Your awards program is a critical aspect of your organization. Not only does it show the world that your organization is going places, but it’s a simple way to further your values, goals, and prestige.
Of course, important qualities like prestige don’t just appear on their own. In fact, one of the simplest ways to enhance your program’s prestige is by selecting the perfect judges. By doing so, you can take your program to the next level by finding judges with the right qualifications and industry experience to add legitimacy and desirability to your program.
An Awards Program Review: Putting the Importance of Judges to the Test
Still not quite sure why choosing the perfect judges is important? No worries; to illustrate let’s look at a real life example to show that when it comes down to it, the best awards programs always have the best judges too.
Let’s say that you run a fashion magazine and you enter an awards competition. Are you going to want recognition from Joe Schmo or an iconic American fashion designer like Michael Kors?
Michael Kors of course!
Think about it: getting your magazine recognized by a famous fashion designer adds legitimacy and prestige to your brand. After all, one of the top industry experts thinking you’ve got what it takes adds a lot more weight to the prestige of the award. And, when you’re forming your own awards judging panel, the same rules apply.
Of course, once you’re able to secure an industry giant for your judging panel, letting the world know all about it is essential! And, through a press release, you can create publicity and a resource that you can use throughout your program on social media and to keep excitement high.
Finding Your Judges
Now that you know how important judges really are for your awards program, you have to figure out how to find the perfect ones for your program. While this can seem overwhelming because there is so much riding on your decision, there’s no need to worry. Below, you’ll find some general guidelines that will help simplify your decision.
- Industry-Related Expertise – Because your judge needs to be an expert in your industry, finding someone with industry-related expertise is a must. Of course, industries are large, so getting someone within your specific niche is even more important. Going back to our fashion magazine example, if your magazine is specifically for females in their 20s and 30s, you wouldn’t want a menswear designer judging your contest. Instead, you would want a designer with a youthful, female-focused brand heading up your panel.
- Sourcing Your Judges – Judges can come from multiple places, even after you narrow down your selection by industry-specific expertise. In fact, judges can come from your clients, employees, general industry experts, or even previous award winners. However, keep in mind that if your program is geared toward your employees, choosing employees as judges won’t be your best idea.
- Relevance is Key – There is no formula for finding your perfect judges (tragic, we know). However, keep your goal focused on finding judges that are relevant to your awards and your goals. By doing so, you can add to the prestige and legitimacy of your program.
Judges can truly make or break an awards program, especially for organizations that are on the fast track for growth. Now that you know not only why picking the right judges for your program is important but also how to approach selection, prestige and legitimacy for your program can be simpler than you think.
How do you choose your judges to ensure that your program gets the prestigious reputation you want? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!