A comprehensive guide to using video for awards programs + contests

by | May 27, 2021 | Articles

Video has become the most powerful medium in the world. In our lives of constant distractions and dizzying content, video has the power to capture attention and leave lasting impressions about the messages and ideas you want to share.

Take these telling statistics:

Video is a highly effective medium for any industry—and that includes awards programs and contests. 

The advantages of using video in your awards program 

Using video in your awards program is a fantastic way to add a creative element to your submission process, collect compelling user-generated content for your program marketing, and grow your submitted entries by diversifying your entry process.

Video is more accessible than ever before and people have become familiar with how to create, edit and share videos throughout their networks and communities. 

Here are some benefits of using video in your awards program or contest:

Communicate more effectively

We’ll start with video on the program management side––using it as a medium to effectively communicate with your entire awards community. (Skip down to How to use video in your awards program marketing + communications.)

Contextual information video

Video is a wonderful way to let the world know about your awards program. Whether your community is learning about your program on their desktop or mobile device, video is the perfect medium to share information about your program—whether you’re marketing your program, providing entry instructions, or featuring your expert judges. The possibilities are endless.

Collect compelling user-generated content for awards marketing

When you require video as part of your awards program submission, you’ll then have a growing library of content to share with your community, across social media, and on your website—all to highlight your amazing entries and align your brand with the quality submissions you receive.

Attract diverse entrants

Some entrants are stronger with written entries, while others shine with video and creative submissions. By requiring video as part of the submission, you’ll diversify your entry pool and reach applicants you might not have otherwise. You’ll level the playing field to shine a spotlight on those entrants who might look weaker on paper.

Provide a delightful experience for your judges

Let’s face it—videos are fun to watch! (Just take those earlier statistics!) Your judges are likely to enjoy video entries more than reading pages of text. By diversifying the submissions and what’s included in them, you’ll keep it more interesting (and fun!) for your judges.

How to use video in your awards program marketing + communications 

Providing video communications adds a human element to your awards program and can better connect you with your community of entrants, judges and participants. There are lots of great ways to incorporate video into your awards marketing and communications. Here are some suggestions to get you started!

Make a sizzle reel

Sizzle reels are short promotional videos that can beautifully showcase your awards program or contest. And, these days, it’s easier than ever to produce and edit a compelling promotional video. With editing and video software out there for every budget and skill level, you can easily put your program in the spotlight with music and imagery to appeal to your community. Share it on your awards website, in your entry registration and across social media!

Welcome your entrants

Give your entrants a warm welcome with a video. Say hello, give the basics about your program, and give your participants a delightful experience from the very start.

Welcome video ideas

Provide entry instructions

Instead of providing a wall of copy to instruct your entrants, give detailed instructions on your awards entry process in a helpful how-to video. Contextual information and tips on how to submit a quality entry will keep your entrants informed and cut down on support calls and emails. 

Shine a spotlight on your judges

Want to highlight your judges? Feature them with a video spotlight. You could interview them, or have them give tips to entrants, or talk about their breadth of experience. It’s a wonderful opportunity to thank them for their time and expertise. 

Thank your sponsors (or provide video ad space for them!)

If your awards program or contest has sponsors, a video is a great place to thank them, feature them, or even ask them to submit their own video advertisement as part of their sponsorship package. You could feature the video on your awards website, in the awards entry and judging platform, or share it with your community in email communications and across social media. #supereasyinAwardForce

Highlight your finalists + winners

Spotlight your finalists and/or winners in a video then share it with your community. It’s a compelling way to feature the best submitted entries. These videos can make for great social media shares for the entrants, putting their work and your program in front of more and more people. 

How to embed and accept video submissions in Award Force 

Award Force has sophisticated built-in video handling, hosting and delivery capabilities, providing a solid solution for video-centric awards, contests, festivals and gala events.

Embedding for welcome, help or sponsor display

Embedding videos is easy in Award Force. If you want to share video with your entrants and awards community, you can embed a Vimeo or YouTube video right in the platform in a content block. These content blocks are available throughout the platform and allow you to provide a welcome video, spotlight your judges or awards program, provide how-to instructions or share any other video content!

Accepting video entries

If you require video as part of your submission process, you have several options in the Award Force platform.


Adding video to entry form

You can:

  • Request a Vimeo or YouTube video on an attachments tab in your entry form. By default, the attachments tab includes a button to “Add link or video”. With that button, entrants simply add the URL of the video and that’s it—Award Force does the rest. The judges will see a thumbnail for the video, which they can click and view directly in the Award Force application.
  • Request entrants to upload their video to the platform. Award Force supports high definition video upload and streaming playback. 

Videos uploaded to Award Force are automatically transcoded for easy playback, which means your judges won’t have to download the video to assess the content directly in the Award Force application.

And, uploaded videos are also encoded into several resolutions/bitrates suitable for streaming playback directly in the browser. Entrants don’t have to worry if they have a slow internet connection.

There are no limits on size—it’s up to you to set the parameters for your submissions. There are no performance restrictions when uploading and storing large file sizes. Award Force manages the load without stress. It’s perfect for anything from a quick entrant introduction to a HD feature-length film!

You’ll also have the ability to download the original video file, should you need it. 

Tips on receiving quality video submissions 

Now that you know how simple it can be to include video submissions as part of your awards entry process with Award Force awards management software, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting good quality video submissions. Here are some tips on ensuring quality. 

  • Set parameters for the video file size and type. While Award Force can handle any file size and file type, it’s a good idea to set parameters to keep your video submissions reasonable and consistent—especially for your judges. 
  • Include help text with guidelines for your entrants so they know exactly what you’re looking for in the video to ensure quality. 
  • If you request a URL link to a video, consider an accompanying field for entrants to provide additional information such as a password or access information. This is because some video hosts like Vimeo permit videos to be locked with a password. If you ask for this additional information, you can avoid any video access issues that might arise. 
  • Good quality video doesn’t have to mean expensive recording equipment. Let your entrants know that video recorded from their phone is perfect. Give suggestions on whether you prefer landscape or portrait videos.
  • Give examples from previous season’s entries. First time requesting video submissions? Create your own sample video and share it on the platform with your entrants. 

Video content for a dynamic awards program or contest

Using video in your awards program or contest can better connect you with your community, provide more engaging communication and marketing, and be a great way to diversify your entry process with video submissions.

Award Force has been designed with sophisticated tools to make incorporating video into your awards program a simple and rewarding experience for you and your program participants. 

Want to learn more about using video in Award Force? Take a tour or book a live demo with one of our friendly team members.

Further reading on using video in Award Force 

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