Frequently Asked Questions

NEW! What are the "supporting documents" that are required with my entry?

In order to highlight multimedia campaigns we are asking entrants to identify any other media/messaging tools that were used to enhance or support the communication piece such as social media, electronic pieces, other print items and alternative formats.  You must submit these pieces with your entry.

Do I need to submit both hard copies and electronic versions of my entries?

Yes, your entry should be submitted electronically to, and your binder should be mailed to: 

American Chamber of Commerce Executives
4875 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 250
Alexandria, VA 22304-4850

What is the deadline for submission of all entries?


February 24, 2012

Entries must be postmarked and electronic submissions received by midnight February 24, 2012. 

What is the early bird deadline for entries?

February 17, 2012

In order to receive the Early Bird discount, all entries must be postmarked and electronic versions received by midnight on February 17, 2012.

What is the entry fee?

Early Bird: $225.00 for ACCE members.  

Entries postmarked after Early Bird: $275.00 for ACCE members. 

The entry fee has been held steady with last year’s pricing. 

Do I need to attend the convention in August to win?

No. Winners will be announced in advance.  However, Best of Show and Gold awards will be presented on stage during the Awards Show at ACCE's annual convention.  Silver and Bronze will not be presented on stage, but will be mailed to you during the month of June.  All winners attending the conference will be able to have their picture taken with their award before the show.  Further details will be provided in your on-site conference registration materials.

NEW! Will I compete against similar size organizations?

During the first round of judging, judges are instructed to judge each project against the stated objectives of the entry. Your submission will be judged on its own merits, not in comparison to other entries.

NEW! For the second round of judging (to determine the Gold Award winners), the entries will be split into two classes.  This way, the entries are judged amongst chambers of similar size.

  • Class 1: organizations with a total organizational budget of $1 million n and above
  • Class 2: organizations with a total organizational budget of $1 million and below

What is the "detailed budget" that is required with my entry?

Your budget should include a cost for each process that was necessary to complete your project, i.e. survey cost, printing, distribution, etc.

NEW! What should I include in the synopsis?

NEW! The synopsis has been simplified in order to focus more on the communication piece and reduce the time required to submit an entry.  The synopsis should provide detailed answers to these two pieces: identification and evaluation/measurement.


Why is the awards synopsis so important?

If an entry did not include a synopsis – a clear, concise description of the needs identification, objectives, and evaluation/measurements related to your entry – it would be nearly impossible for the judge to score it.  Since the judges do not know each individual chamber and its unique characteristics, the synopsis is an opportunity to set the stage for the story your product represents.

What do I submit for the “Evaluation/Measurement” judging criteria?

Judges are instructed to evaluate achievement of goals. Word of mouth comments are acceptable, but more favorable consideration will be placed on more scientific measurements.

Who will judge the competition?

All entries will be reviewed by communications experts who are familiar with the general goals, directions, and financial limitations of chambers of commerce and not-for-profit organizations.  Judges will receive training on the purpose of the ACE program, how to score entries (emphasizing the importance of feedback), and the importance of the synopsis as well as judging each entry against itself and not against the others.

Why are entries judged twice?

We feel it is very important to have each entry assessed comprehensively. Two judges review each entry, and the scores are averaged to derive a final score.

My entry received a score of 96 and a Silver Award.  Why didn’t I receive the Gold Award?

Entries with a score of 96 and above are qualified to be considered for this award, but a score of 96 does not automatically indicate that you have received the Gold Award.  Only one entry from each of the five major categories can be presented with the Gold Award.  The entries are reviewed and voted upon by a panel of judges.

When will I find out if I win?

Notification letters will be mailed in June.  A complete list of winners and their synopses will be posted by the end of June.

Will the award come in my name or the chamber name?

The award will be given in the chamber’s name.

How can I announce our chamber’s success in our community?

ACCE has provided sample press releases.

How has the ACE process changed in comparison to the previous years?

1. Streamlined application process that reduces the time required to submit an entry

  • The new synopsis will only require two parts: Needs Identification and Measurement/Evaluation.  It will also include a place for organizations to highlight any other media/messaging tools they used to enhance or support their communication piece.

2. Renamed levels of achievement that are more recognizable and easier to follow.

  • Best of Show (top winner)
  • Gold (Best of Show finalist)
  • Silver
  • Bronze

3. New judging process that allows entries to be judged amongst those submitted by chamber of similar size based on total organizational budget.

  • Entries that attain recognition at the Gold level (formerly Grand Award), and those competing for Best of Show, will be divided into two classes (Class 1 and Class 2), based on total organizational budgets, as illustrated below.
    • Class 1: organizations with a total organizational budget of $1 million and above
    • Class 2: organizations with a total organizational budget of $1 million and below