12 Problems Associations Face When Running an Awards Program

One of the biggest challenges associations face when running awards programs is the submission and judging process. Staying organized, communicating with everyone, and making deadlines quickly becomes one of the most laborious parts of the entire program. Luckily there is an unexpectedly simple solution to these troubles: awards software. Awards software provides one online system that tracks, stores, and manages all stages of submission and judging. That means no more spreadsheets, binders, or form-builders. Does that sound too good to be true?

Well, it is true! In fact, more and more associations (such as the American Advertising Federation and the National Association of Broadcasters) have turned to awards software to manage the submission and judging process of their awards program. But what lead them to make this decision?

Here are 12 reasons why associations are looking into awards software:

  1. Managing emails, binders, and spreadsheets is frustrating and often results in copious amounts of overtime.
  2. Executive directors want to increase the number of submissions they receive each year, not only to highlight the values that their awards program showcases, but also to stay ahead of the game in their industry.
  3. But when the number of submissions does increase, the complexity level of an awards program dramatically increases as well. It becomes harder to organize and manage when you’re always playing catch-up with new entrants.
  4. Association administrators aren’t alone in the search for a better submission process. Members of associations who are applying for awards are also interested in finding a better system. As members conduct much other association business online (research, registering for conferences…) they are also looking for such a simpler, streamlined process for awards programs.
  5. Running an awards program is time-consuming, not only for those in charge but also for those on the awards team. Many executive directors wish to find a way to give their team members more time to focus on other tasks surrounding the program instead of spending all day updating spreadsheets and hunting for information. This is especially true for associations that run very large awards programs.
  6. When selecting judges for their awards program, executive directors want to find the most competent and experienced professionals in their industry. Often this means that these people are just as busy as the other members on the awards management team. Therefore, finding a simple, efficient way for judges to score submissions is important.
  7. One huge problem administrators face is the lack of a centralized location for submissions. This makes it harder to pull information when they need it.
  8. Another problem with running an association awards program through a variety of sites and processes is the lack of integration. There are too many manual processes that one needs to keep track of that lead to a greater risk of human error.
  9. Without an online system, communicating with applicants can be very difficult. Emails get lost or sent to multiple or incorrect emails.
  10. Finding an efficient way for judges to score submissions is difficult. Not all judges have the same method for scoring and without a specific format for them to follow awards administrators often receive judges scores in a variety of formats – written comments, numerical scores – and from a variety of sources – fax, email, mail.
  11. Awards administrators need to have reports for their awards program. But because information on the submissions is stored in various locations, it is hard and time-consuming to pull this information together.
  12. Most associations are looking for a sleeker and more visually appealing solution for their program. They want a submission site that looks like a professional, seamless extension of their site. Using a basic form builder can look tacky and diminishes the professionalism of the program.

Are you experiencing any of these difficulties throughout your submission process?

To find out how awards software can solve all of these problems download our FREE white paper!

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