Last night I attended a briefing an how to submit an entry into our regional tourism awards. My wife runs a conference and event management company. Regional tourism awards might sound a little ho hum but if you win your category the ‘rewards' are significant, and you get to compete in the national (Australian) Tourism Awards against the winners from the other states. Given that Australia has only 7 states, despite having the same land mass as continental USA, if you can make the nationals, you are in with a real chance.
Of course, winning the nationals is even more rewarding. There's not only the direct financial prizes but the publicity that follows is, well, almost priceless. Great for building your business.
But it is not those rewards that I wanted to talk about. To put together a reasonable submission requires you to step back and have a good look at your business. And it is this that gives you the real reward.
In an earlier blog I commented on being involved in the regional judging for the Telstra Small Business Awards. Over the years, if there has been one constant refrain from people who have submitted, it has been on the benefits they found from being forced to step back and look at their business. The same refrain was being expressed from people who had previously submitted for the tourism awards.
Last night we were being asked to look at what sets us apart from our competitors, what innovatory changes to benefit clients had been made, our business vision and key features of our business plan, who and why were our target markets, our communications strategies, customer service strategies, staff training, risk management and contribution to tourism in our area.
Now that might sound like a pretty standard list but most of us are so busy being busy that we don't take that step back and evaluate what we are doing. What's more, the awards process asks us not only to say what we were doing, but demonstrate the actual outcomes of these strategies or steps. That makes it much harder to be a little ‘generous' with the truth!
So I would urge you to consider entering awards is your area. It makes "every one is a winner a truism." Oh, and Good Luck!