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What we can learn from the BIMA Awards?


What we can learn from the BIMA Awards?

On Wednesday I attended BIMA’s event on ‘How to win a BIMA award’ to gain some insight behind the scenes, also to see how it compares to winning a Wirehive 100.

‘Statistics with a caveat’

First up was Bridget Beale, MD of BIMA, who shared with us some of the statistics that make up recent award winning trends. Although, before sharing this top-secret information we were given the caveat that all statistics, whilst 100% correct, should be taken with a pinch of salt.

These statistics included:

-          It is better to be judged last: only 10% of 2015 entries shortlisted were judged first

-          Amongst the most common words used within winning entries are Customer and User

-          The optimum length of a winning BIMA entry is 443 words (with the exception on 2015 when it was 613)

-          75% of winning entries in 2013 - 2014 were under 500 words

-          83% of winning entries in 2015 included a case study video, although the quality of video did not impact the likeliness of winning

‘Short is sweet but keep it British’

Next up was Zoe Abrams, Executive Director of Communications & Engagement at British Red Cross and 2015 BIMA Awards Judge. Zoe shared with us some top tips on how to impress the BIMA judges:

1. Treat your judges well - BIMA judges generally look at 80-90 entries and it can take up to 12 hours work to go through them all – make your entry stand out.

2. Short is sweet - Generally, judges spend approximately 15 minutes on each entry. Make sure your entry is concise - ‘Short is sweet but keep it British’.

3. Meaningful measurement = MAGIC - Always ensure you baseline your metrics. Telling the judges that site visits have grown by 300% means nothing - “if you don’t baseline it’s just annoying”. This particular point is further enforced by the feedback from 2015 judges and winners in this video.

4. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s - Always spell and grammar check. More importantly though, if your page needs a password make sure this is supplied and valid. If an app is a paid for app then give the judges a free access code. Don’t make reviewing your work more difficult than it needs to be.

5. Put your best work in the right category - The Judging Day is a day’s work – there is nothing worse than having to get the categorisation validated and being handed an entry once you think you’re finished.

Above all else, Zoe advises you to have fun with your entries and take the judges on your project’s journey. 

‘Don’t listen to the naysayers’

To close the evening, we heard from Julie Bowyer, Marketing Manager for Rufus Leonard, 2015 BIMA Agency of the Year Winners. Julie talked to us about how she ignored the ‘naysayers’, she knew that Rufus Leonard had an outstanding 12 months and were fully deserving of this award.

Julie had a ‘Derren Brown’ style analysis of her entry, highlighting the power of suggestion in her title which placed the agency name against the award, making it look like they’re already winners.

To prime the judges and start on a high, the opening paragraph was a round-up of why Rufus Leonard had an awesome 12 months and deserved this award, following up with timely and relevant social proof. Throughout the entry whilst name dropping the key partners which had made-up Rufus Leonard’s epic year, it was implied that this wasn’t the complete list, leaving the judges curious to know more.

To finish off the perfect entry, talk about the next 12 months. Show that you’re still riding the high and things are only getting better.

‘Why enter the BIMA awards, aren’t they fixed?’

The talks ended with a Q&A with our all-female panel. Bridget put paid to rumours that BIMA winners were pre-determined. Neither, as confirmed by Zoe, could the judges be bribed because it is not announced which categories are judged by who. Therefore, to bribe your judge you would need to bribe all 30.

’How does this help me win a Wirehive 100?’

There are certainly some comparative elements to winning a Wirehive 100. Handily, Wirehive 100 assist with keeping your entries short and punchy by limiting you to 500 words. To help out entrants, we publish the criteria and weighting - so ensure you cover all of the relevant points.

Overall, you should be considering all of Bridget, Zoe and Julie’s advice when writing your Wirehive 100 entry. Remember, while a project cannot win on the basis of a dazzling entry alone, neither is an amazing project likely to succeed as part of a hurried or poorly written entry.

For further insight and a few more BIMA awards facts check out the slides from the evening here.