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 (ACE) 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 Criteria | Recognition | Deadlines | Submissions & Price | Application | Past Winners
Entry Category & Type
Entries are to be based on work completed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Each submission is organized and reviewed based on the submitting organization’s total annual revenue range and entry type.
- Category One: Organizations with a total annual revenue under $1 million (USD)
- Category Two: Organizations with a total annual revenue of $1 million to $3 million (USD)
- Category Three: Organizations with a total annual revenue of more than $3 million (USD)
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.
Includes: advocacy/public policy campaigns, economic development campaigns, branding/rebranding initiatives, membership drives/campaigns, industry recruitment, social media, crisis communication campaigns, special projects
- Digital Media
Includes: websites, blog sites, apps, videos, podcasts
- Event Marketing*
Includes: event invitations, event advertisements, event promotion
*Entries in this category may be submitted as a compilation of all marketing materials for a virtual/hybrid/in-person event
- Print & Electronic Publications
Includes: annual reports, legislative agendas, community guides, community reports, directories, magazines, relocation guides, sponsorship guides, newsletters
- 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.
New! Two tiers of Communications Excellence awards will be presented: Awards for Communications Excellence Winners and Best in Show.
Awards for Communications Excellence Winners
Up to twelve winners named; considered 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 late April and considered finalists for the Best in Show title within their respective entry category (based on total annual revenue range).
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 will be announced in late April.
- Competition opens January 2021
- Early Bird Entry Submission: Friday, February 5, 2021
- Final Entry Deadline: Friday, February 19, 2021
- March: Judges review entries
- Late April: Winners announced
Entry Submission Details & Pricing
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. Physical entries will not be accepted this year.
- Each entry must be submitted separately using the online entry form
- Entries are to be based on work completed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 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
Questions? Contact Tania Kohut