Communications and marketing awards

Awards for Communications Excellence

Chambers of commerce are recognized each year for outstanding marketing and communications work through ACCE’s Awards for Communications Excellence program. 

ACE submissions are meticulously reviewed by volunteer judges—peers from the ACCE community—who select a limited number of entries to be named as award winners. 


Entry Category & Type | Evaluation CriteriaRecognition | Deadlines | Submissions & Price | Application | Past Winners

Entry Category & Type

Entries are to be based on work completed between Jan. 1, 2019 and Feb. 28, 2020. Each submission is organized and reviewed based on the submitting organization’s total annual budget range and entry type.


  • Category One: Organizations with a total annual budget under $1 million (USD)
  • Category Two: Organizations with a total annual budget of $1 million to $3 million (USD)
  • Category Three: Organizations with a total annual budget of more than $3 million (USD)

Entry Type

An organization may submit multiple entries in a category (four categories listed below). For instance, a chamber can enter its website and a video as Digital Media entries. However, the submissions may only be entered once in the competition.                                              

  • Campaigns 
    Includes: advocacy/public policy campaigns, economic development campaigns, branding/rebranding initiatives, membership drives/campaigns, industry recruitment, social media, special projects

  • Digital Media
    Includes: websites, blog sites, apps, videos, podcasts

  • Event Marketing*
    Includes: event invitations, event advertisements, event promotion
    *Entries in this category to be submitted as a compilation of all marketing materials to showcase the event’s marketing

  • Print & Electronic Publications
    Includes: annual reports, legislative agendas, community guides, community reports, directories, magazines, relocation guides, sponsorship guides, newsletters

Evaluation Criteria

  • Entries will be judged on creativity, design, writing quality and clarity. Is the submission clever and visually engaging? Is the piece free of spelling/grammatical errors? Is it appropriate for its intended audience?
  • Judges will look for clearly stated goals/objectives and whether the intended outcomes are measurable. Do the tactics support the strategy? Is the strategy aligned with organization’s mission?
  • Judges will consider whether the entry is one they would use as an inspiration piece for their own organizations. Does the entry reflect some of the freshest and most innovative marketing and communications work coming from a chamber of commerce?
  • Judges pay particular attention to the results that the piece generated. These may include media impressions, attendance numbers, monies raised, intended action taken (such as a policy win), etc. Be specific.

Judges reserve the right to not present an award within a category if none of the entries reflect award-winning work.

Awards Presented

New! Two tiers of Communications Excellence awards will be presented: Awards for Communications Excellence Winners & Best in Show.

Awards for Communications Excellence Winners
Twelve winners named; finalists for Best in Show awards

  • Category One: Campaigns
  • Category Two: Campaigns
  • Category Three: Campaigns
  • Category One: Digital Media
  • Category Two: Digital Media
  • Category Three: Digital Media
  • Category One: Event Marketing
  • Category Two: Event Marketing
  • Category Three: Event Marketing
  • Category One: Print & Electronic Publications
  • Category Two: Print & Electronic Publications
  • Category Three: Print & Electronic Publications

Awards for Communications Excellence winners will be announced in June and considered finalists for the Best in Show title within their respective entry category (based on total annual budget range).

New! ACCE leadership will present each of the Awards for Communications Excellence winners with their award crystals during the winner's appointed photo session time, immediately before the #AwardsShow at the ACCE Annual Convention. During the show, these 12 winners will be congratulated from the podium, with their entries projected onto the screens, and recognized in the show’s program booklet.

Best in Show
Three awards presented; selected from the Awards for Communications Excellence winners. 

  • Top entry from category one
  • Top entry from category two
  • Top entry from category three

Best in Show winners in each category will be revealed at the #AwardsShow during the ACCE Annual Convention in Dallas. The winning organization in each category will be called to the stage to receive an award.


Deadlines, Timeline

  • Updated Timeline Coming Soon

Judging timeline

  • Updated Timeline Coming Soon


Entry Submission Details & Price

  • Each entry must be submitted separately using the online entry form 
  • Entries are to be based on work completed between Jan. 1, 2019 and Feb. 28, 2020
  • Each application must be submitted with the entry fee:
    • Early bird rate: $150/entry 
    • Standard rate: $200/entry*
      *The $200 fee is waived for the first entry submitted by Horizon Investors (Is my organization a Horizon Investor?) and All ACCEss Pass members. Horizon Investors and All ACCEss Pass members receive the early bird rate ($150) throughout entry period.
  • All entries become the property of ACCE and will not be returned. ACCE reserves the right to share entries (with due attribution) in whole or part, on its news, web and social media channels

All submissions may only be entered once. Your entry must be uploaded to your website or a file hosting service such as Dropbox or Google Docs. You'll share a link to your entry (hosted on your website or file sharing service site) on the entry form. Please note: some entries have a greater impact when presented in hand vs. online (ex. magazines, publications). Although entries must be posted online, you have the option to also submit a physical version of your entry. 

Ship entries to:
ACE Entries
1330 Braddock Place, Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314

Previous Winners


Questions? Contact Tania Kohut

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