FAQ: Why is there an entry fee?

WHY IS THERE AN ENTRY FEE?

The entry fee of £75 + vat is a low barrier to entry and represents excellent value for money. When TWIA entered an awards recently we had to pay £175 + vat per entry and then £300 + vat per ticket to the awards event! Our entry fee (and event ticket price) is much more accessible.

We charge an entry fee becasue:

  1. TWIA is a business with associated costs just like, just like your business. From the web site and marketing costs to managing the 80+ judging panel, the 1000+ entrants and the 25,000+ voters, running TWIA takes a lot of time and effort. You don’t do what you do for free. Neither do we.
  2. TWIA gives you so much more in return for your entry fee than any other awards:
    1. Access to TWIA branding for use on Social Media etc.
    2. Free listing on the TWIA Directory.
    3. Full Voter Feedback provided – vital customer feedback on your business.
    4. Increased industry profile for your business.
    5. Regional and National Awards – greater chance of being a finalist or winning.
    6. Great marketing potential – vital differentiation just by entering.

The entry fee enables TWIA to…

  1. Recognise and reward excellent wedding suppliers all over the country, thus helping them generate more business.
  2. To help engaged couples make better educated decisions when booking wedding suppliers for their wedding.
  3. Ensure that the high standards it recognises become the industry standard to which we all aspire.
  4. Be rigorous, fair and open to all wedding suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales.

Integrity, credibility and reliability lie at the very heart of everything we do. We think that’s worth £75+vat and we hope to involve as many people as possible in the Awards.

 

“PEOPLE SHOULDN’T PAY TO ENTER THE AWARDS; AWARDS SHOULD BE WON ON MERIT.”
In other industries, it is standard protocol to charge an entry fee for awards programmes. Payment of the entry fee in no way affects the ability of any supplier to win an Award on merit. TWIA’s awards are more merit-based than any other wedding awards. This is due to our rigorous procesws, our unique client voting system and our large, broad, diverse and expert judging panel.

We have worked hard to ensure that suppliers of all shapes and sizes can compete on a level playing field as it is not all about the total number of votes received. More details on this can be seen here.

We regret that there may be some wedding suppliers who will not be able to afford the £75 + vat entry fee but we believe that these are in the very small minority. We feel that £75 + vat is a small business investment to make in light of the considerable benefits of entering TWIA.

“THE ENTRY FEE AFFECTS THE FAIRNESS OF THE AWARDS.”

One of the main criticisms of the entry fee is that the Awards can only be fair if every wedding supplier is involved and that an entry fee of £75 + vat is unfair because it stops some wedding suppliers being involved.

If TWIA attracts about 1200 entries each year (not even close to every wedding supplier in the country) but that doesn’t mean that the TWIA is unfair. With or without an entry fee, there will always be many suppliers who choose not to enter TWIA for a variety of reasons. Many suppliers, for whatever reason, choose not to enter TWIA and the presence of an entry fee or otherwise does not alter the situation.

The keys to fairness are the voting system and judging processes. The TWIA voting and judging processes are rigorous and fair to all involved and sit at the very heart of everything we do.

THE ENTRY FEE IS TOO MUCH

We had many discussions about how much to charge as an entry fee but we always came back to one factor – it needs to be affordable to the vast majority of wedding suppliers whilst covering the costs of everything we do and provide.

We think that £75+vat is really good value for all the things we offer including:

  • A fully editable profile on the TWIA Directory. The TWIA site attracts over 10,000 supplier searches a month and is a valuable resource for anyone organising a wedding.
  • Use of appropriate Awards branding for use in your own marketing. Just by entering, suppliers are able to download a variety of TWIA logos for use on their web sites and social media. TWIA has an unrivaled reputation in the wedding industry and the TWIA logo has become a recognised kite mark indicating the very highest standards. Entering TWIA shows clients (past, present and future) that business owners are confident in their products and services, that they are proud of what they do and are backing themselves in a fair and rigorous competition based on client’s votes and a judging process that is second to none. This is a powerful message in a highly competitive market place.
  • The chance to be shortlisted for and win a regional and national award voted for by their clients and judged by our expert panel. The marketing potential associated with this is huge not to mention the satisfaction of being voted for by your clients and officially recognised for what you do.
  • Full voter feedback (including average scores). This market research has proved incredibly popular with TWIA entrants year on year.
  • We have had a huge amount of feedback from past entrants saying how TWIA has helped not only their businesses to grow and develop but also helped them personally through increased self-confidence and interacting with other wedding suppliers at our regional awards events etc.

TWIA provides entrants with two main services. Firstly, an arena where anyone organising a wedding can find great wedding suppliers from all over the country who are actively endorsed by their clients. Secondly, appropriate branding and brand association enabling individual suppliers to use their entry, shortlisting or win in the Awards to their advantage in their own marketing and advertising as so many of last year’s entrants have done and continue to do.

If used effectively, being associated with TWIA is good for a supplier’s business and we hope that the £75+vat entry fee will become part of people’s annual advertising and marketing budget due to the benefits and services that TWIA offers.


SPONSORS/SPONSORSHIP

We have worked closely with several excellent sponsors and extending this sponsorship is something we continue to investigate thoroughly, but without the backing of the wedding suppliers themselves through entering the Awards, appropriate sponsorship is unachievable. This is a virtuous circle; the more entrants and web users TWIA has, the more chance we have of getting sponsors. The more appropriate sponsorship we can generate the more people will enter. TWIA provides a service to wedding suppliers so that TWIA may provide a service to potential sponsors.

If you look at many other events and competitions, entry fees are charged even with extensive sponsorship. To take The Windsor Triathlon as an example, (at the time of writing) the competition has been sponsored by Toshiba, Speedo and Timex, amongst others, yet all competitors have to pay a race entry fee of about £100. Entrants win on merit regardless of the entry fee and no one would expect it to be free.

For more information on how TWIA works and to enter CLICK HERE.

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