How to Win a BIMA Award

17 Mar 2016

how to win a bima award 16

Last week BIMA held an Evening Masterclass - How to Win a BIMA Award. Attendees received valuable insight into how to craft your submission, entering it correctly and we lifted the lid on how your work is judged.

Speakers for the evening were:

Bridget Beale, Managing Director, BIMA
Julie Bowyer, Marketing Manager, Rufus Leonard (2015 Agency of the Year Winners)
Zoe Abrams, Executive Director of Communications & Engagement at British Red Cross (2015 BIMA Awards Judge)
Matt Pilgrim, Chair of BIMA Awards (Moderator)

Didn’t manage to make the event? Fear not! We have pulled together our key takeaways, to help you perfect your submission and maximise your chance of success.

1. Know your judging criteria

The BIMA Awards are judged equally across 4 judging criteria. You need to score well on each of these to make it through the BIMA judging.

Strategy & Insight

2. Take your judges on a journey

Your judges spend hours assessing BIMA Awards entries. Make their judging experience enjoyable by taking them on a clear and concise journey.

Before you submit your entries, check to see if you have covered off:

•    The brief/business challenge
•    Your insight
•    The solution

3. Pitfalls to avoid

Don’t allow judges to feel duped, it’s a surefire way of knocking yourself out of the running.

•    Be specific. For big projects by more than one stakeholder, direct the judges towards your specific part in it.
•    Share the results. Judges love hard data and they love to see measurable business results.
•    Proof copy & remove barriers. Check for typos and grammatical errors. Make sure links are live. Provide passwords / download codes if needed.

4. Keep your BIMA Awards judges happy

Zoe Abrams, Executive Director of Communications & Engagement at British Red Cross and BIMA Awards 2015 judge shared some really valuable insights into the judging process and how to keep the jury happy.

Treat your judges well
BIMA Awards judges can have anywhere between 80-90 entries to judge, each! Think about how you can make your entry delight your judges who may be suffering from submission fatigue.

Keep your entries short and sweet
On average judges will spend 15 minutes in the first round of judging on each entry. Keep your entry short and sweet, but don’t miss an opportunity to add a splash of British humour or eccentricity to your entry. Remember, our judges have a mammoth task at hand – try and keep it enjoyable for them.

Meaningful Measurement is magic!
‘Effectiveness’ makes up 25% of your entry. Putting context around your metrics is crucial to ensuring your award submission is watertight.
Telling the judges that site visits have grown by 300% means nothing. Zoe Abrams says: “If you don’t baseline, it’s just annoying”.

Dot the i’s and cross the t’s
It may sound like a no-brainer, but you will be surprised how many entries make their way to the judges riddled with errors. A simple spelling and grammar check can mean the difference between your entry being a delight or a drag to read.
If you are providing links to your awesome work, check they work, give judges the password if it’s password protected, ensure your link wont expire, and provide freebie codes should your judges have to purchase something from the app store.

5. Include a case study video… sorry folks!

We hate to say it – but in the past three years, 83% of winning entries have had a case study video. It’s a quick and effective way to showcase your work and take your judges on a journey. The good thing is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to convey your message. Based on past stats, production value counts for very little. The bottom line is that a video (even something as simple as filming on a smartphone over a colleague’s shoulder as they navigate through the project) makes for a welcome break from the pages of copy judges have to read, and can add oodles to your entry.

Thinking about entering into one of our premium awards? Julie Bowyer, Marketing Manager, Rufus Leonard (our 2015 Agency of the Year Winner) had some awesome tips on how to craft the perfect submission.

Focus on the last 12 months

The BIMA Awards judges want to know what makes your Agency, Startup, Arrival (agency startup) or Brand better than the rest.

Focus on achievements from the past 12 months and back them up with stats and social proof.

Julie suggests structuring your entry like this:

- Round-up paragraph – sell yourself!
- Wins – sign of business growth/social proof!
- Work
- Hires
- Talent achievements/other BIMA accolades
- Partnerships/new initiatives
- New products and services
- Next 12 months
- Recent success - initiatives/events/work
- Other

For more information on eligibility, extra tips from Zoe and Julie and some fun facts from Bridget you can check out the slides from the evening below.

Go forth and enter

Enter your finest work at

The BIMA team are here to help – should you have any questions about entering the BIMA Awards 2016 then don’t hesitate to drop us a line on:
Tel: +44(0) 20 3538 6607


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