14 June 2019

AEO Awards

Grosvenor House

in association with circdata, freeman and nec

Essential Entry Criteria and Top Tips

  • All entries must be submitted by the deadline of 5:00pm (GMT) on Friday 15th March 2019.
  • Qualifying period is for events that took place between 12th March 2018 to 15th March 2019. 
  • All entries must be submitted online via this website. No hardcopy entries will be accepted.
  • Only fully completed entry forms will be accepted. Word limits are to be strictly observed. Judges will disregard any words over the limit, so please be sure to adhere to those guidelines.
  • Entry is free of charge for all AEO members entering the categories available to organisers, AEV members entering categories available to venues, ESSA members entering categories available to suppliers and service providers. For non-members each entry costs an administration fee of £499 (+VAT)  PER SINGLE ENTRY. Payment must be made prior to the deadline date for entries.  Payment will be accepted by credit card or by bank transfer in GBP. You will be invoiced on receipt of your entry.
  • All entrant companies have the opportunity to take a table at the lunchtime Awards Ceremony on 14th June  2019 at Grosvenor House.
  • Please also submit your company logo (in eps format) when sending your entry.
  • The entry form represents the full and entire official entry. Attempts to further influence the judges by any means outside of, or in addition to, the official entry may result in disqualification.
  • On receipt of your entry, the awards administrators will confirm its arrival via email. If you do not obtain such a receipt within three days, it is your responsibility to contact us to confirm its arrival. Unless you have this written or verbal confirmation from us, we cannot guarantee the arrival of your entry.
  • It is essential that we can contact you easily with questions regarding your entry, or judging enquiries and requests for further information. Therefore, please provide us with an awards liaison representative who can take these enquiries.  You must provide their full contact details on the entry form.
  • Companies will be shortlisted in each category and the shortlist will be published on or before 23rd April 2019. The Winners will be announced during the Awards lunch on 14 June 2019.
  • All shortlisted companies must have at least one representative at the awards ceremony to potentially collect their award. Therefore upon shortlisting, all shortlisted entrants will be liable for one seat at the Awards Dinner. All entrants reaching the provisional shortlist will be contacted upon announcement of the provisional shortlist to discuss their attendance and promotional options. Entrants unable to commit to attendance at the Awards ceremony will not be included in the final shortlist.


We will publish details of the shortlisted entrants and category winners, including profiles of their projects/technologies/services etc., using the information taken from the entry form. We will not reveal the names of those companies/individuals who are not shortlisted.

Top Ten Tips for Award Entries

1. Choose the right category

  • Closely review all the categories available and determine which is most appropriate 
  • Enter more than one relevant category to increase your chances of being shortlisted
  • BUT make sure you tailor your information to suit the criteria for each category


2.    Seek permission 

  • Ensure third parties are happy to have their information entered into the award, check early on in the process to save disappointment and wasted time

3.    Time is of the essence

  • A considerable amount of thought is needed when deciding which information tells the best story
  • Allocate enough time, the process invariably takes longer than expected 
  • Build in time for approvals and proofing

4.    Satisfy the judging criteria - If there is a ‘most important’ tip, then this is it

  • Read the criteria for the particular category you are entering
  • Make sure you give direct, easy to find and clear to understand evidence against set criteria
  • Keep focused and ensure all information is relevant

5.    Read and follow the instructions 

The judges should sit at the heart of your thinking when preparing your entry, as they make the decision so:

  • Ensure that you keep to the word count. If you are asked for 750 words, stick to it
  • Keep within the document and image sizes specified
  • Deliver supporting documents in the format requested – PDF, .doc, video etc
  • Stick to deadlines and closing dates

6.    Get the judges’ attention

Judges will be looking at more than one entry, get the judges attention. Approach the entry as you would a marketing campaign or your CV:

  • Sell yourself or your company
  • Deliver a clear, well laid out entry that is easy to read and makes an instant impact
  • Use colour, images and diagrams if appropriate to evidence why you have excelled in a certain area
  • Be honest – if you’ve faced challenges and constraints include them and how you have overcome them
  • Don’t forget to showcase your business. Be proud of what you have achieved!

7.    Provide proof of your achievements

  •  All supporting evidence should substantiate your claims in the main award entry
  •  Include testimonials from customers, suppliers and other partners as appropriate
  •  Key statistics and measurement on growth, adoption of ideas and changes are compelling and help the judges evaluate impact
  •  Remember to “market” your company. Include samples of publicity material, press cuttings and other relevant material. Be innovative

8.    Trust the judges

  • Don’t be concerned about supplying confidential information, industry awards are reputable otherwise they don’t last long
  • Without being honest and providing as much information as possible you won’t stand a chance against those who do

9.    Don’t do a half-hearted attempt 

  • If it’s worth doing, do it well
  • Designate someone in the company to coordinate everything, follow-up on evidence and draft copy. Give them the information, resources, time and money they need to put together the best entry you can 

10.    Final checks

  • Once drafted, get a critical eye to look over it
  • Check spelling, grammar and punctuation – it would be a shame to stumble at the final hurdle
  • Remember to check through all supporting documentation before submission

  • The awards are important because the good and the great of the industry are here. You get to meet all your peers and it’s a fabulous way of rewarding the best of the best.
    Austen Hawkins
    CEO, f2f Events Ltd
  • This is our time to stand out and cheer on our companies.
    Alice Fulton
    Senior Sales, Diversified Communications
  • I think this is very good for younger talent. It rewards them and gives them a great buzz. It shows them it’s really important to do well in your job. It’s a very valuable way to present your company to the wider world.
    James Ormiston
    CEO, Circdata

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