often our clients forget to promote their hard-earned awards logo through their marketing platforms and promotions. You’ve earned the right to show it off for one year only, so it’s worth making the most of it right from the start. Likely places to update and share your awards logo are: updates to your 2024 brochure (cover), your website and your team’s email signatures. Consider including the logo on web listings with third-party sites.

Give permission for your team to share the win on their personal social pages. You could also share the good news with your own professional networks.

That’s probably enough from us to ensure you are well prepared on the night and can make the most of a successful outcome.

Wishing you the very best of luck in the days ahead!

– Nelly and team.

Nelly Shaw Client Wins - Mornington Peninsula- Award and Grant Writer
Nelly Shaw Client Wins - Melbourne - Award and Grant Writer
Nelly Shaw Client Wins - Northern Territory - Award and Grant Writer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism
Nelly Shaw Client Wins - Melbourne - Award and Grant Writer