Scroll Top

Building sustainable awards: A roundtable discussion, hosted by the PPA

PPA recently hosted a breakfast roundtable focussed on building sustainable awards. Over coffee and pastries, some of the best brains in the business shared their insights, confronted challenges and revealed strategies for ensuring the longevity and relevance of awards.  As partners with the PPA, you can expect more collaborative content. Here are our top 5 takeaways from this event.

1: Awards create value beyond recognition

Awards can be seen as a ‘nice to have’ and are first to get deprioritised when budgets get cut. But actually, that’s incredibly short sighted. To secure the sale, event buyers need a deep understanding of the audience they are trying to influence – and as a sales person, you can give them this. To position the case for awards sponsorship, your sales team need to educate the buyer about the importance of emotional connection to the brand.Awards stir emotion and make us all feel proud.
  • They are a unique experience and drive emotional connection as well as an informal networking opportunity.
  • They provide a confidence boost, and elevate team morale.
  • Remember that awards offer more than just accolades – they contribute to a meaningful, emotional connection. Your awards audience will chose your event based on the trust and the emotional connection they have with their brand.

2: Differentiation matters

Setting your award apart from the competition can be a formidable challenge. To succeed, you need to demonstrate that your awards align with your clients’ needs, goals and objectives.Really understand your clients’ business and sources of pride, and identify emerging trends in your existing awards.
  • Understand your clients’ objectives, and build a package that will have the right impact on their audience to achieve these.
  • Teach your prospects things they don’t already know that offer value… and guide them to see that only your awards can offer this.
  • Prove the ROI and ROO of your award. Implement pre-event questionnaires to gauge the current status of participants. Follow up with post-event and six-month assessments to demonstrate tangible returns. Look at underwriting the levers you can control, and working with the client to help them drive results where they want to see them.
  • Solid ROI evidence can be a persuasive tool in selling your awards. Help them know what to measure and focus on ROO because this is provable

3: Awards only sell out in the last week

We’ve all been there. Nine months of effort result in a flurry of last-minute bookings. It’s stressful, it’s unpredictable, it’s exhausting, and it makes it hard to forecast. Effective selling comes easier with a 12-month sales strategy. Begin reengaging your prospects immediately after the event to start filling your pipeline for the year ahead. Consistent outreach makes the process smoother and more predictable.
  • Leverage editorial support to drive intrinsic value – use case studies to inspire and drive investment. Consider ‘spotlight on’ and ‘a conversation with’ articles to celebrate your winners and drive ROI for winners and entrants.
  • Extend the awards reach by featuring winners and shortlisted entrants in podcast, webinar and speaker engagements.
  • These elements ensure you bridge the gap between the sales cycle and the awards.

4: The brand isn’t working hard for you

We heard that awards don’t fall off a revenue cliff – they die slowly and over several years. To ensure this doesn’t happen to your brand, you need to ensure your event is current and relevant to an evolving audience – particularly in a post-pandemic world.
  • Is your research up to date?
  • Are you diversifying revenues?
  • What is the category offering?
  • Do you use an advisory panel?
It’s hard to invest in a product when budgets are tight, but it’s key to preventing a gradual decline in award relevance.

5: Embrace sustainability and inclusivity

Sustainability and inclusivity are no longer buzzwords, but essential considerations. Ensure your event can withstand scrutiny by embracing these principals.
  • Are your products inclusive? Consider introducing a bursary scheme to make your awards accessible. Seek sponsorship of the bursary to enhance perception and widen the audience pool.
  • Is your judging panel 50:50 gender split?
  • Keep checking on the sustainability credentials of your venue and products, and invest in cleaner, greener options.
In conclusion, implementing these key takeaways shared by our panel of experts, you can not only navigate the challenges of B2B awards sales, but also ensure their relevance and longevity in an ever-evolving landscape. Awards are so much more than recognition – they create meaningful connections, drive value, and leave a lasting impact.
If you would like to talk to us in more detail on how you can build sustainable awards or about our sales training please book a meeting in with one of our experts.
We do sales training differently and we see real tangible results. Read our case studies to see what impact we have made for our clients.

Related Posts