Our sister company, AwardStage, makes full use of Oval’s extensive experience of modernising processes and putting in place the tools to make them easy to manage. It’s no surprise then, that we have some pretty strong views on how to modernise the awards process.

The old way

In order to recognise just how far we’ve moved the game on, let’s have a recap of how things used to be done. Entering the awards, entrants would have to download an entry form (Word or PDF), fill it in and email it back to the awards administrator.

Then things got worse. Along came lengthy web forms.

Sure, there was no need to download anything, but there was real peril in the fragile nature of a web form. Just one false click, one careless press of the ‘back’ button, and you’d lose your work!

Managing the awards

Submissions would come in via email, with no easy way to sort or manage them, other than good old folders. Hang on, was that sorting the emails into folders, or downloading the attachments into folders, or what?

Entrants would complain that they had lost their work, were having to duplicate effort or wanted to amend their entries. To get the entries over to judges for viewing, you would stay up all night allocating the entries to judges, then emailing the attachments over to them – while forgetting some of the all important supporting material entrants have included. Nightmare.

Judging the awards

This was stressful. As a busy judge, occupying a senior position within the industry, receiving a load of attachments, with no clear mechanism to evaluate, mark and return them, was infuriating…. …and back to the awards administrator. Trying to placate the judges, whose time you’d worked so hard to secure. Ughh! It was all you could do not to cry. Thank goodness we don’t do it like that anymore.

The new way!

AwardStage entrants arrive at a beautiful, yet simple, landing page where they register to enter awards. If they don’t want to create ‘yet another account’, they can simply login via LinkedIn. They create their entry. They decide to save it as draft and come back later when they have the final version of the video they need to upload. They create more entries, cloning a couple along the way, and modifying them accordingly. When ready, they click a button to submit their entries (they can pay online, for pay-to-enter awards) and they receive an email confirmation to let them know that everything’s hunky dory.

The awards administrator takes satisfaction in being able to check their dashboard to see how registration is going, and how many people have created drafts so far. They’re able to reach out to entrants to offer support and encouragement. They can take a look at their activity stream to see the incoming entries and payments, and can bask in a sense of calm control.

Judging rounds can be easily set up, with judges receiving a link within an email, and a big fat ‘start judging’ button. They can click through the entries on a conventional PC or laptop, or swipe through them on a tablet, using a slider or scale to assign scores. Job done. You can also book tables and tickets for the awards event via AwardStage too. It’s almost too easy!