Hints & Tips
Every excellent tourism business in the region stands a chance of winning an award, whatever its size or scale or if it has won in the past. These hints and tips are designed to make the entry process as painless and productive as possible. They also explain the entry requirements and what the judges will be looking for.
Step 1. Check you are eligible
Entry is free for members of Tourism South East. Non members can pay an entrance fee of £65 plus VAT, £45 for B and Bs. This includes entry into two awards (plus Sustainablity and Access); you will be invoiced on receipt of your application and payment must be received before the closing date.
Your business or event must be located in the Tourism South East area - including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey.
The judges are looking for evidence of excellence, innovation and quality improvements in the last 2 years. If you entered last year then make it really clear what improvements/additions have been made since your last entry.
If you won gold nationally at the VisitEngland Awards in 2017 you are not eligible to enter the same category again.
Step 2. Read the forms carefully
Any information provided after the word limit has been exceeded will be disregarded.
Step 3. Top Tips and Common Mistakes
- Read the questions and the checklist (after each question) before you start and ensure that you answer fully.
- Don’t exceed the word limit but do provide a full answer for each question, the judges need to know why you are excellent.
- Do answer all the questions. Marks are awarded for each question and any missed questions will you do not get a score for that question.
- Tell the judges why you are different, unique and be passionate about your commitment to excellence.
- Provide weblinks at the end of your answer with evidence supporting your entry. These are not included in the word count.
- Answer factually and honestly. If you are mystery shopped, your claims will be checked.
- Feedback and quotes from visitors make strong evidence. Tourism is a people business and judges are looking for evidence that you have made a difference to someone’s visit.
- Presentation matters! Make it easy to read - bullet points are far easier to read than long paragraphs.
- Use simple English and avoid jargon.
- Do a spell check – and if possible get someone else to read through your entry to check anything you may have missed.
- If you have a team get input on your entry from them.
- If you need help please email email@example.com.
Step 4. Prepare supporting evidence, if desired
The judges will be looking at your website, social media, reviews and your responses to them, as such if there are any particular websites you would like the judges to look at please include a link in your answer. If you would like to submit additional evidence you can email one electronic document (not lots of files in one folder) this is voluntary and NOT essential. If submitted the document should be no more than 5 MB in size (a PDF or word document) and have your business name included in the file name eg supportthesunhotel.doc. All information should relate to the answers you have given on your entry form.
Step 5. Submit your entry
When you have completed the form, save it as a word document and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will acknowledge your entry with an email, if you do not receive a reply please let us know.
Make your entry stand out by focusing on what is unusual and innovative, don’t be modest, this is your chance to shine.
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