When your awards program receives beautiful entries, you want to show them off. We get that! It’s especially important to share entries in an aesthetically pleasing way for visual awards programs.
An online gallery of entries is a great way to promote your program and attract more entrants, top-notch judges and sponsors.
It’s also how you champion your program to interested stakeholders or program sponsors. But here’s the thing: you may not be, yourself, a visual designer. Or maybe you don’t have the time to build a gallery to help market your program and entries.
We’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of seven actions you can take right now in Award Force’s award management software to make your galleries look their best.
1. Enable your gallery in Award Force
First of all, it’s easy to create an online gallery for your awards program in Award Force.
The configuration gives you the option to make it public so you can easily share a URL with your community. You can also choose which entries are shown, the number of entries shown, commenting options and more.
2. Use your branding
Once you have created a gallery, it’s time to make it look crisp! Start with the basics, such as your brand colour theme.
Branding is key when it comes to marketing your awards program. Galleries are a visual extension of your platform; they will best serve their purpose if they fit with the colour theming of your online program.
If you choose to keep the category selector at the top of your gallery, make sure the colours of your links, hovered links and active links are on-brand.
In Award Force, you can configure these theming options under Settings > Theme > Colours.
3. Optimise the gallery for social media
Your awards gallery can be a gateway for the community into your program, so it’s important to optimise it for social media.
Social shares buttons can be activated to show at the top of each entry page, where a viewer can click to from the image in the gallery.
Any social share from your gallery is an opportunity to promote your program, so be sure to set up the social share image and copy you want displayed. For example, use a social share image that clearly states your program name and logo and then add additional details about your program in the text.
Communicate with your entrants and let them know how to share. This virtual gallery gives them the opportunity to share their work against other professionals.
4. Keep it tidy
You’ll notice two elements at the top of your gallery page: a content block and a category quick filter.
If your program has a lot of categories, the category list can become long, which might overwhelm visitors to your gallery. Add to this a long text box, and it could be information overload! You want to show off your program entries in a beautiful and pleasant way.
Be mindful of the length of your text, and choose consciously to display or hide the category list box. If you have a lot of categories, consider hiding this list, and users can still filter results by using the Search box at the top right-hand corner.
In Award Force, you can easily display or hide the content block and the category selector box in Settings > Score Sets > Gallery, in the Display tab.
5. Use badges to denote featured entries
If you’d like to use your gallery to show off winners or shortlisted entries, you can use badges. In Award Force, badges allow you to tag an entry visually. They are mostly used to signal winning entries, e.g. “Gold”, “Silver”, “Bronze” or shortlisted entries.
What we love about badges is they’re customisable. For example, you can configure colours and text.
Or you can create your own badges by uploading images.
But, remember, branding is key. If you go for an image, keep it consistent with your branding – colours, fonts, style and visual elements. And, since badges show as thumbnails, make sure they’re colourful enough to stand out and simple enough not to overcrowd the gallery.
6. Solicit the images you want to show
The first image entrants attach in the entry form is the one the system shows by default in the gallery. You can therefore ask entrants for a specific image as their first attachment.
Here are two tips that’ll help increase the chances of applicants providing the best pictures:
- Tell entrants exactly what you want for any image uploads. You can do this with contextual information on the entry form. For example, for an architecture program, you could ask for a picture of the front side of the building; or you could ask for portrait images only.
- If you want even more control over the visuals, create a tab in your entry form specifically for a single image. This will allow entrants to upload one single image that fits your specific guidelines and can populate your online gallery beautifully.
7. Keep the list length compact
This is a small detail that yields big results for user experience. In Award Force, you have the option to display 10, 25, 50 or 100 entries per page.
To keep the page simple, beautiful and compact, consider a smaller number of entries per page so viewers can view all the entries on the page at once without scrolling.
Your entries, in the spotlight
It’s easy to share your beautiful entries in Award Force, right from within the platform. And by taking the steps above, you’ll offer a clean and beautiful snapshot of your program. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words!
Want to learn how Award Force can help grow your program? Watch our demo videos, take a self-guided tour or book a call to learn more.