Speaking at a seminar at the trade show held at Olympia, Rob and Andrew Pearce from Southsea bridal boutique Creatiques said they spent 70 hours perfecting their award-winning submission last year. “We were direct in our approach, we didn’t faff around with it and it just hit the right notes,” they said.
Award-winning retailer Ellie Sanderson too said when filling in awards entries you should use the answers from your business plan as the two should dovetail together. “Keep it simple, keep it clean and focus on what your unique selling points are.”
“Get to the crux of the business,” advised Jade Pepperell from Love Our Wedding Magazine. “Why is it unique and special. Length of your entry is important, keep it relatively concise, don’t go writing reams and reams as it can be quite daunting for the judges. Provide stories and examples of where you have gone above and beyond. Say as much as you can about the way you look after your brides.”
Jade added that images are of extreme importance and warned against putting any filters on them, instead ensuring good lighting for any pictures taken. “You could have the nicest shop in the world, but if it’s not shot nicely then you won’t be able to tell. I think it’s worth investing in a professional photographer because you can use them on the again on your website and blog.”
Damian Bailey, from The Wedding Industry Awards, said: “Its all about differentiation. You have to show you’re different in some noticeable way to your competitors. Also take care and make sure your spelling and grammar is correct.”
Keren Smith of I Do I Do said when judging best website awards she looks at the design and how appealing it is and whether it is on trend. She added: “I look at the function of it and how easy it is to use and also whether it is mobile optimised so it can be easily used on a mobile or tablet.”
Entering local awards alongside those such as the Bridal Buyer Awards is good for business growth and team morale said the panel. “Feedback from local awards is great, especially if you’re looking to go on and apply for the Bridal Buyer Awards,” said Creatiques’ Andrew.
“Local brides often see you’ve won awards and it then adds to your credibility,” added Ellie. “It’s not just a springboard for bringing people into your shop but also recognition across the industry,” said Damian.