Imagine this: You’re an Event Marketer in charge of more than a dozen award programs and until now, you’ve relied on a generic event management software to organize each. But, the software wasn’t designed for awards programs, so you have to adjust and customize everything dozens of times, just to create some semblance of a functional system.
This was the reality for Maggie Keller of Haymarket Media Group. At least, it was until she made the switch to the OpenWater Award Platform. With a system designed specifically to manage awards, all the pain of making things work has disappeared. “Everything has gone really well. If I have a question, people get back to me quickly and always return with a solution.”
Haymarket Media Group is a UK based media company with publications in the consumer, business, and customer sectors. Its current portfolio includes dozens of business and consumer magazines and websites including Autosport, PRWeek, SC Magazine, and Media Week, to name a few.
With so many awards programs in need of management, Maggie and the entire team of Event Marketers at Haymarket needed a better solution. Preferably, she needed one that was simple to learn and easy to execute.
Tired of Hearing “No”? You Should Be.
Many event marketers do the same thing: They rely on unfit software (or no software at all) to manage an awards program. Add in almost 1,000 entrants to programs like PRWeek and you’ve got yourself a sure disaster.
“Our previous software was for events, but it wasn’t for awards shows. I was tired of asking to do things and always being told “no.”” This particularly problematic since the awards were so highly visible with their target audience. The various awards programs brought in revenue, but they also attracted a great deal of attention and engagement for Haymarkets various publications. Haymarket was holding itself out as a judge of the “best of the best” in various industries, yet the award program looked decidely amatuer.
Maggie needed a system that reflected the first class image of Haymarket and its publications. Luckily, she found it in OpenWater. “Everything was easy. The website was easy to create and looked great, even with just the template. Judging was simple and I wasn’t getting the massive amount of questions that I used to. This is meant just for awards shows, so it’s easy to do things.”
“It’s Easier for Entrants and It’s Easier for Me”
Awards programs need to please a number of audiences: Entrants, judges, and the organization itself. For Haymarket, the awards program is a public representation of the company and its brand before some of their most important customers. Needless to say, the experience of entering and running has to work well and look good.
As Maggie explains, “Awards are another component that make people aware of our brand and what we can do.” Haymarket uses their awards programs to highlight “best of the best” across a range of industries, so the programs themselves need to reflect that level of excellence.
Visible Success Year Over Year
How do you measure success? Is it in metrics? Profitability? The number of entries? All of the above?
Keeping track of so many programs can be incredibly challenging, if not impossible, without the right tools. Exporting data, updating spreadsheets, and tabulating results can take hours. But with OpenWater, reports are intuitive and instantly available. With a few quick clicks you can see exactly how each program is doing in real time, compare this year’s numbers to last year’s, or set target goals and monitor your progress along the way.
With the numbers in hand you can easily compare profitability or the number of entries in each category. You can see which are popular and which are becoming obsolete. And, most importantly, you can evaluate high-level and specific trends that ensure your organization continues to serve the interests of your audience.
When Entrants Know They’re Competing to be the “Best,” Everything Changes
Haymarket’s many awards programs have several things in common: Each sets benchmarks of the best in their respective industries, leaving entrants eager to receive the email announcing the call-for-entry period. And when you have audience members excited to enter year after year, you know you’re doing something right. As Maggie explains “Having the trophy or logo from one of Haymarket’s award programs help these organizations and companies. They’ll know they’re the best of the best and showcase this accomplishment in as many ways as possible.”
With OpenWater, training was simple. Use was even simpler. Measuring success left nothing to question. And with a system built for awards, Haymarket has been able to efficiently command and execute each program.
Doing so takes a lot more than a generic event management system built to organize events. Luckily, OpenWater is a whole lot more.