Tips from our judges

This article offers 10 tips on how to submit a product for consideration in our Products of the Year awards.

Every year, we get a lot of entries for our Products of the Year awards. Some are well-planned, clear and easy to read. Others, well... they're not so hot. Carefully evaluating all of the entries is a time-consuming process, and it really helps when we get good information from you. What do we mean by "good" information? Check out these 10 tips for submitting a product:

  1. Please read the judging criteria and use it as a guide. If you don't provide the information we need, your entry may be disqualified.
  2. Remember, if your new or significantly upgraded product wasn't first shipped between October 26, 2013 and October 3, 2014 it is not eligible. We recognize shipping products only -- no betas! Shipping means the product is widely available to anyone who wants to buy it.
  3. Enter your product in the appropriate category. If you're not sure, contact an editor for guidance. Do not enter your product in more than one category!
  4. For new versions of existing products, don't forget to indicate the previous version number/name (see question 3).
  5. Don't just cut and paste your marketing brochure. We've already seen your marketing materials, so use the award submission form to give judges more details, technical information and a fresh perspective on your product(s).
  6. Answer the questions as clearly and succinctly as you can avoiding buzzwords, marketing jargon and generalities.
  7. Submit specific numbers when it comes to performance claims, pricing, data deduplication ratios, capacity, etc. When using a numerical value to describe something, give a baseline number to compare it with -- otherwise its impact may be lost.
  8. We’ll send an entry confirmation email to the email address you enter in the last field of the submission form. You won't help your product entry by calling to tell us you have submitted an entry, ask when the competition closes, ask what competitors have entered, or ask whether you won an award before the results are officially announced.
  9. Please don't call us after the winners are announced to ask why you didn't win or how you could do better next year. Our stock answer: "Make a better product," probably won't make you feel any better.
  10. Don't miss the deadline for submission! We cannot accept or consider late entries.

Good Luck!

This was first published in September 2010

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