Hints and tips for writing a great entry
Leave enough time to do your entry justice.
Completing a great entry takes thought, effort and some time – particularly the first time you apply.
Read the criteria on the front of each entry form.
Each award category has a different emphasis, so tailor your answers accordingly.
Some categories have additional eligibility criteria, such as the need to have a recognised quality grading, a certain number of rooms or visitors or the length of operation.
Make sure you are eligible to enter your chosen category.
We can only judge what you tell us.
Make sure you give us sufficient information and don’t assume the judges already know anything about your business.
It’s normal to perform better in some areas than others but do answer all the questions as best you can.
Leaving a blank space automatically means no score for that question, affecting your likelihood of being shortlisted.
Create as full a picture of your business or nominee as possible.
We are looking for passion and enthusiasm which makes the business or the person come alive so be engaging, genuine and personal – and don’t use too much marketing speak!
Read and answer each question carefully.
Some questions have two or more parts to them. We need to know what impact certain developments or changes have had on your business and this part of the question is frequently omitted. After you have told us about your developments/changes ask yourself “So what?” What difference has it made to your business?
Shout about your successes.
Tell us if you’ve increased your occupancy, visitor numbers, average room rate; if you’ve received improved customer feedback and reviews; or, if you’ve saved costs or the environment through your developments, initiatives and changes.
Ask someone else to proofread your draft entry for spelling, grammar and typos.
Also ask them whether what you’ve written makes sense to someone who doesn’t know your business.
There are word counts against each required answer.
At the Cumbria Tourism Awards, you won’t be penalised for exceeding the word count, but do try to keep within around 50 words of it as it makes your entry easier to read. Remember the judges are reading several entries in each category.
Keep the detail of your entry focused mainly on what you’ve done in the last 2 years.
If you have been a previous winner or finalist your entry needs to show significant progression or development to be shortlisted again. The Judges have good memories!
Lots of entries don’t bring out the exceptional or the unique aspect of the business.
Keep in mind the sector and level in which you operate and tell us what really makes you stand out above and beyond the other competitors.
A good answer to a question will provide specific examples/evidence to back up the answer.
This is particularly relevant when asked about the outcome of a certain activity/recent development. Those who can quote actual figures or specific results will score more highly than a generic answer such as ‘better feedback’ without any evidence.
In the question about ‘innovative marketing and promotion’ many answers ignore the innovative part of the question.
Questions about training are not just for businesses with employees.
If you don’t employ staff, you need to explain how you keep up to date with changes in legislation or ahead of your competitors.
The accessibility question is now answered much more expertly than in previous years
However, entries still tend to dwell on the mobility needs of visitors rather than considering all forms of disability together with the young/old etc. Make sure you include a link to a copy of your Access Statement on your website and convince us that accessibility is an important part of your customer service.
The Sustainability question should also focus on examples of activities which are innovative or exceptional and make your entry stand out.
Green awareness is on the increase and what was innovative or exceptional two years ago is quickly becoming the norm.
Include supporting evidence only if it will enhance your entry form, it’s not essential.
If you do include supporting evidence, keep it light (no more than 3 or 4 items) and relevant to your entry.