How to run an online award program
Running an award program is a ton of work - we see it every day. Between marketing efforts, managing nominations, and planning the award ceremony, program managers and marketers are left with a never ending to-do list. So, how do program managers and marketers tasked with running an award program start?
Blog Series: Competition Types - Part IV of IV
Welcome back! If you haven’t read any other parts in the series, I’d recommend starting with part one. When planning a business or innovation competition, it’s always a good idea to understand the many different elements available, learning to assemble them in the way that best fits your goals.
In the last blog (part III), I wrote about a number of alternative competition types including innovation competitions, case study competitions, and hack-a-thons. These are all great formats for groups looking to stay industry specific, solving a problem or soliciting innovation through technology or other means.
This final blog of the series focuses on the different elements that are available for competitions in supplement to the competition types. Once a group has select a format or series of formats for their event, there are a number of other elements that need to be considered, all possibly boosting value for participants.
These are multi-track competitions, mentorship elements, combination events, and prizes.
Blog Series: Competition Types - Part III of IV
Welcome back! If you haven’t read any other parts in the series, I’d recommend starting with part one. When planning a business or innovation competitions, it’s always a good idea to understand the many different elements available, learning to assemble them in the way that best fits your goals.
In part two, we discussed higher involvement events, the business model competition and the classic business plan competition, both centered on more focused business development. The contemporary business model competition, centered around the business model canvas, is generally more accessible to multi-disciplinary entrepreneurs, and is more flexible in its application. The business plan competition is an old standard that still proves incredibly valuable to those looking to build an in depth look into the business side of launching a new idea.
Changing focus a little, the third blog in this series focuses on competition types that can be applied outside of the business context. A few ideas are an innovation competition, a case competition, and a hack-a-thon.
Why You Should Consider Competitions for Your Brands
PitchBurner started with a passion for building engagement in entrepreneurial competitions. Why? Because we identified competitions as being an awesome way to engage potential entrepreneurs, bringing all entrepreneurial stakeholders under one umbrella. They serve as a vessel for two way communication between an organization and their target market. They served as a way for a member of that market to chase their dreams, while engaging in a personal relationship with an organization.
The Benefits of Utilizing a Fan Vote in Your Competition
While many competitions are simply judged by a panel of experienced professionals in many areas of business, science, technology and beyond, some competitions choose to utilize a “fan vote” to help decide the winner of their event. You may be wondering, “Why would I do that when I already have such a great group of judges?” But we urge you to consider opening your competition to the public for their perspective on your applicants’ submissions.
Here’s a few reasons why:
Types of Events Your Organization May Want to Run
Every organization specializes in something unique. Therefore, it is necessary that they run an event that is just as specialized as they are. These events are run as a way to highlight organizations, along with their product and goals, by showcasing others and pulling at the heart strings. When an organization is thinking about running an event, there are a few things that they should consider considering:
Blog Series: Competition Types - Part II of IV
In the first blog of this series, I wrote about two of the lower involvement types of competitions, pitch and idea competitions. As mentioned, these events are fantastic on their own, but function even better as an addition to any other type of competition. They can also be applied to attract students of many different disciplines, enforcing the fact that entrepreneurship isn’t business specific.
In part two, I’m going to introduce you to two competition types that have a greater amount of involvement: the business model canvas competition and the classic business plan competition. These are especially important when the focus is business development and actualization.
How to Write a Business Plan
Most everyone in the entrepreneurial world knows OF a business plan. They know that it is important and something that, to be successful, one must be able to not only possess, but also reference and explain when presenting to investors. It seems like a scarily-important document and many quake at the thought of beginning its creation process.
When you get down to the bare bones of it, a business plan is only comprised of these seven elements:
- Executive Summary
- Business Description
- Market Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
- Design and Development Plan
- Operations and Management Plan
- Financial Factors
Let’s break these down even further:
Why Competitions are Great for Economic Development
Competitions create a great number of benefits for a multitude of reasons for a variety of different people. However, running a competition can be particularly beneficial for organizations seeking to improve their local community, such as economic development agencies and chambers of commerce. Ultimately, you’re looking for a way to help your local community and its people flourish. Here’s how it can be done through a well-executed competition:
Blog Series: Competition Types - Part I of IV
For organizations first approaching the idea of hosting a competition, there are many elements that need to be considered, often making the implementation of these events seem daunting. You know the value of running competitions, both for you and your audience. But what types of competitions can be hosted? What information do I need to collect? What would be the best type of competition for my audience? What other elements can I add to build engagement and value?
All of these questions are definitely valid. This process does not need to be difficult, nor does it have to be time consuming. In fact, it’s easy to deliver your audience a quality event in little to no time.
Why Internet Form Builders are Not Ideal Tools for Your Competition
Form-builders and form dumps that can be found on the internet, though seemingly convenient and inexpensive, often do more detriment than good when it comes to creating your world-class competition, contest or award program.
Though you may think you’re getting off with a bargain, the corners a cheap form-builder cuts can have a lasting negative impact on applicants, the submission form itself, judges, mentors, and even your credibility.
3 Steps to Running an Innovative Competition
You’re an administrator of an entrepreneurship organization and you’ve been tasked to head up a competition. Your team has identified the benefits of running a competition, such as:
- Competitions bring together all elements needed to give an entrepreneur a start
- Competitions build engagement and excitement in and around the programs
- Competitions provide incentive for sponsors to get involved
- Competitions build prestige around programs and involve major industry players
- Competitions help engage alumni networks
Of course it’s easy to point out the benefits of the overall program. But what about the actual implementation process? If you’ve never run a competition before, fear not. We’ve put together a few things to help in the brainstorming process.
Integrate Crowdsourcing Campaigns Into Your Competition
Crowdsourcing frees up time that can be better spent on the integral parts an event, such as submission creation, judging, and more. Because of this, event administrators are beginning to incorporate crowdsourcing into their competition, award program or brand engagement event in many different ways.
Below, we’ve outlined four ways that utilizing crowdsourcing can better a competition, award program or brand engagement event:
Entrepreneurship Competitions Teach Things your College Business Class Won't
College is a great time to learn a wide variety of skills and disciplines and to experience the many things that life has to offer. A college business class is a great place to start learning the grassroots of what makes a strong company and an excellent employee/employer. However, there are aspects of business that can only be learned through real-life experience, and a great way to gain this experience is through an entrepreneurship competition.
Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation can often be a difficult task. While there are plenty of proven models, the ones that identify what will impact their local economies and aspiring entrepreneurs the most prove to be the most successful. Who are we to promote "innovation" without being "innovative" ourselves? PitchBurner was fortunate enough to witness first hand a true innovative effort between a local chamber of commerce and the cities brightest entrepreneurs.