Earning awards tells the world what your team is really, really good at

Hi package printers, designers and brands!

In this series of 3 blogs, I share the reasons why you should enter your printed #packaging work in awards competitions, how to get started, and a list of competitions to consider.

Earlier this week I published the 1st blog of this series “How to raise brand awareness on a budget”

I’ll do a quick recap: 

Earning “best of show” and other awards is an effective way to elevate brand awareness and tell the world what your team is really really good at. 


Short and sweet.

Before I share how to get started, I’d like to give you some really really really good advice.

Here it is:

Put a process in place for your awards program. If you do not, eventually there will be mistakes made.

Imagine this scenario:

Your team works hard to select the best competitions and packaging work to enter. You have approval from your client and your leadership team to move forward – then the most horrible thing happens:

Someone on the floor pulls a sample from the end of a production run and the raised varnish and process print is out of register under the loupe. No one checks it. Your team enters it and well, that is the end of that.

The judges catch this. And they wonder why you submitted it.

With a process in place, oversights like these tend not to happen. Identify critical control points in your process. In your roles and responsibilities (explained below) assign a senior executive in production to check all entries and also assign a production manager to make the pull. The senior executive gives final approval of the pull.

Cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Measure twice cut once. I know, you get it.

Ok, here is how you get started:

Pick an awards committee leader within your organization and add team members. It’s a good idea to include employees from different areas of the company such as R&D, customer service, production and marketing. Ask your awards committee leader to work with the team to research 10 competition opportunities and pick 3 to enter. (In the 3rd blog of this series, I suggest 10 competition picks)

Assign roles and responsibilities to the committee members.

Write out the awards entry process with your team. Include roles and responsibilities, actions required, deadlines and critical control points.

Roles and responsibilities might look like this:

Stanley B – production manager responsible for pulling the printed entry from the press and reviewing it with Dan B – VP Operations.

Kim S – team leader responsible for completing and submitting the forms.

Alan C – director of sales responsible for client approval etc.

It’s always a good idea to ensure the committee gets approval from the company leadership team early in the process – well before work is entered. If a leadership team member is on the committee – awesome – if not, schedule a quick overview with the leadership team to get their approval.

Choosing a competition:

Every competition is different and attracts submissions based on different qualifiers. Some competitions are highly technical and will judge entries on the level of difficulty and the execution of that difficulty while others will judge entries solely on print features and design attributes such as shelf appeal and creativity.

Choose the competition that is a good fit for your company. As you read through the rules and regulations this will become very apparent.

TIP: Read the rules of the competition carefully before disclosing proprietary information in an entry form. Your leadership team will help you decide what information can be included. Some competitions let you choose if technical information will be disclosed and published if you win an award.

Reminder: Always ask your client (the brand owner) for permission to submit their brand in any awards competition.

Most important is to HAVE FUN!

Bring your team together for a pizza lunch and share an update to keep them informed of any communications about the awards event.

I hope you enjoyed reading about how to get started. If you need help getting started, reach out to me. I have tons of experience leading teams to world class awards status and would love to share more tips!

On Thursday, I will post a blog with the names of 10 competitions that you may want to consider!


Have you set up an awards committee in your business? What are your critical control points?


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