Many companies and brands alike are in full mode of their annual nomination season – at least for the events industry. It is an exciting time to recognize rising stars and leaders within the field. Have you ever desired to be on a company’s 40 Under 40 List or a Top Planner of the Year List but did not know where to start, how to feel confident in your submission package, or have someone that could nominate you? If you answered yes, do not worry. I have been there too.

There are times when you are nominated anonymously. Sweet! However, there are also times when you have to do most of the prep-work to ensure your name adorns one or multiple nominations in chances to be included on one of those desired lists. More work – I know – but the reward is so much greater.

Here are some actionable steps to help get you on the list!

Identify the List you want to Be On

There are many types of lists available, but they are not all created equally as they cover various sectors of the industry. Identify and save the lists that resonate with you, align with your achievements, and make you feel deserving of the recognition. Crosscheck their eligibility requirements to see if you meet the criteria before diving into your nomination package.

Mark Your Calendar

This is the time to research the submission requirements and process timelines that are typically centered on deadlines. It is important to have all of these deadlines on your calendar and communicated to the person writing your nomination.

Another approach – if you’re not ready to submit for the current year –mark your calendar with information about the award(list) for the following year. I first found out about an award that sparked my interest in 2017, right when the submission period was ending, so I immediately added it to my calendar for the following year so I would be ready when it came back around! Here’s an image of the actual invite.

Update Your Personal Brand

One of the top reasons a person misses the nomination period is due to the lack of readiness with their personal brand items. Do not let that be you, especially when you get that feeling of “this is my year!”

Here is a shortlist of typical personal brand items you need to have ready to go.

  • Headshots – A recently taken professional headshot is the way to go.
  • Bio – Have a long and short version ready to cover potential word limits.
  • Resume – Ensure it reflects your current position and most recent accomplishments.
  • Personal Statement – Think of this as the beginning of your brag sheet. Have it truly introduce your career and accomplishments.

Identify and Ask People to Serve as your Nominator  

Quick story. This is one step I did not value or even consider until it was too late. I followed all of my advice above and was ready to submit for a list in 2019.

I asked a colleague I met three months before the nomination period for her acceptance of nominating me. She said yes! Therefore, I passed on everything needed to meet the requirements and to assist her with the nomination. Suddenly, as the period was closing, she emailed letting me know she could not continue as she struggled with writing an answer to the question about why I should be on the list.

I did not fault her and still value our relationship today. She was right. The nominator is just as important as the nominee is. They not only have the task of writing out your submission; they also have to make sure it translates into a nomination that stands out. That’s entirely another thing.

I recommend having three people in mind who can and would be willing to nominate you. Go ahead and ask them for certainty…well before the time comes.

People to consider: former or current colleagues, someone in another industry who knows your work well (I tap into my PR and marketing contacts), and other event professionals you have a rapport with, such as your vendors.

Oh, the story has a plot twist…. 2020 was my year!

Follow All the Submission Requirements

This is where you must dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s”! My first rule of thumb is to check the form for any outlines of what they are looking for in the candidates, good entry tips, or general keywords to make sure your submission rises to the top.

If there are none listed, I recommend these tips:

  • Answer all questions completely and consider using bullet points to communicate the key details.
  • Make a specific connection between your professional accomplishments to the award.
  • List out all of the specifics in a factual manner versus as an assertion.

Here’s the thing…go for it! Not quite your time yet? That’s okay. You can start now on these steps to get you set up for success. In the meantime, pay it forward and nominate another deserving event pro.

Check out some lists I look forward to reading every year, that are accepting nominations right now!

Write A Comment