The Comprehensive Guide to Effectively Managing an Award Program

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The Comprehensive Guide to Effectively Managing an Award Program

Successfully managing an award program is like conducting a grand orchestra – each instrument, or in this case, each process, plays a pivotal role. From the initial promotional stages to the thrilling culmination at an awards gala, meticulous planning and execution are crucial. Here’s your complete playbook for efficiently managing the award program. Looking for the Ultimate Guide to Running A Member Recognition Award – Check this out.

1. Ignition: Marketing and Promotion

  • Deploying Landing Pages: Create a dedicated landing page that outlines the award’s purpose, eligibility, timelines, and benefits. This serves as the program’s online focal point.

  • Marketing Material: Design eye-catching digital brochures, posters, and email campaigns that encapsulate the award’s essence, inspiring individuals and institutions to participate.

2. Selecting and Implementing an Award Management Software (Reviewr).

After igniting the initial spark with effective marketing, the real work begins. Central to the success of an award program is the engine that powers it, your award management software. Choosing the right software can make the difference between a smoothly-run program and a logistical nightmare. Platforms like Reviewr have revolutionized how award programs are managed. But how do you decide which software to choose? Here are some crucial features to look for:

a. Integration with AMS (Association Management Software)
  • Seamless Connectivity: Ensure the software can effortlessly integrate with your existing Association Management Software. This ensures a cohesive data flow and an enhanced user experience for both staff and nominees.
b. Comprehensive Nominee and Nominator Intake
  • Dual Intake Options: A robust software will allow distinct pathways for both nominators and nominees, ensuring the right data is collected from the right individual.
c. Document & File Collection
  • Versatility: The software should allow users to upload a variety of file types (PDF, JPEG, Word, etc.) and handle them efficiently, without hiccups.
d. Dynamic Nominee Portal
  • Accessibility: Nominees should have the freedom to revisit their applications, adding details or rectifying mistakes, ensuring their submissions are always in the best shape.
e. Operational Dashboard
  • All-in-One Management: A dedicated dashboard that provides an eagle-eye view of the program’s progress. Track nominations, send reminders, or review stats, all from one central hub.
f. Communication Capabilities
  • Streamlined Messaging: The ability to send bulk or individual messages to nominees, judges, or other stakeholders directly from the software is vital for real-time communication.
g. Custom Workflows & Assignments
  • Tailored Workflows: Create workflows that reflect your program’s unique process. Whether it’s routing nominations for internal reviews or sending them directly to judges, flexibility is key.
h. Comprehensive Judging Module
  • Online Judging: Facilitate remote judging with features like scorecards, split-screen viewing for comparing applications, and the capability to blind personal information, ensuring unbiased assessments.
i. Reporting & Analytics
  • Data-Driven Decisions: The software should offer detailed reporting options, helping you understand trends, areas of improvement, and the overall success of your program.
j. Final Result Access
  • Transparent Outcomes: Once all evaluations are done, having a clear and easily accessible display of the results is paramount for transparency and subsequent announcements.

3. Keeping a Finger on the Pulse: Monitoring & Follow-up

  • Monitoring Nominations: Utilize dashboards to track incoming nominations in real-time, assessing both quantity and quality.

  • Reminder Mechanisms: Automated emails or notifications can gently nudge those who initiated but haven’t completed their nominations, ensuring maximum completion rates.

  • Program Updates: Consistently communicate with participants. Send milestone updates, essential dates, and any changes in the process.

4. The Judging Conundrum: Nominee Assignments.

  • Committee-Based Scoring: Designated teams, often experts in specific categories, assess corresponding nominations. It ensures that nominees are evaluated by those most versed in their field.

  • Automatic Assignments: Software algorithms can randomly assign nominations to judges. This can be based on:

    1. Preset unique evaluations each nomination should receive.
    2. Balancing based on each judge’s capacity and total submissions.
  • Manual Assignments: In specific scenarios, program managers, with intricate knowledge about judges and nominees, might need to handpick assignments, ensuring each nominee gets a fair and knowledgeable assessment.

5. Judging Oversight: Progress & Reminders

  • Progress Dashboard: Implement tools that allow for real-time tracking of each judge’s progress.

  • Automated Reminders: Periodic automated emails can serve to remind judges of their pending evaluations, ensuring punctuality.

6. Results & Deliberation

  • Generating Preliminary Results: Once evaluations are in, use software tools to collate scores and rank nominations.

  • Final Deliberation: Top candidates can then be presented to a senior panel for final discussions and selection, ensuring a multi-tiered, thorough evaluation.

7. Reporting: Data at Your Fingertips

  • Data Breakdown: Tools should allow managers to extract detailed reports, showcasing trends, nomination quality, scores, and feedback.

8. The Grand Finale: Announcing Winners

  • Email Announcements: Dispatch beautifully designed emails, announcing the winners and congratulating all participants.

  • Website & Social Media: A simultaneous announcement on your website and across social media channels ensures widespread coverage.

  • In-Person Awards Gala: Often embedded within an annual conference, this gala is the zenith of the program. Celebrate winners with certificates, trophies, or plaques. Incorporate keynote speeches, testimonials, and a showcase of the journey, making it a memorable event.


Managing an award program is an intricate dance of marketing, monitoring, evaluation, and celebration. With meticulous planning, the right tools, and constant communication, you can ensure that your award program is not just successful but also memorable for everyone involved. Each step, when executed with precision and care, culminates in a celebration of excellence that reverberates across your industry.

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