Frequently Asked Questions
If your question isn't answered here, just get in touch.
1) "Why is there a charge to enter the Awards?"
"WHY SHOULD ENTRANTS PAY TO ENTER THE AWARDS?"
It is standard protocol within respected industry awards to charge a nominal entry fee to ensure that the awards remain completely fair and objective. Creating and running an awards process such as TWIA requires a significant financial investment, which is partially supported through revenue from entries. In return for the £50 entry fee, we provide the following benefits of entry...
- The chance to be shortlisted or win a regional or even a national award for what you do. The marketing potential for your business associated with this is huge.
- Fully editable profile on the Awards web site for each entrant. This is unique to TWIA. Our 'Find a Supplier' section enables all entrants to showcase their products and services on our web site. Furthermore, entrant profiles remain on the web site for up to a year. The TWIA web site is a living, breathing organisation all year round.
- We are the only fully independent national industry awards. This helps give TWIA integrity, credibility and reliability.
- Fully client-voted. this makes TWIA genuinely useful to both the entrants and anyone organising a wedding.
- Comprehensive feedback from voters provided to all entrants. Unique to TWIA, this proved incredibly popular in last year's awards. For the 2013 awards this feedback will also include all average voter scores in addition to the comments. We are also looking at ways of providing judging feedback at particular stages of the competition.
- Regional and national rounds. this is unique to TWIA. this enables us to highlight so many more great suppliers all over the country. Over 500 suppliers were regionally shortlisted last year not to mention the regional and national winners.
- Full access to the appropriate awards branding. Just by entering the awards, each entrant has access to appropriate branding to show prospective clients that you take pride in what you do and that you have put your hand up as one of the best in the business. This can be a strong message for your existing and potential clients.
- A rigorous, fair and transparent judging process with a panel of highly regarded industry professionals. This is vital. We have worked exceptionally hard to create a level playing field for all types and sizes of wedding suppliers and this is why we only allow past clients to vote. We use the average voter scores for each entrant rather than the total number of votes. Our judging panel is unrivalled in its expertise and breadth. We have added, and will continue to add, more judges to the panel to ensure that the results of the awards are fair and completely unbiased.
"CHARGING AN ENTRY FEE MAKES IT UNFAIR."
Charging an entry fee allows us to maintain a level playing field rather than sourcing revenue from suppliers as sponsors. It would be deemed unfair if we were charging a high entry fee that the majority of wedding suppliers could not afford as an investment for their business. It would also be unfair if we varied the fee depending on the size/type of supplier. By charging a nominal, fixed fee of £50 we hope that this will not be a barrier to entry for the vast majority of suppliers and ensures that the awards remain completely transparent and fair whilst allowing us to reinvest the funds into driving awareness of the TWIA.
"WHY DONT THEY JUST GET SOME SPONSORS?"
We have been in discussions with several high profile companies over the past year regarding sponsorship opportunities. However, it is important to note that we would only accept sponsorship from companies who are not entering the awards to ensure that the process remains completely fair and not linked to financial investment. Securing sponsorship is a long process, especially in light of the current financial climate and selecting the right potential sponsors is key for our brand and the integrity of the awards. We shall continue to actively seek appropriate sponsorship to enable us to grow and develop the awards even further.
"WHAT WILL THE REVENUE FROM THE ENTRY FEE BE SPENT ON?"
Revenue from the entry fee is being reinvested into much-needed regional and national advertising and marketing of the awards which will be very beneficial to all entrants. Revenue will also be used to cover the administration costs of running the awards and the awards event.
"IF I DON'T MAKE THE SHORTLIST, IT WILL BE A WASTE OF MONEY."
All entrants that receive any votes remain listed on the site until the following year's awards go live. If a supplier enters the awards early in the process they will be on the site for a year; longer if they are shortlisted or win an award. We want to implement a comprehensive advertising and marketing plan to drive traffic to the web site so that all entrants can benefit. We are currently getting over 10,000 supplier searches a month - with increased advertising and marketing we can significantly raise this figure.
2) "I don't have many wedding clients. Is there any point in entering?"
Absolutely! We use voters’ average scores rather than the total number of votes entrants receive. This creates a level playing field. We also take into account the proportion of your eligible clients who actually vote for you. So if a company who has 50 eligible clients gets 50 votes this is deemed to be better than another company who has 100 eligible clients and gets 50 votes. If your business is less than a year old as of 01.11.11 you will automatically be entered into the ‘Best Newcomer Award’ too.
3) "Do I have to be nominated to enter the Awards?"
No. The awards are open to all wedding suppliers based in England. Nomination is simply a means by which people can tell us about great wedding suppliers. We then contact the nominee and invite them to enter the awards. Anybody can nominate a wedding supplier.
4) "When can I see my voter comments and average scores?"
Anonymous voter comments and average scores will be released to entrants at the point at which they are no longer in the competition. For instance, after the regional winners are announced, all entrants who do not win their regional category will then have access to their voter feedback.
5) "Can I edit my Awards profile?"
Yes. You can edit this any time up until voting closes. Just log into your account on the Awards web site.
6) "When do entries and voting close?"
Entries close at 5pm on 24.10.13
Voting closes at 5pm on 31.10.13
7) "Who can vote for me?"
Only your wedding clients who got/are getting married between 01.11.12 and 31.10.13 can vote for you in the 2014 Awards. They can only vote for you after their weddings have taken place and there is one vote per couple.
8) "How do you ensure that only eligible clients vote?"
We have several ways of ensuring that the right people vote. These include cross-referencing wedding dates and venues given by each voter and ensuring that IP addresses are not duplicated. We also ask all entrants to check that the list of people who have voted for them does not include ineligible voters as this may count against the entrant concerned.
9) "I am a voter. Will the person/company I am voting for be able
to see my scores and comments?"
We will provide anonymous voter feedback to all entrants where applicable. Your comments will be anonymous and not linked to the scores you have given during the voting process. This feedback is a vital part of the awards process as we try to help wedding suppliers better understand their customers and raise standards across the industry.
10) "Can we enter more than once?"
Yes. If your business has more than one premise i.e. a bridal boutique you can enter each one separately or you can enter as one business in one region. Each entry will be treated entirely separately. If your business operates in the same region, they may end up in competition with one another. You cannot enter in a region where you do not have a registered address or where your business is not based.
11) "How are the Awards regions worked out?"
There are 9 'official' regions in England. When we launched TWIA in June 2011, we decided to combine some of these to form 7 regions. This was based on a projected number of entrants in each category and in each region; not an easy thing to do in our first year! As TWIA grows and develops we will have a far greater insight into the entry patterns and we can and will adjust the regions where appropriate in the future. We appreciate that the regions vary greatly in several criteria like population, number of weddings and number of suppliers etc.
London and the South East is probably the trickiest region. It is by far the largest when compared to the others on most criteria. Interestingly, London & South East region attracted only three times as many entrants as the other regions even though it is much more than three times the size of the other regions on most criteria. What is VITAL is that the volume of entries in each Awards region is able to and does actually support a regional round of awards in all categories. We can only ascertain this as TWIA grows and develops. So, the 7 regions will remain the same for TWIA 2014 but we will keep looking at this with the view to changing the regions if applicable and appropriate in the future.
12) "Why is TWIA only open to suppliers based in England?"
We are looking into how we can expand The Wedding Industry Awards and we’d love to include the whole of the UK but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Due to the regional structure of the awards, there are two options (to our mind) when it comes to extending them to the rest of the UK:
1) We add Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland into the existing structure as ‘regions’ at the same level as the existing ones (North East, South West of England etc). We are not entirely sure that wedding suppliers in those countries would be particularly thrilled with this solution! If, however, suppliers from Wales, Scotland and NI are happy to enter as additional regions of England, then it might work, but we’re very keen not to offend anyone!
2) We set up and run regional and national awards in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and then the winners from each category in each country would compete in the UK final. This means basically organising 3 more entire awards processes and then combining all three, which is not something that we are able to do at the moment.