BIMA Awards 2018 – the 6 stages of prepping an award-worthy submission

5 Apr 2018

Posted by Rachel Johnson

It’s about this time every year that we receive a flurry of questions about the nuts and bolts of prepping awards entries, so here are a few pointers that should make life a little easier…

1. Choose your categories

Obvious perhaps, but it’s important to remember you’re not restricted to one category. So if you’re currently looking at three projects, all of which you feel could be award winners, or you have one project which could be an award winner in several categories, enter them all.

Remember, though, that each category is looking for specific things, so copy and pasting a one-size-fits-all entry across all your categories won’t work. You’ll need to tailor each one.

Remember also that not all BIMA Awards are project-based. You can find more about the Advance Awards for Inclusion & Diversity, Talent, Startup of the Year and Dynamic Business of the Year here.

2. Judging information

The ‘judging information’ panel is the biggie. It’s the section where you give us the detail that needs to convince the judges why you should win. There is no word count for this section, but it is important to keep things as brief as you can. The judges will be working their way through hundreds of entries. The ones that make their points clearly and succinctly will inevitably have a greater chance of grabbing the attention.

You can help your submission in this section by taking these steps:

1.  Ensure there’s a natural order and flow to things (eg what was the challenge you faced, how did you address it, what were the results?)

2. Use subheads to break up large blocks of content

3. Use bullet points for simplicity and clarity

4. Explain any obscure terms or acronyms

3. Category weighting

Most of the BIMA Awards categories feature a handy guide to how you should weight your submission. The Transformation & Consultancy: Craft category, for example, states that judging will be based on “75% Craft and 25% Innovation/Impact.”

If you wax lyrical only about what you did and how you did it (the craft element) but omit to tell us what difference it made or in what way it was innovative, you’ll be losing 25% of the marks available.

The percentage guide is also a handy (if rough) steer as to the ratio of content the judges want to see targeted at a specific area. In the above example, roughly one quarter of the content needs to be focusing on innovation and impact. Much more than that and there’ll be a risk that you simply won’t have devoted enough attention to the main focus of the piece.

4. Synopsis

If you win, we’ll want to tell the world and its dog about your entry. So, in 150 words or less, we ask you to provide a synopsis that can help us do that here.

Quick tip: if you’re struggling to put your summary together, focus on the larger ‘judging information’ section first, then cut it down to form your synopsis.

Do please keep it to 150 words or less. If you do go above we’ll only end up editing back down again and you won’t be able to review the finished result.

5. Attachments

We’ll accept images and videos to accompany your entry. Submit images by uploading JPEG or PDF files with a maximum file size of 5MB per piece. We ask that you upload up to 3 good quality images to accompany your entry, which will be used to profile your work in the event that you win.

Video attachments may be hosted on a video site such as YouTube or Vimeo. If you are providing a video please note that, if you win, it may be used on the awards night to highlight your work. So if any part of the video is not for public use, please tell us!

It’s worth adding that attachments are for imagery only. The only written content judges will consider is your award submission, so if you want them to read it, make sure it’s in the judging information section, not in an attachment.

6. Team involved

Be generous. You don’t lose marks for telling us that you weren’t the only organisation to have a role in the project.

Feel free to namecheck all members of your team involved in the project, but do please spell their names correctly – we’ll use your spellings in any publicity material.

I hope that helps – but if you still have questions regarding your entry, send them to me at

Rachel Johnson
Posted by Rachel Johnson

Rachel has recently joined BIMA having worked for more than 20 years in the world of Marketing. Rachel has many impressive client, charity and agency-side results to her credit and stories to tell. As both a team player and independent advisor, Rachel loves to see the bigger picture and is a strong strategic thinker. She has led ambitious projects for start-ups, worked alongside growing businesses and has been fortunate to work with some of the UK’s most respected and renowned agencies. A self-motivated original thinker, Rachel is also an extremely able marketer. She brings out the best in people at all levels. Her wealth of transferable skills includes project management – often with direct budgetary control - results-driven commercial awareness, proven networking strengths, digital marketing expertise and broad IT literacy. However, her achievements do not end there! In her spare time, she makes full-use of her Cumbrian home-town environment, walking, biking and running, and spending time as an enthusiastic side-line rugby and football mum for her two boys – Louie and Harley.

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