If you’ve never entered The Industry Awards before it can seem like a daunting task. You might be wondering, what should I include? What should my application look like? What gave last year’s winners the edge over the competition?
So here we’ve rounded up our top tips for entering The Industry Awards along with some advice from past winners.
Firstly, the entry forms are your friends. All the requirements and judging criteria for each award are included on the entry form. Different awards have different requirements, so make sure you read each entry form carefully to make sure you’re giving the judges exactly what they want to see. Secondly, don’t be late! Your entries along with a completed entry form are due by 31 August 2020, so make sure you send them in as soon as you can so that you’re not rushing at the last minute!
Now here are some tips specific to the Training, Business and Creative sections of The Industry Awards.
There are a few key things you need to remember when entering a Training Award category. Here are our tips on what your entry should look like, what to include, and some advice from past winners and judges.
- Show your style. We want to see your creativity in your entry, but keep in mind that the judges need to be able to judge the content you’ve provided. That means that if you’re submitting a written entry, typed entries are best and stick to A3 and A4 sizes. Booklets are always good – they’re easy to post and easy to judge.
If you’re submitting a video entry, make sure the lighting is good and audio clear. Entries must be five minutes or under. As it will be a large file, you’ll need to send it on a USB stick.
- Answer the questions. It may sound silly, but to create a winning entry, you need to make sure you’re meeting all the entry requirements. Each entry form will tell you exactly what the best entries will include, so double check that your entry is covering everything you say. You don’t need to include heaps of information, keep it short and sweet and really think about what’s important to include. If you’re including other information, like photos or print-outs from your booking system, remember to explain why they’re important.
- Think about HITO. You’re all HITO trainees, trainers, or employers – make sure you talk about what’s relevant to your training with HITO, or how you help HITO trainees as part of your application.
- Take your time. Some of the most common advice from our past winners is to prepare and put a lot of effort into your application. Entries aren’t due until August 31, so start thinking about what you want to say now. Collect any relevant information so you don’t have to rush at the last minute. Take advantage of every opportunity you get – it could be the opportunity that helps you win an award! Natasha Bird, winner of the 2018 Industry Trainer of the Year award, said
- Be open and honest. Put your heart into it, and openly share your experiences. It helps the judges get to know you and shows off your good qualities. Vienna Moore won Apprentice of the Year in 2019, and she believes that honesty helped her to create an award winning entry:
“What I did with my application was just be completely honest. If you really do love hairdressing and you’re passionate about it then that will come through”.
- Think broadly. Don’t just focus on one aspect of your dedication and commitment. You might be a competition superstar, but the judges want to know where else you’ve shown excellence. You might be 100% dedicated to your students, but are there other areas where you’ve supported training success?
“Just do it because it’s a really good chance to stand back and look at what you’re doing, determine if it’s enough. Even if you don’t win it’s worthwhile – I put together a better entry this year because of what I learned entering last year.”
The quality of applications is always incredibly high, and the judges have a difficult time selecting our winners. We can’t wait to receive another round of fantastic entries this year.
Winning a Business Award is a great way to receive national recognition and improve your business, but even just entering the Business Awards helps you to learn so much about your business and make it even better. If you’re entering the Business Awards for the first time, or you missed out on a win last year, you might be wondering how to make your entry the best it can be. Here’s a list of our top tips that’ll help you put together a winning entry:
- Triple check your numbers. If you’re entering a Business Award that requires you to submit numerical answers, make sure you triple check them! They’ll need to be GST exclusive and a few of them are really specific about what we’re asking for – so be sure to read the questions a few times so you know exactly what we’re looking for. Doing this will also allow you to truly understand your numbers and better understand your business which makes it so worthwhile!
- Results, results, results! The judges want to see how your initiatives have performed, not just what they were. Find a way to weave your results, and evidence of those results, throughout your entry. Think costs, engagement, feedback and return on investment. And don’t forget to include any reports or statistics too – these must be included in your entry.
- Use your creativity. You know the style of your salon, spa or clinic better than anyone, and the judges are always excited by a great looking entry, so show off what your business is all about. Remember presentation is worth 10% of your overall score. We spoke to Annabel Kinley from Scout, winner of the Sustainable Salon of the Year award in 2019. She said,
“One of the main reasons we did so well is because of the way we presented it. We were perfectionists in making it look exactly how we wanted it to. It’s really important to get your ideas across concisely and make them look how you want them to look.”
- Keep it brief. The judges love an entry that’s quick to read yet packed with incredible initiatives and results. So, use clear headings and simple language, stay on point and keep it concise.
Our final piece of advice is just to give it a go! So many of our previous entrants talk about insightful and rewarding entering is.
Tayla’d Styling, winner of the 2019 New Zealand Hair Salon of the Year award said,
“Entering The Industry Awards has helped by making me stop and evaluate ourselves and our systems. It also just gives us the drive to want to achieve more. The event is great and the companies that created it do such a good job, it’s nice to have an event like that in NZ. I’m so happy it exists, the whole team looks forward to it.”
The level of talent we see in the Creative Awards is so high, you might be wondering what sets a winning entry apart from the rest. Follow these top tips to make your entry the best it can be
- Be creative. For the Editorial Stylist awards, entrants are asked to create an image suitable for the front cover of a magazine that will forecast fashion for the coming season. The focus in all categories should be the hair but judges are looking for a fashion forward shot so the only limit is your imagination!
- Follow the brief. The entry forms may all look the same, but each award has its own criteria, so read and follow the criteria and you won’t go wrong – for example, don’t submit a black and white image for Editorial Stylist of the Year – Colour Concept, and read Patrick Cameron’s instructions carefully!
- Quality photography. Submit the best photographs you can, but be sure to read entry forms so you know exactly what is expected for each category. For the Patrick Cameron Instagram Challenge, photos must be taken on a digital device, while the Editorial Stylist shots need to be magazine worthy so we’d recommend using a professional photographer for this. Please note that computer enhancement is not allowed under any circumstances.
- Practice makes perfect. Take several shots of your image and save them onto a computer for review before you decide which one(s) to submit and don’t delete shots right after taking them as you may miss out on something you hadn’t noticed before. When it comes to submitting your entry, just remember that the judges judge the entries independently of one another, so if you send several poses with the same hairstyle, your chances of winning could be reduced due to each judge potentially choosing a different pose. You’ll find some additional hot tips on the individual entry forms – we can’t wait to see what you produce!
Kylie Hayes, 2019 Editorial Stylist of the Year says,
“By entering competitions it’s a chance for us to be artists, allowing us to inspire and educate others with our ideas; It’s a chance for us to be storytellers, we find ourselves drawn to a model, mesmerised by the fashion, colours and silhouettes we start to form in our minds. The Industry Awards are the perfect platform to expose your creative self, it’s our outlet where we can have our visions come to life.
Don’t forget The Industry Awards team is here to help and support you. So if you have any questions or need some guidance email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kitomba, HITO or NZARH.