About the Essex Digital Awards 2018

3 May 2018. Hylands House, Chelmsford. Entry for 2018 now closed.

The Digital Awards have been embraced by businesses as a commitment to the fast-growing need for digital technology in the work environment.

Since launching in 2013, the Digital Awards have expanded to recognise online business and innovation, crowning hundreds of winners and engaging with a community that stretches deep into every industry and demographic.

Our long-term mission is to help grow the digital skillset of each county, an aim which has helped those involved with the Digital Awards to network with like-minded organisations in an effective and positive way.

The digital landscape is exciting and eclectic because it is not exclusive. With that in mind we have always aimed to encourage entry to the Digital Awards from any industry, organisation or individual. It is a testament to this attitude that so many of our attendees forge relationships which last long after the event has finished.

To date, the Digital Awards have received many thousands of entries, with our sponsors benefitting from exposure to individuals, small, medium and large businesses, multinational corporations, charities, schools, emergency services, public sector organisations and many more.

What are the categories for 2018?

Like the constantly evolving business landscape we seek to celebrate, the Digital Awards are always considered a work-in-progress. The list below outlines our current categories, with a brief description of our judges’ criteria to help you form your entries.

The Blog category is open to any company or individual underpinning their core activities with content marketing. Our judges are keen to see frequently updated, well composed posts that offer true value to your audience.

Online Retailer
Online Retailer is open to any website which incorporates e-commerce in some way – whether that is as a small part of your operation or your entire business model. Judges will be looking for an intuitive sales process and expertly laid out storefront.

Use of Social Media for Business
Our category for Use of Social Media for Business is currently open to organisations making use of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Our judges are keen to see innovative use of the platforms, and will be looking at engagement, frequency of updates, content quality and overall presentation.

Use of Video for Business
The Use of Video for Business category welcomes two specific types of entry – a portfolio of work for a client or range of clients presented within a channel, or a single video for a campaign. Naturally, it is easier to showcase a wider range of skills across multiple videos, but a single campaign can be powerful in its own way. Cinematography, value of content and presentation are all important here.

Our flagship category, which takes into account aesthetics, useability, accessibility, content, innovation, frequency of updates, responsiveness, quality of craft and overall experience. Any entry to a website sub-category (e.g. Lifestyle & Culture) is automatically entered into the Website category.

Website: B2B
Website: B2B covers all manner of websites from a huge range of industries – but our judges will be keeping one eye firmly on your website’s ability to showcase your products or services and serve your target business audience.

Website: Lifestyle & Culture
Many websites fall under the Lifestyle & Culture category, but the ones our judges will consider the most successful will be rich in value to the user, and sympathetic to a subject matter which may be considered niche or unusual.

Website: Marketing & Creative
The Website: Marketing & Creative category is open to agencies, studios and individuals looking to enter a full website or mini-site. Innovation, content and aesthetics are considered particularly important to our judges here.

Website: School, Education or Charity
Our Website: School, Education or Charity category welcomes entries from all kinds of educational establishments, training programmes, charitable foundations and everything in between. Often these websites deal with a huge amount of information – our judges consider the experience of exploring this information as well as the overall UX.

Website: Small Business
Website: Small Business is open to any company or organisation with five employees or less. The judging panel are keen to see evidence through the website of your team’s contribution to your success, both on and offline.

Website: Sports & Entertainment
The Sports & Entertainment category is open to the likes of sports teams, events and musicians. Our judging panel will be looking to see that important information is readily available, backed as one would expect in this category with excellent content and imagery.

Website: Tourism & Hospitality
A far-reaching category open to restaurants, hotels, tourist spots, events and the like, our judges will be looking for strong content and imagery to evoke a true sense of the site’s subject matter.

Who can enter?

If you’re based in any of these locations, or you are based outside Essex but the work you are entering is for a client in one of those locations, you are eligible to enter.

When is the closing date for 2018?

Entry for the Essex Digital Awards 2018 closes at 5pm on 9 February 2018. There are strictly no extensions to this deadline.

Can I enter more than once?

Yes. For example, if you are a web designer and you’ve built websites for a number of clients, you can enter them all separately.

Once I have submitted the entry form, is that the end of the entry process?

Yes. Our panel will judge your entry on merit – your links and supporting information are enough for them to see what you’ve done and to score the work against their criteria.

How do I find out if I’m a finalist?

Finalists are announced on this website shortly after the entry closes, posted on our social networks and contacted by email. For exact dates, please keep an eye on our latest news.

When is EDA18? And when can I buy tickets?

Dates and ticket information for the EDA presentation evenings are generally published during the entry period. Following the announcement of finalists, tickets are placed on general sale. While we will endeavour to make tickets available to anyone who wishes to attend, no guarantees of ticket availability can be made to finalists.

What are the available awards for each category?

There are three prizes available for each category – gold, silver and bronze.

How does the judging process work?

The judging process is very simple and fair. No judge or sponsor is allowed to enter the awards themselves. As organisers we do not judge any awards. There’s no ‘judging day’, as we feel this keeps things fairer and avoids any potential for a judge to influence another judge. Entries are supplied digitally to judges along with judging criteria, they then take time to score each entry impartially and return their findings to us, the organisers.

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