Winning the PrintWeek India Awards can mean big business boost

Welcome back! It was an exciting week that went by at PrintWeek India's headquarters in Mumbai, with entries marching in for the sixth edition of PrintWeek India Awards 2014.

22 May 2014 | By Noel D'Cunha

As the Award season draws closer, many of our printer friends wonder: Is entering awards worth my while, what is it that award winners do; what is it that they don't, and how do I do what I do to stand a chance of beating the competition?

And an undercurrent thought is consistent - what if I win and what if I don’t?

Overwhelming? Ambiguous?

As an attempt to clarify this ambiguity I decided to pen this column to explain how being a part of awards, especially PWI Awards can contribute to your business and bottomline.

Many of the print firms that have bagged the top spot have leveraged this to their advantage. A case in point is: Pragati Offset, Manipal Technologies and International Print O Pac.

Point-of-Purchase of the Year 2012: Spectrum Scan

Participating in PrintWeek India Awards comes with a range of potential advantages - and regular winners like Parksons Graphics and Spectrum Scan and Avantika have recognised this.

In the last five years of PrintWeek India Awards, we have observed that the one thing that holds the printers back from participating is lack of time to go through the entry process. It's true especially when most of the businesses are one man operations. However, I must say that the time spent entering an awards contest can be more than an investment than a cost.

The entry process, which can be very rigorous, means you select four best print jobs out of the hundreds that you produce each day. It enables you to zoom out and adopt a new perspective on your business, encouraging you toidentify your overarching strategic strengths and weaknesses.

The jury round is a sort of benchmarking process and it is more significant when the jury consists of none other than print buyers themselves that is your potential customers. The jury will consider your application in comparison with other competitor print firms. It is an opportunity for you to assess your position in relation to that of your peers and competitors.

The verdict is credible because it comes from an independent, third party jury panel of over 30 print buyers that has evaluated your product relative to your competitors.

Winning, of course, brings its own advantages. PWI Awards bring credibility not only to your company but also to your partners, vendors and clients. This can have a direct and dramatic impact on your firm since it clearly differentiates you from your competitors, and can provide a real competitive advantage when seeking or retaining customers.

Also, since there is only one winner per category, the Award gives you a unique distinction you can promote in your marketing.

Not only that, they also play an important role of team motivation internally. And for many print firms this motivation can be worth more than any reward.

Last week, when I was in Germany, I met a co-owner of a label machine manufacturer. According to a survey done by his company, wherein it studied 26 parameters that define the performance of a printing plant, the highest rated parameter was operator motivation.

After all the award winning print jobs are results of team work and for your staff to be part of that award winning team will make them proud to be part of your business.

Moving ahead, the awards ceremony can open up impressive networking opportunities with over 350 other business people attending the night.

Last but not the least, don't assume it will be only the big companies who win the awards.  Most awards are won by businesses which have a truly original concept or have created genuine masterpieces- for their size, circumstances or sector.  As long as you are able to quantify the efforts put into creating that print job and how you have done it you always have an equal chance of winning no matter how small your print business is.

Feeling motivated? The PrintWeek India Awards is now open for entries until 27 June 2014. Submit your top print jobs in any of the six Performance and 21 Quality categories.

This year, we have added a few categories to the list, while tweaking the nomenclature of few others to make it more in tune with today’s trends. So, there’s the Green Printing Company of the Year added to the Performance Awards, you will find Cross Media, Digital Photo Album, Direct Mail, Industrial Product added to the Quality Awards. These new additions will allow certain areas of the print industry that have not been eligible for an Award to be able to participate.

I’ve compiled a few basic hints and tips to ensure that you can secure glory at the PrintWeek India Awards 2014.

- For starts, you need to enter. As they say, you have got to be in it, to win it.

- Choose the correct category. And submit best examples of four print jobs, which you have produced.

- Less is best. Remember, on judgment day, the jury scrutinises hundreds of entries. Don’t over-burden them with needless information.

- Context is everything. The judges are experts in their field but they may not have knowledge of the particular print project for which the job has been entered. Inform them.

- Do not ignore the rules. For instance, when we ask for a full set of technical specifications, do please send them to us. This enables our jury to make a sound judgment on the performance of your print job. If we don’t provide enough information, you won’t make it to the shortlist.

- Remember you are being judged for FOUR print jobs, not just one single piece of print. So don’t send us four samples of the same job.

Remember: you have to impress the jury with a variety of print skills.

- Finally, remember who’s judging. It’s your customers. We have put the judging in the hands of an independent panel of experts, a line-up of big-name print buyers for our Quality Awards. This is your chance to sell to them. In fact in 2011, 2012 and 2013, our jury members fixed appointments with key printers a day after judgment day.

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Good luck!