Top Tips to Win an Award

Top Tips for Winning

Winning a CEDIA Award is recognition for the great work within our industry. Enhance your chance of being a winner by reading our top tips for winning an award.  

1. Follow the rules

The rules are there to help with the judging process and to ensure fairness among all entrants. Failing to obey the rules may result in your entry being disqualified or heavily marked down. Ensure you submit all the required elements and provide supporting documents in the correct format.    

2. Enter the correct category

It sounds simple, but an entry will be rejected if the project has been deemed to be in the wrong category. Specifically take note of the differences between a Media Room and a dedicated Home Cinema. 

3. Be honest with financials

Some systems that have been submitted have been rejected due to the value of the project being higher than what was stated.

  1. 4. Provide ALL of the requested documentation

  2. The documentation requested is so the judging process can take place in an objective way by assessing the engineering, aesthetic, ergonomic, value and client needs of the project. Without the requested documentation, the judges simply cannot apply an objective process to the project and the entry will be marked down. 

  3. 5. Use the CEDIA Recommended Practice Documents

  4. Where a CEDIA Recommended Practice Document exists, and has been taught within a CEDIA course, the judges will use those guidelines as the basis of the engineering part of the judging process. This is the only way that the judging process can be objective from a technical perspective. Please email education@cedia.co.uk for information on the availability of the recommended practice documents and any accompanying education that CEDIA offers. 

  1. 6. Looks aren’t everything...it’s all in the detail

  2. It’s not just how the project looks aesthetically, it’s the technical excellence shown that makes it count. Submitting photographs alone doesn’t allow the judging process to be objective from a technical perspective. Make sure you submit detailed engineering drawings and calculations, plus specifications for the system alongside photography.

  3. 7. Keep the system description concise and make sure innovation is highlighted

  4. Written descriptions should be well structured, concise and concentrate on what makes the system truly special and unique. Provide an overview of how the project met any specific client needs, and highlight any innovation or challenges overcome. The judges will look favourably upon projects that demonstrate the custom nature of our industry. With the multiple scheme category the judges will look favourably upon projects that demonstrate maximising the value of the project to the developer. It is not always obvious from a photograph how a system works so the description should highlight key innovation, ergonomic and custom features of the project.

  1. 8. Integration is what we do

  2. In an increasingly commoditised marketplace, the key to a successful project is to add value to commoditised hardware. The judges will look favourably upon systems where there is a high degree of integration between subsystems and where control of multiple subsystems have been converged onto correctly specified user interfaces. An explanation about the choice of User Interfaces is beneficial. 
9. Think about the competition

Consider who else may be entering and think about what their arguments for winning could be, then make your entry stand out. Take a look at the CEDIA Awards Yearbooks from previous years to give you a fair idea of winning entries and ask yourself "would my project win against this award winning entry?".   

  1. 10. Photography is important

  2. Photography is critical for three reasons –

  3. It helps the judges from an engineering perspective

It enables the judges to look at how the technology has been integrated into the built environment from an aesthetic and ergonomic perspective.

It is required for the Awards evening, inclusion in the Yearbook and for all of the PR opportunities that follow. We require high-resolution photography to showcase your project effectively. Check out the rules on photo standards before you submit.  

Think about hiring a professional photographer who specialises in interiors to photograph your projects. With the client’s permission, these can also form the basis of a portfolio of your work. 

  1. 11. There is no need to showboat

  2. A more expensive project does not necessarily have a greater chance of winning. The judges look very favourably upon solutions that have been delivered to a strict budget but continue to show innovation and also meet or exceed the client’s needs. We are looking for excellence and are keen to showcase systems towards the more affordable end of our market.
12. Get permission

In a frantic last minute dash to get your entry in before the submission deadline it is easy to forget to get permission from your client. Some clients and collaborators on a project may have rules and policies preventing the use of their project in a competition. Especially in this industry, anonymity of 'high profile' clients is sensitive. Your relationship with your client should be top priority. Be aware some clients are less happy to just give their permission and will request approval of the entry before submission, ensure you factor this time in to the submission process.
13. Check for typos and errors
It's all too easy to write quickly and submit without first checking, so make sure you thoroughly proof your entry and ask someone else to check it too with a fresh pair of eyes. 
14. Give yourself time
Whilst the new online entry process should make the awards submission process simpler and more efficient, it still takes time to prepare. Make sure you allow time to gather the information you may need from different sources. Visuals and other supporting material may need to be prepared, and the entry perhaps requires approval from the client. Don't underestimate the time required to prepare, review and submit your entry. Leaving it to the last minute with poor preparation may not score you those important points.
15. Be the judge
When you have finished, try to place yourself in the judges' shoes and review your entry with a critical eye. What would you want to know about your project that would make it stand out among the entries? 


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