12 Feb SpeakerBox Lunch and Learn: The Stevie Awards
Two of the best things about working at SpeakerBox are our unwavering commitment to professional development and always finding reasons to eat. Yesterday we got to do both.
Michael Gallagher, President of the American Business Awards for The Stevies came in to our office for a lunch & learn session about The Stevie Awards. If you’re new to the program, The Stevie Awards have been around since 2002, and were founded to recognize the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and professionals around the world.
There are currently six awards programs, with nominees from more than 60 nations. The programs include:
- The American Business Awards, now in its 14th year, that honors organizations in the US
- The International Business Awards, open to all organizations worldwide
- The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, recognizing the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region
- The German Stevie Awards
- The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, specifically recognizing sales, customer service, and call center professionals
- The Stevie Awards for Women in Business, honoring women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run (Including SpeakerBox!)
Having Michael in the office was a great opportunity to ask questions about the awards process, and what he’s seen in his time running the show. He shared that the most common question people ask is what category best fits their client or organization. It’s easy to get caught up in the long list of options. Everyone wants to be known for superior customer service, for being the most innovative company, for being the best employer…you get the gist. The best course of action is to really focus on what your client or organization specifically wants to be recognized for. An awards program isn’t the place to try to excel in a new area, stick to what you know. The good news is if you’re still having trouble, the Stevie team is available to help! Once you get it down to the last 4 or 6 categories you’re interested in, you can reach out to their help desk and they will work with you to pick the best category based on your nomination or qualifications.
Michael also shared the number one mistake you can make in the submission process – Not including supporting documents in the optional section. Once you’re in the form you’ll see there is an “optional” section for including additional supporting materials. Pro tip: this is NOT optional – you can think of something to support your nomination! After taking the time to craft a nomination (that you have proofread several thousand times) explaining why your organization is the best there is, it’s a waste not to back that up. You can attach just about anything, including press clippings, customer testimonials, videos, and infographics. At the very least, share a link to your website so the judges can get a feel for who you are.
The Stevie Awards introduce new categories every year, so if you have considered submitting a nomination but didn’t see one that fit the bill, check back. This year, for example, there are several new product categories and a lot of tech related categories. In addition to new categories, there are also new features of the awards. For example, there is a parallel “peoples choice” competition where anyone can vote for their favorite submissions. Currently there are three public vote competitions including New Products for the American Business Awards, Favorite Companies for the International Awards, and Best Customer Service for the Sales and Customer service awards.
Each Stevie Award nomination is judged by a scoring process to determine the list of finalists, and typically 30-40% of entries advance as finalists. Whether a finalist is a gold, silver, or bronze winner is typically announced at the awards ceremony, however this year the winners for the American Business Awards will be announced in advance.
If you’ve suddenly gotten inspired to show off how brilliant your company or employees are, start working on your nomination! The deadline for American Business Awards submissions is February 18th. If you think you’re going to forget, check out their new website and sign up for a text alert to remind yourself. Good luck!