By Victoria Gaitskell
I know you’re terribly busy. On most days, most printers are stretched so thin that squeezing in one more extra task seems next to impossible. Even so, it would be a prudent business decision to take the time to submit your achievements into the 7th-annual Canadian Printing Awards (CPAs). Any serious business owner or manager needs to make it a priority to enter awards programs in their field, particularly a Canadian-specific initiative, because of the multitude of astonishing benefits they’ll reap in return. Here are seven of the biggest:
1. Large-scale publicity
Arguably, awards are the most powerful and cost-effective marketing tool. The publication, association, or trade show that organizes an awards program will devote considerable resources to publicizing the awards and participants before, during, and after the event. Especially if you are a winner or finalist, you can continue to publicize your own participation and successes in the awards program to your customers, prospects, prospective investors, and trade media indefinitely. Many awards, including the CPAs, come with an impressive trophy you can display prominently at your company forever.
2. A record of your achievements
Awards contests help you review your own progress and evaluate your successes and the areas of your business that need improvement. Initially you’ll perform this process when deciding which projects and initiatives to submit to the contest. But also, while some of the CPAs' categories require you to submit only basic information with the entry fee, others require more detailed documentation. The latter categories not only help you document your progress but also result in a report you can recycle many times in many ways to broadcast your achievements and track your future progress.
3. Networking opportunities and peer recognition
Awards competitions and ceremonies attract the best companies and prominent business leaders. Thus they provide an opportunity for you to show off and discuss your best achievements and latest innovations with a discerning and appreciative audience. Additionally, by attending the presentation ceremony or even by connecting with fellow participants by phone, e-mail, or social media, you can build your relationships and network with a prestigious new pool of contacts.
4. A leg up on your competition
Entries, recognition, or wins all give you a tangible edge over competitors and showcase your company as among the best in your field.
5. Support for your employer brand
Participants gain recognition in their industry as award-winning employers whose companies and products make them leaders in their field. This recognition makes your company a more attractive place to work for top-performing new hires.
6. Staff motivation, morale, and retention
Everyone wants to feel appreciated and part of a successful organization. Participating in awards competitions sends your staff the message that your company is worthy of recognition by a respected external body. This realization raises staff’s motivation and morale, especially if your company is astute enough to use your victories in awards competitions as platforms to stage internal celebrations recognizing the achievements of staff members who contributed to your success. It also helps to buy staff tickets for the dinner where prizes are announced, held in Toronto on November 29th.
7. A measure of your performance
Entering the awards gives you an unparalleled opportunity to assess the strength of your entry against others in the same category and gauge how your business stacks up against the very best. Frankly, you’d be crazy not to take advantage of this opportunity for an economically priced assessment from some of the industry’s most knowledgeable independent business experts who judge the entries.
But the craziest part is that you can reap all the above seven benefits for a cost of between $90 and $110 per contest submission. (The actual cost depends on the total number of submissions you make.) With 25 awards in three diverse categories, it’s hard to imagine why any printing company of any size wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the CPAs.
Entry information can found at printaction.com/cpa
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