Tips for a Better Product of the Year Awards Entry

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff March 25, 2005

Avoid some of the pitfalls of a bad award entry with Consulting-Specifying Engineer to enter or win.

1. Enter early. Each year, we receive some entries with a fatal flaw: some information is missing or misleading, the illustration is not suitable for publication, the entry form isn’t signed, etc. When we receive

2. Remember that judges review only the material you submit. Our screening judges who select the 100 finalists from all of the entries make their evaluations only on the materials you send with your entry. You can’t expect them to have any knowledge of your specific product other than the information you send. So put your best foot forward, and include any and all information that will help them make an informed decision. Do not use “see attached”. Tape a paragraph to the front of the form if you need more space for your information. Submitting video tapes, computer disks, or product samples won’t help, because the judges will be reviewing only printed materials. Please do not encase your information in plastic or send a binder. We will staple each entry form to the front of a file jacket with documentation inside for uniformity

3. Include a digital, high-quality (300 dpi resolution), color illustration or photo — on CDrom — that clearly shows your product. Illustrations in brochures and most other preprinted materials can’t be used for publication in Consulting-Specifying Engineer cessing; what you send is what we use. Send an illustration that shows your product simply and attractively. We will no longer accept e-mailed graphics.  High resolution art should be saved on a CDrom and submitted with the entry.

4. Emphasize the benefits and usefulness of your product. Just listing a lot of product specifications won’t help a judge who isn’t already intimately familiar with your product. Describe how the product’s features solve a real-world problem, save money, or offer advantages. And put this information right up front in your product description. If it’s buried several paragraphs down, a judge may not see it or realize it’s importance. Your job is to convince the judges that they should be specifying your products in their building projects.

5. Support claims with facts. Don’t just say your product is

6. Enter only products that are truly new and Each year, we must disqualify some products that are just older products with

7. Make sure your entry is complete. The rules are clear. Read them carefully, and double check that all required materials are included, that all information is provided, and that the official entry form is signed.

8. Be honest. If the judges have reason to believe that you’ve provided any misleading or false information, your entry will be disqualified, no questions asked. Don’t invent introductory dates, names of divisions or subsidiaries, or any other information. Unless your company is the sole source for a product, don’t claim a product manufactured by someone else as your own.

9. Call, if you have a question. We’ll be happy to provide you any assistance we can. We may not be able to give you a definitive answer — after all, we’re not the judges — but we can help with interpretation of the rules and many other questions you might have. Direct questions to Pat Mustari at 630.288.8775.Category clarification(s): (a)Power Generation category includes such products as power generation and back-up power solutions

10. Do not ask for a deadline extension or other special considerations. There is adequate time for you to prepare your entry and send it to us before the deadline. And granting an extension or any other special consideration is unfair to those who respected the rules.