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AEC MARKETING EXCELLENCE / Design Awards


Celebrating Creativity, Honoring Excellence 
Each year Houston’s A/E/C marketing elite come together for an evening of celebration to honor the most creative and effective marketing materials. These awards recognize the firms that most successfully promote their professional services in the Houston region. The 2012 SMPS Houston Design Awards Gala will recognize marketing excellence and celebrate winners in 11 categories. Note that we have two new categories this year!

All entries will be showcased at the 2012 SMPS Houston Design Awards Gala in mid-May. The outstanding winner in each category will be recognized for their exemplary work; one entry from all submissions will be awarded Best of Show. Gala attendees will vote on the Peer’s Choice Award, to be presented the evening of the Gala. Winners will receive notification by email prior to the Gala. Placement will be announced and awards presented at the Gala.

The 2012 SMPS Houston Design Awards Gala promises to be an event to remember, as the chapter celebrates our 30th anniversary. We hope you take this opportunity to showcase your best work at such an historic event.
 
WHAT TO ENTER
Marketing materials completed and distributed to promote services and firms in the A/E/C industry between January 2010 and December 2011 may be submitted for the 2012 SMPS Houston Design Awards. Materials may be submitted in any of the following categories; each piece may only be entered once, in one category. There is no limit to the number of categories a firm can enter. Work produced prior to 2010 may not be submitted. Previous SMPS Houston Design Award winning entries may not be submitted. Entries that fail to follow submittal requirements will be downgraded or disqualified at the jurors’ discretion. Jurors’ decisions are final. Please note any specific submittal requirements in the individual categories below. 
 
Firm Brochure 
A printed or electronic publication describing your firm’s general capabilities, scope of services and/or areas of expertise.

Special Event Materials/Holiday Pieces 
A one-time publication or effort produced to announce or promote a special event such as an anniversary, new name, office opening, dedication, or a holiday piece. Materials could include a card/ecard, party invitation, client appreciation gift, calendar, wearables/ad specialties, etc. Print or electronic items accepted. You may submit special materials in the original packaging in addition to the other required information, but do not attach any large/bulky three-dimensional materials to your entry board; photographs of such items should be included. Jurors may use special materials to help judge the entry.
 
Newsletter 
An external marketing-focused or internal employee-focused publication designed in a newsletter format and distributed via print or electronic media. Submit a minimum of three and maximum of five issues. Print samples of all electronic pieces and include a copy of each piece on a CD.
 
Direct Mail/Email Program
Marketing materials designed to reach a specific target audience and elicit a response through two or more pieces/emails. Direct mail may include form letters, pamphlets, postcards, and announcements. Include all pieces of the program. Provide the URL for interactive email programs and provide printed samples of the piece(s). For email campaigns, print samples of all pieces and include a copy of each piece on a compact disc (CD). Single mailed/emailed pieces should be entered in the Target Market or Special Event category.
 
Corporate Identity Program 
A consistent graphic image applied to your firm’s print and collateral materials. Submit a representative sampling of materials that convey your firm’s corporate identity. Entry may include logo application such as letterhead, business cards, brochures, newsletters, note cards, email signatures, and photos of branded specialty items. If available, please include a printed copy of the corporate identity manual or graphics standards.
 
Website
A website that either promotes your firm or has been launched by your firm for a specific project. Submit printouts of 5 to 15 pages of the web site, including the home page. Judges will view web pages on a PC using the latest version of Internet Explorer.
 
Target Marketing/Specific Project Marketing
A print, electronic or specialty piece produced to market a particular service, discipline, or capability to a specific audience. Specific project marketing is an item or series of items developed in support of winning one specific project. Materials may be print and/or digital and include qualification packages, proposals, PowerPoint presentations, leave-behinds, or anything else that contributed to the total effort. Proprietary or confidential project/firm information included in the materials may be blacked out.

Tradeshow Marketing
Communication pieces created to promote a firm’s attendance at tradeshow exhibits or used during the tradeshow to attract booth traffic. Materials may be printed and/or electronic.

The Shoestring Award
Any marketing piece that cost $1,500 or less to produce, including design, printing and distribution costs. Printed and electronic pieces will be accepted.

NEW CATEGORIES THIS YEAR!

Video

A program that utilizes video, podcasts, or audio/video as part of a marketing or recruitment effort. Submit still shots and audio transcripts. Submit video/podcasts on a CD.

Social Media
A program that utilizes social media tools to provide a platform for thought leadership, collaboration, and user interaction including but not limited to blogs, networking sites (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter); and content-sharing sites (e.g., Del.icio.us, YouTube, Flickr). Submit a sufficient number of pieces to demonstrate continuity in the program. Submit videos, still shots, audio transcripts and all applicable URLs on a CD.

SUBMISSION DETAILS
  1. Save graphic files and Word documents as PDFs.
  2. Save multi-media files as .mpg or .mov files.
  3. Print samples of all electronic pieces and include a digital copy of each piece on a compact disc (CD). Label the CD with the firm name, category and entry title.
  4. Submit only one entry per CD. If submitting more than one entry with electronic files, each entry requires an individual CD labeled with the firm name, category and entry title. Please include the CD(s) in the “Fees” envelope.
  5. If submitting material from a firm where previously employed, the entrant must submit written permission from that firm. Include the permission in the “Fees” envelope.
HOW TO ENTER
Each submission must include:
  1. *Entry Board – A sample or print-out(s) of the material(s) being entered.
  2. Entry Clarification Statement – This one-page (8.5 x 11) description should clearly address the following key points to the judges: Audience, Marketing Objectives, Research and Planning, and Tangible Results Achieved. The Clarification Statement must be attached to the front of the entry board in the lower right-hand corner.
  3. Entry Form – The Entry Form is included in this document. The completed Entry Form must be affixed in the upper right-hand corner of the BACK SIDE of the board.
  4. Entry Fee – Submit fees in an envelope marked “Fees”. See below for fee schedule.
  5. Entry Summary Sheet – The form is included in this document. Include a completed summary sheet in the “Fees” envelope. Summary sheets are required even if submitting only one entry.

* Entries must be displayed on black 3/16-inch thick foam/gator board, 20” x 20” or 20” x 40”. The front side of the Entry Board must include the Entry Clarification Sheet (affixed in the lower right-hand corner) along with the piece(s) being entered (include print-friendly copies of electronic entries). All entry pieces must be ATTACHED to the board. The Entry Board itself should not be a designed piece but rather the canvas to display the entry piece(s). Please DO NOT attach large or bulky three-dimensional items to the board. Photographs of three dimensional pieces or entries too large to fit on the board should be submitted instead. The back side of the entry board must include the Entry Form affixed in the upper right-hand corner. The black foam/gator board is not to be manipulated. If the board is manipulated the entry will be disqualified.

Entries will be judged and showcased as entered. Entries may not be altered once submitted.

FEES AND SUBMISSION DATES
Entries must include payment to be considered. Entries received after 5:00 p.m. March 23, 2012 and entries that do not follow submission requirements will be disqualified.

Entry Type Member Rate Non-Member Rate Submission Date
Early Bird $75 $125 Wednesday, Feb. 29
Regular     $125 $175 Friday, March 16
Late $200 $300 Friday, March 23

 Entry fees may be paid by credit card on the SMPS Houston website, or with a check. Please make checks payable to "SMPS Houston Chapter." If paying by credit card, print a copy of your receipt and include it in the “Fees” envelope. Entry fees are non refundable.

Deliver submissions to:
Diana Brown, CPSM
Skanska USA Building Inc.

1776 Yorktown, Suite 690
Houston, Texas 77056
713-401-5221
diana.brown@skanska.com

Submittals will not be returned; they will be available for you to take with you following the Gala at 11 p.m. Remaining submittals will be discarded following the Gala unless Carrie Stallwitz is previously notified of your desire to pick it up at a later time.

JUDGING CRITERIA
All entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

Impact — 25 points
Is the entry attention-grabbing with a high “wow factor?” Does it make the viewer want to learn more?

Goals & Project Clarification — 20 points
Does the clarification statement clearly describe:
  • The entrant’s marketing objectives and expectations
  • The composition of the target audience
  • The research and planning process
  • The tangible results achieved from the work

Audience Appeal — 15 points
Is the entry innovative in nature and appropriate for the target audience?

Message — 15 points
Does the text successfully communicate the intended message? Does the writing style effectively support the graphics?

Visual Appeal — 15 points
Is the entry well designed, visually appealing and produced in a quality manner? Do the graphics and photography communicate the marketing objective and enhance the image of the firm?

Measurable Results — 10 points
Did the entry achieve the qualitative and quantitative objectives the firm defined in the planning process?

Only entries that receive a minimum of 75 points will be considered for an award. Juror scoring is final. Entrants will receive a copy of juror score sheets for each submission following the Gala.

QUESTIONS
All questions regarding entry requirements may be directed to Carrie Stallwitz at carrie@witzpr.com or 713-320-8165.




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