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.
- Entry is free for members of Tourism South East. Non members can pay an entrance fee of £70 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 your entry is accepted.
- 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.
- Please read the criteria here or at the start of the entry forms carefully to ensure that you are eligible to enter.
- 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 have won gold in the same category in the South East for two or more years, we’d advise considering a different category or offering to help us with judging.
- Use the practice form to prepare and hone your entry and share drafts with colleagues.
- Read the questions and the "checklist" points (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. In your final online submission you will not be able to exceed the word limit.
- Answer all the questions. Marks are awarded for each question and any missed questions will mean your entry cannot be short-listed.
- Visit England has a range of business advice should you need any assistance regarding sustainability click here or access here.
- Tell the judges why you are different, unique and be passionate about your commitment to excellence.
- Provide evidence of success for each question including weblinks that relate to each answer.
- 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 proof read – and if possible get someone else to read through your entry to check anything you may have missed.
- Make your entry stand out by focusing on what is unusual or innovative, don’t be modest, this is your chance to shine.
- Check every page and link to your website(s) and other online presense - judges will be looking here too.
- If you need help please email the Awards team firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prepare supporting evidence, if desired
In all entries it is possible to include links to websites illustrating your responses or to cloud files containing relevant evidence. In some categories you may also attach a file (eg mystery shop report) but our experience is that the best entry forms and ones that judges prefer are usually those without attachments.
Our recommendation is to focus on giving concise answers on the entry form and making sure you answer the questions If you do this then additional files can simply become a time consuming and unnecessary distraction for both entrants and judges (ie quality is more important than quantity).