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The Great Hall, 7 March 2024

Top tips

Businesses, organisations and individuals should nominate themselves in the relevant categories.
We’re keen for you to have the best possible opportunity of impressing our Judges with your Nomination, so check out our 13 Top Tips below on writing a winning one!

1. Consider the judging criteria
Winners are chosen by the Judges weighted on the following criteria:

  • Clear evidence of business/organisation excellence in the year 50%
  • Clear evidence of longer-term excellence 15%
  • Civic/ESG/values 15%
  • Quality of Nomination 15%
  • Testimonials 5%

2. Give measures of success
Explain clearly why your year has been so good.

For example, are your sales up? Have you taken on more people? Entered a new business area, launched a new product or opened up another outlet? Invested in the company’s future? Increased marketing successfully? Won an award? Or even acquired a company?

What have you been proud to achieve this year? What does success look like for you?

Quantify your success. Give tangible examples.

3. Longer-term excellence
How has your business developed? Indicate your success and quality over a longer period, whether a few years or longer.

4. Imagine being a Judge
The Awards are decided by our independent Judges. They’ll read your Nomination carefully and discuss what you’ve said. They – and they alone – will decide, collectively.

There will be several Finalists shortlisted in each category. Imagine what it’d be like being a Judge picking through all those nominations. Make it easy for them. Explain your achievements clearly with key points.

Think what the Judges will want to know.

Finish this sentence for them: “I think XYZ should win because…”

5. Marshal your case across categories
You can enter as many categories as are relevant to your business or organisation. And of course you could win two or more.

Two options:

  • Either provide extra information relevant to each category in Question 5 of the Nomination form
  • Or if the information in additional categories is significantly different, then complete a separate nomination form

6. Explain your values
How has your business contributed to the city? What are your values, from sustainability to diversity? How well run is your organisation and how do you look after your teams?

As with the business success section, quantify what you do. It’s worth 15%.

7. Take care on your entry
Quality of Nomination carries 15% of the decision. But more than that, make sure you demonstrate to Judges that you have taken the process seriously, with decent attention to detail and have been as thorough as they will need.

You don’t have to use up all the suggested wordcounts. But a thin nomination with throwaway one-liners won’t win. Likewise unanswered questions.

And to emphasise: please do add extra information in Q5 if you are entering more than one category.

8. Awards are open to all
The Awards are free to enter and can be won by any company: first timers, previous winners, advertisers, non-advertisers. If you’re in the area and have had a strong performance in one of our categories, then you can win.

It’s a fresh panel of judges each time.

9. Make sure you qualify
Winners need to be based within approximately 20 miles of the city. If you’re close enough and much of your business is here, then you’ll be in. One exception:  a Bristol-based business can’t enter the Bath Life Awards, nor conversely.

Business Services is not for Legal or Financial companies, which have their own categories.

The Civic category is for companies and organisations: Charities should enter the Charity category.

New Business: companies need to have begun no earlier than July 1st 2022. Please give your starting date.

10. Gather testimonials
Please submit up to three testimonials of which you are most proud. The more specific the better. And please make sure all testimonials are from the past 12 months.

11. Supporting material
There is the option to supply up to four A4 pages of additional material. The more visual and/or case study-based this is, the better. If you think it will help your case, then please add it. Likewise if you think competitors might.

12. Enjoy the Nomination process!
This is one of the very few opportunities in professional life to tell people about just how and why your business or organisation is exceptional. We all work so hard, all believe so strongly in what we do.

So enjoy the chance to reflect on your business, assemble your arguments and then to say EXACTLY why you are great.

13. Keep 7 March 2024 clear!
Just imagine how great it would feel to win a Exeter Living Award…

Good luck.