Tech Excellence Awards 2022

The best advice for winning any award

Billy MacInnes comes to a realisation about how to come first at anything
Image: Mediateam

22 February 2024

I was very privileged to receive an e-mail from the editor of TechCentral this week, regarding the upcoming and much anticipated Tech Excellence Awards, with the following subject line: Tips from the Tech Excellence Awards judges.

I have to confess, my first reaction was to wonder why anyone would need ‘tips’ plural when surely the answer was pretty straightforward, and it wasn’t really a tip: If you want to win an award, be better than everyone else.

Now, I admit, that isn’t always the case. There are other ways to potentially win an award. And when it’s something as coveted as a Tech Excellence Award, who knows where someone might draw the line at trying to get their hands on one?




They might try and cheat, for example. It has been known to happen before with other awards, although I’m pretty certain it hasn’t happened with the Tech Excellence Awards. In any case, I’m not sure how they would go about it.

Bribery is another potential avenue but it’s probably better if there’s only a very small pool of judges. Otherwise it could be very expensive and the reward might not justify the overall cost. Not to mention the potential consequences if you get found out (and I’m not talking about the shame of having to hand your trophy back).

Perhaps blackmail might be a less expensive alternative because, theoretically, people are paying you rather than you paying them. But in order to blackmail someone, you need to have something to blackmail them with. And while there might be all manner of things you can blackmail someone with, it’s still a hassle finding what the right one is. In any case, the judges at the Tech Excellence Awards are likely to be people of unimpeachable character, so that’s definitely going to be a waste of time.

Maybe, instead of trying to resort to nefarious methods to stand out from the crowd, the best thing to do might be to create a winning application by using as many of the tips as possible.

To be honest, they look quite sensible to me, even if there are quite a lot of them. They suggest you should make references to distinct competitive advantages or new customer wins, marketing campaigns with measurable results, new product launches or developing partnerships, or any evidence of enhancing your customers’ business in bringing them new competitive advantages in their business.

You could also highlight key appointments to the executive team or board of directors, any reference to upskilling and training programmes for staff, mergers or acquisitions or new investment capital incorporated in the business and individual achievements or independent company awards, local or international.

At first glance, that seems like quite a lot of work but it’s probably easier than bribery or blackmail. And the risks are much reduced. What’s the worst that can happen if your application doesn’t catch the eye of the judges? Nothing. Which is a lot less than the maximum of 14 years you could get for blackmail. However highly you might prize a Tech Excellence Award, it’s not worth that.

In any case, the deadline for entries is fast approaching so it doesn’t really leave any time for anyone to deploy underhand methods to try and win. If you want to enter, the link is here and the deadline for entries is 5 April. The only advice I would give is not to send in an application where every question or criteria is answered with the phrase “We should win because we are the best”. It might well be true but the judges are going to need a little bit more to go on.

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