Why Do Awards Have Entry Fees?

A question we get asked a lot in the awards business is “Why do awards have entry fees?”. What many often forget is that awards programs are businesses too, and as such come with their own costs. 

If an award is free to enter, it doesn’t indicate that it is any less credible than the awards that do have entry fees. If an award does not have an entry fee, there are often other costs involved including purchasing tickets to the awards ceremony, the cost of a physical trophy or advertising within the awards program itself.

So, if some awards are free to enter, why do other awards have entry fees? Here’s just a few reasons why:

1. Advertising and Marketing the Award Program

An entry fee will support an awards program by enabling them to advertise and market their awards to a wider audience. 

Consistent, creative marketing will bring more recognition towards their awards program and will drive traffic to their website. This makes the awards more competitive, and builds their reputation as a leading awards program in their industry, and the reputation of businesses that secure a win. 

Entry fee revenue is also used to maintain and run the website, deliver any marketing automation or social media management, as well as to fund the marketing copy, all of which take time and expertise. 

2. Funding the Awards Ceremony

Entry fees also fund the awards’ ceremonies which includes operational costs like event management, administration, food and beverage and prizes. If the awards has a judging panel, this is also factored into the costs. 

For many awards businesses, entry fees are necessary in order to deliver a seamless, successful and sustainable awards program and ceremony. 

Without the funding that entry fees for business and other awards provide, these institutions would not be able to deliver the prestige and recognition that the winning businesses deserve. 

3. Award Wins are Valuable

The value that awards provide can be tens of thousands times more than the entry fee. This is especially true when an award win secures your business a higher market valuation. 

When you are a winner or a finalist in an awards program, your business gains industry level recognition. The exposure and publicity that winning awards can provide can also give your business the credibility it needs to attract investors.Those who choose to enter awards with entry fees should see them as a marketing expense and thus, an investment into their business. 

By becoming a winner or a finalist, the outcomes of gaining competitive edge, increasing credibility, gaining free marketing and attracting talent are well worth the entry fee which is required upon submission.  


Do your awards research before entering any award to make sure that the award is right for you. Although there will usually be costs involved in awards, the outcomes of becoming a winner or a finalist are well worth it. 


Need help deciding which awards you should enter? 

Entry fees are just one part of the equation when it comes to figuring out which awards your business should enter

Green Door Co has some incredible success stories when it comes to award wins, and can help you begin your awards journey.

Reach out today!

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