Entering industry awards: how to make it to the shortlist

(Posted on 26/02/24)

Entering industry awards: how to make it to the shortlist

There is no doubt that an award-winning piece of work needs to be of the very highest quality. However, many prestigious projects fly under the radar and remain unrewarded. This is because entering awards, and of course, securing a place on the shortlist, takes a lot of work and commitment from those involved. Anyone who has every been shortlisted for an award is likely to tell you that the hard work is never wasted; the PR value of awards should never be underestimated.


Specialists in award writing

Here at Zebra, award writing is one of our specialist areas and we often write award entries for our clients. We know what the judges are looking for and we can spend the time researching the projects in order to emphasise their most important points. Very often, we have been involved with the marketing of a project from the start, which means we are uniquely placed to write authoritatively about it for an award entry as we are so familiar with it, from conception to delivery.

One example of this is our client CB Homes, which specialises in building bespoke ‘self-build’ homes. There are many stunning homes built by housebuilders all over the country every year but only a handful of them will gain a place on awards panels’ shortlists.

One of the biggest annual challenges that faces us is selecting just which out of a range of beautiful projects should be put forward for awards in any given year. We have to decide which home or development has that ‘x factor’ that particularly sets it apart.

Recently, we entered one of these beautiful self-build projects for two categories in the same awards. This particular project is stunning, even by CB Homes’ exacting standards. Inside the house, the ground floor is dominated by a big open-plan area that includes the kitchen, dining area and lounge space. The lounge space has been delineated by incorporating an oak panel frame feature and by dropping the level down one step to create a sunken floor. A series of bi-fold doors open onto the rear garden, and a beautiful oak canopy, featuring gallows brackets and oak fascias, runs the length of the rear elevation overlooking the garden. At the front of the house, the main staircase goes across an enormous oak framed double height window which runs the full height of the house and dominates the front elevation. Viewed from outside, the finished building blends in beautifully with its surroundings as the area includes a number of traditional Cheshire barns.


High quality photography is essential for award entries

Once we had decided what needed to be included in the award entries that would really convey the scale and scope of this home, we then turned to imagery. High quality photography is so important when it comes to awards and should never be skimped on. Again, part of the challenge is selecting which photos out of a vast portfolio to submit. You may have dozens of photos. After all, no one on the judging panel is likely to have seen the entries in real life, so you have to ensure that the photos paint a sufficient picture for the judges to get a really good impression. Ultimately, that property was shortlisted for both the categories it was entered for in one of the housebuilding industry’s most prestigious awards.


Interested in entering your professional sector’s awards? Talk to us to find out how we can help you. Get in touch with the Zebra team today.