Local business awards in theory are about celebrating the best companies and business people in a region. It is a great way of looking past bigger name companies and celebrating the people who have contributed to the local economy.
However, if you are a business that is up for an award, been approached to sponsor it or even attend is it worth it? In this article, we will weigh up the pros and cons to help you decide.
Accepting an award
If you are lucky enough to win an award then a speech is a great opportunity to thank the people who helped you get your business off the ground. Furthermore, it is a good chance to emphasise your ties to the local area and give people a sense of your company’s identity in a more personal way than they would get from a website or a social media post.
Just because an event is in your region does not necessarily mean it will be in a place that is easy to get to. This can mean you have to take the time to get there. That being said these events will often include free refreshments and the potential for networking could offset that bit of investment.
Another potential downside is that attending an award means time that you are not spending selling products or working on your business. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case- thanks to live videos, photo sharing sites and social media it is now a lot easier to turn an event into a massive promotion for your business.
If you are approached to sponsor an event you should treat it as any other kind of investment- can you afford the costs of sponsoring and is the event targeted to your audience?
That being said supporting a local event can also be a great positive promotion, showing that you care about the community around you. As stated before this is also a fantastic chance to talk about other businesses about other possible connections, more events and so forth.
Furthermore, this also means you can be featured in local media and get free promotion in platforms that would otherwise require you to purchase advertising space (and if you already advertise in those platforms it can maximise your reach).
That being said it is important to not overdo it- if people feel you are exploiting the opportunity there may be a backlash. In most cases if you get into the spirit of the event and show keenness for it this will usually rub off on the people interacting with you.
In short, the answer to the question “Are local award shows worth the time and effort?” is simple- it can be worth both the time and the effort depending on how much you are prepared to put into them.
Whether you are accepting an award, sponsoring one or attending an event with the right approach you can promote your business, a positive message and support your local area all in one event.