To attend or not attend the awards is the question…

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As we start to enter the awards season we often find people and businesses are torn as to whether they should enter, attend or do neither.

You only have to cast you mind back to early summer when Arthur Sadoun, the new CEO for the Publicis Group famously announced that they were pulling out of next year’s Cannes Lions International Festival so that they can focus on their new AI assistant program, Marcel.

OK it’s only supposed to be for one year but this decision has raised more than a few eyebrows across the creative and marketing agency arena.

This decision by Publicis is somewhat out of character. Especially as this year’s festival was just hitting full stride. It’s a bit like turning on all the lights at a dance party leaving the audience squinting and wondering WTF?!

Sitting out next year’s festival could also rob Publicis of the chance to win awards that many view as career defining achievements. This without a doubt will and already has left them even more exposed to poaching from rival creative agencies.

People can be forgiven for assuming awards are purely about stroking egos and getting inebriated whilst telling your colleagues how much you love them. However, there are some real benefits to being part of an awards ceremony.

No matter what the size of your agency or consultancy you can and should enter an award. There are of course a huge variety of awards around so you may want to choose carefully as to which is most relevant to you.

Of course, deciding what awards to enter could also be a challenge as its important to weigh up the time and effort it would take to enter against the potential gains. However here are 5 simple reasons why it makes good business sense:

Free marketing

Awards are often an overlooked tool in your own marketing arsenal. Just being shortlisted can improve brand awareness and promote your business and yourselves to new potential clients. Therefore, make sure you maximise your PR exposure and update all your marketing materials including email signatures and your website etc.

Awards celebrate hard work and success and your hard working colleagues will appreciate the acknowledgement. It’s fantastic to be recognised both internally and externally and not forgetting it can help you open new business opportunities as well as forge new relationships.


The application process alone for entering such awards can often force you to look at your own business from a different perspective and allow you to step out of your own bubble and take a glimpse in.

As you will want to stand out from the competition, whether that be through creativity, strategy, client services, innovation or investment in people. This process will help you think about this but also highlight the areas that still need improvement.

All too often we see businesses consumed by delivery that it’s sometimes hard to step out and look back in. If you can do this then the benefits will ripple throughout your business and could be more valuable than the actual award itself.


An award win, short-listing or nomination can act as a 3rd party endorsement for your business. A win can give a seal of approval but it’s also a sign of expertise for potential clients. It can also help with relationships with suppliers. It’s a great way of differentiating your business from your competitors and will send out positive signals to both your existing and potential client’s.


Probably one of our favourite reasons…. Awards recognise the hard work and achievements, so winning one can help boost your own morale and improve motivation across your team. Regardless of level and job responsibility, being part of the awards process unites everyone with a single hope… to win! And regardless whether you do or not, the taking part and sharing in the journey does conscientiously bring everyone together. Your colleagues are focused on what’s great about the business and can feel proud to be a part of it.

Let’s also not forget should you win then your colleagues will get the recognition they deserve and be able to celebrate together. Also, getting to attend a glitzy awards ceremony or dinner can yield great networking opportunities as well as be a great night out.

Talent spotting

I can give you a long list as to why partnering with the right recruiter is crucial when it comes to promoting either your business, your own profile or attracting talent and none of these should be underestimated. However, should you wish to try move this function in house, then there is no better time to promote your business or yourself than off the back of becoming either a finalist, receiving a nomination or gaining that ultimate award!

By being able to pitch yourself as one of the best, you can automatically start to directly attract the talent you need to push your business forward.


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