RULES OF ENTRY

ELIGIBILITY RULES

The Ex Awards + Experience Design & Technology Awards are open to brand marketers, agencies, partners, properties, and suppliers involved in event and experiential marketing campaigns.

Categories span both b-to-c and b-to-b experiential marketing. International entries are welcome.

Every entry automatically gets entered into the running for the Grand Ex—the highest scored entry for best campaign of the year.

Campaigns must have launched or debuted between January 1, 2020 and February 15, 2021.
Entrants may submit as many campaigns into as many categories as they want – easy copy and paste options available!

JUDGING CRITERIA

The Ex Awards + Experiential Design & Technology Awards are the only marketing recognition programs scored entirely by brand-side marketers. In each category, a gold, silver and bronze winner will be selected.

Judges will score all entries on:

Creative and relevant idea
Succinct and deployable strategy
Flawless execution
Tangible results 

Curious what the judges are looking for? See last year’s Ex Award and EDTA winners here and here.

Winners will be featured in the September issue of Event Marketer, profiled on eventmarketer.com and touted across EM social channels reaching a total of one million followers and site visitors. Winners will also be honored at the 19th annual Ex Awards + EDTA awards gala at the Experiential Marketing Summit, October 6, 2021, at McCormick Place, Chicago.

The gala is included in your purchase of an All Access Pass to EMS. If you’re only interested in attending the gala you may purchase an individual ticket for $375 or a table of 10 for $3,250. Register here.

CATEGORIES

HOW ARE THE EX AWARDS AND EDTAs DIFFERENT?

The Ex Awards is the world’s largest recognition program for event marketing professionals, and the only competition judged entirely by brand marketers.

The Experience Design & Technology Awards is the world’s only recognition program honoring the best use of design, social media, A/V, and event technology to enhance live experiences, judged entirely by brand marketers.

WHICH AWARDS PROGRAM SHOULD I ENTER?

The Ex Awards recognized design and technology as elements of a whole but puts more focus on the bigger picture and how the event strategy and program delivered results. Judges prioritize attendee engagement techniques, ability to generate ROI and ladder up to larger marketing goals, performance of event content, the overall “package” for the event, and overall creativity of concept and execution.

The EDTAs recognize outstanding event design and use of event technology. Enter the EDTAs if your live or virtual event has a strong design story to tell. For live events, consider the environment, the architecture, the exhibit build and the overall design approach and execution. For virtual events, think of the interface, site design, graphic design, and any other high-tech or design elements that made it outstanding. For technology categories, consider how the technology moved the program’s objectives forward.

ENTER MULTIPLE CATEGORIES IN BOTH PROGRAMS

The Ex Awards and Experience Design and Technology Awards are two separate programs combined in 2021 to make it easier to enter, and to better recognize the unique pandemic-era work that was executed this year. Our ‘copy and paste’ entry system allows you to easily enter your campaigns into multiple categories and both programs.

Ex Awards

  • ALL-NEW! SPECIAL AWARD CATEGORIES

      Best COVID-era Campaign

      This award recognizes the best COVID-era activation strategy and campaign execution of 2020 and early 2021. Judges will be looking for an innovative concept, a creative response to a pandemic-era consumer or customer pain point, a strategic response to a marketing challenge and proof of a return on investment.

      Best Pandemic-era Pivot

      Awarded to the campaign that represented the most successful pivot from a pre-pandemic strategy to a post-pandemic strategy. Judges will focus on the pre-pandemic campaign and how the post-pandemic event or engagement strategy supported original marketing goals—or exceeded them—and how quickly the new strategy was planned and executed.

      Best Pandemic-era Virtual Event (B-to-B)

      This is your chance to get recognized for the virtual conference, website or online experience that kept your B-to-B marketing moving forward in 2020 and early 2021. Judges will consider the use of virtual engagement tactics, content programming and delivery, site design, user experience and overall alignment with marketing objectives.

      Best Pandemic-era Virtual Event (B-to-C)

      This is your chance to get recognized for the virtual conference, website or online experience that kept your B-to-B marketing moving forward in 2020 and early 2021. Judges will consider the use of virtual engagement tactics, content programming and delivery, site design, user experience and overall alignment with marketing objectives.

      Best Event On A Budget ($500,000 Or Less)

      Awarded to the campaign that achieves all stated objectives while adhering to a budget under $500,000. Judges will consider innovation, creativity, execution and results.

      Best Event On A Budget ($500,000 To $1 Million)

      Awarded to the campaign that achieves all stated objectives while adhering to a budget between $500,000-$1 million. Judges will consider innovation, creativity, execution and results.

  • CREATIVITY & INNOVATION

      Best Use Of Technology Or Social Media

      From holography to touchscreens to customized consumer interactives to social platforms, some of the most innovative technologies are coming out of the event industry. Awarded to the event or trade show program that effectively leveraged technologies and social media to take their experience to the next level. Entry should focus on the actual technology leveraged, how it was leveraged and what results said technology helped generate.

      Best Use Of Events For Content

      A category created to shine the spotlight on the powerful use of events as content generators. Awarded to the best event campaign that served as a platform for content creation. From events used for YouTube videos to events used for TV spots to events used for social media content… and beyond. Open to both b-to-c and b-to-b programs.

      Best Production Of An Event (B-To-B)

      Behind the scenes and way in the back of the backstage, there is a helluva lot going on. This category’s Ex will go to the most creative, extensive, outrageous, ambitious and delicious production of a business event. The lighting, the music, the script, the entire ensemble. Judges will look for you to take them through the actual production with insights into the long process between idea and execution.

      Best Production Of An Event (Consumer)

      Behind the scenes and way in the back of the backstage, there is a helluva lot going on. This category’s Ex will go to the most creative, extensive, outrageous, ambitious and delicious production of a consumer event. The lighting, the music, the script, the entire ensemble. Judges will look for you to take them through the actual production with insights into the long process between idea and execution.

      Best Outdoor Activation

      This award recognizes the activations that best leveraged the great outdoors to create magic with attendees. Less about the outdoor build (see the Best Outdoor Environment in the EDTA categories), and more about the engagement, this trophy will go to the brand that found fresh ways to make an outdoor experience central to the effectiveness of the campaign. This category is also appropriate for pandemic-era pivots that transformed indoor events into outdoor events.

      Best Pop-up Activation

      Awarded to the temporary storefront, shipping container, lobby, indoor or outdoor experience that turned a client’s objective into a must-attend limited-time engagement. Judges will be looking for a clever concept, new approaches, unconventional ideas and interactives and activities that reinforce the marketing goals. 

  • EVENT STRATEGY & ACTIVATION

      Best B-To-B Conference Or Event

      Awarded to the event that best took the message out of the board room. Includes sales meetings, user groups, annual shareholder events, proprietary events, multi-day meetings, conferences, internal meetings, road shows, conferences, summits, proprietary events, new product introductions, media tours, client visit tours. (All vehicle-anchored b-to-b programs must be entered in the best mobile marketing category.)

      Best Entertainment Activation

      Awarded to the most innovative experiential program born out of a music, movie, celebrity, or television partnership/sponsorship.

      Best Esports Activation

      The campaign that best connected to the red-hot Esports sector with strategy, creative, reach and results

      Best Sports Activation

      Awarded to the most innovative event program leveraging a sports sponsorship. Judges will rate the activations (of all sizes and length) on creativity, results, message, and method of activation. (Note: Enter all esports programs in Best Esports Activation.)

      Best Sampling Activation

      Awarded to the best trial-based campaign that used a live engagement to get a consumer to try a product.

      Best Trade Show Activation

      Awarded to the company or campaign that used a trade show exhibit to create a trade show experience—an unforgettable show floor engagement that drove traffic, funneled leads, identified prospects and stood out from the competition.

  • TARGETED ACTIVATIONS

      Best Cause/Community Program

      The best philanthropic or community event campaign. A tie to a charity or community cause must be at the heart of the program. Judges will look for integration of causes into the experiential program and the benefits that the campaign brought to both sides (the brand, and the cause).

      Best Millenial Or Gen-Z Campaign

      A category devoted to the most sought-after demographic. Shines the spotlight on the campaign that best targeted and engaged the elusive Millennial or Gen Z (or both) audience. Both b-to-c and b-to-b campaigns are welcome.

      Best Mobile Marketing Tour

      Awarded to the best mobile campaign. Enter both b-to-c and b-to-b mobile campaigns. Note: The use of the word mobile in this category refers to the mobile marketing vehicle being used at the heart of the program—not the fact that a tour moves around. All general tours that roam the country but had no mobile vehicle should go in the best single-market or multi-market categories.

      Best Multicultural Event Campaign

      The best event-powered campaign hatched to reach a non-Caucasian audience. Judges will focus on the idea and execution, but also the attention to detail, messaging, and ethnicity-specific elements.

      Best Multi-Market Event (Consumer)

      The Ex Awards’ largest category. Awarded to the campaigns that brought experiences to multiple places and multiple markets. Includes events that followed a sponsorship property from venue to venue, programs that moved across a region hitting similar venues (fairs, beaches, parks, etc.), as well as street/guerilla, nightlife, retail, and college efforts. (All vehicle-anchored mobile programs must be entered in the best mobile marketing category.)

      Best Press Event

      This category recognizes the press event that used creative tactics to invite the press, get them to show up, and wrap them around your finger with solid messaging, killer thematics, and an A+ presentation. Note: To qualify for these categories, the event’s attendees must be made up of at least 80% media representatives (journalists must be the primary target).

      Best P.R. Stunt

      For one-shot events staged for one simple reason: Gain eyeballs and media hits. Awarded to the best, craziest, most creative p.r. event that served up hits and buzz, increased public awareness, overcame damage control, and uncovered measurable results. Events from both the b-to-c and b-to-b worlds are welcome. Note: Events that invite media to attend and stage the event around the media attendees should be entered in the Best Press Event category.

      Best Single-Market Event (Consumer)

      Awarded to the most strategic, most creative, best-performing single-market event program. Did you make it memorable? Will the consumer ever forget?

      Best Buzz Marketing/Influencer Program

      Awarded to the best integrated influencer partnership that leveraged the reach and power of an influencer (or influencers) via a live or virtual event to drive interest in a brand or product.

  • EDTA Categories

  • ALL-NEW! SPECIAL AWARD CATEGORIES

      Best Pandemic-era Pivot Experience (B-to-C)

      Awarded to the campaign that represented the most successful pivot from a pre-pandemic strategy to a post-pandemic strategy. Judges will focus on the pre-pandemic campaign and how the post-pandemic strategy supported original marketing goals—or exceeded them—and how quickly the new strategy was planned and executed.

      Best Pandemic-era Pivot Experience (B-to-B)

      Awarded to the campaign that represented the most successful pivot from a pre-pandemic strategy to a post-pandemic strategy. Judges will focus on the pre-pandemic campaign and how the post-pandemic strategy supported original marketing goals—or exceeded them—and how quickly the new strategy was planned and executed.

      Best Pandemic-era Tour

      The events of 220 forced many event marketers to take the show on the road, because if attendees couldn’t come to their events—they’d bring the events to attendees. This award will recognize outstanding strategy and execution of a multi-stop tour that targeted key customers and communities and used clever thinking, structures, environments and engagement tactics to transform an existing strategy into a touring one. (Note: Outstanding mobile vehicle-based campaigns can also be entered in the Best Mobile Vehicle category.) 

      Best Pandemic-era Virtual Experience (B-to-B)

      If you built a beautifully intuitive and engaging virtual conference, website or online experience that kept your B-to-B marketing objectives moving forward in 2020 and early 2021, this category is for you. Judges will consider the use of virtual engagement tactics, content programming and delivery, site design, user experience and overall alignment with marketing objectives.

      Best Pandemic-era Virtual Experience (B-to-C)

      If you built a beautifully intuitive and engaging virtual conference, website or online experience that kept your B-to-C marketing objectives moving forward in 2020 and early 2021, this category is for you. Judges will consider the use of virtual engagement tactics, content programming and delivery, site design, user experience and overall alignment with marketing objectives.

      Best Use of Pandemic-Era Event Technology

      Did the pandemic inspire you to deploy cutting-edge technologies (or new ways of using existing technologies) as a way to engage and connect with event attendees online, at home or in small groups? This is your chance to showcase that thinking and innovative approach. Judges will looks for programs that leveraged specific technologies to amp up engagement, and proof or insight into how that technology moved the needle. 

      Best Sustainability-focused Exhibit or Environment

      While many event organizations used 2020 as a time to reset their thinking on waste and sustainability at live events, many had been putting intentions in action for years. This category recognizes the pre- or post-pandemic exhibit or event environment that best achieved internal sustainability objectives. Judges will consider the effective use of green materials, how the overall event and environment was designed and built with a focus on sustainability and how well the event performed against marketing goals. 

  • CREATIVITY & INNOVATION

      Best Integrated Digital + Live Campaign

      Awarded to the overall program that best used a “combination” of digital+live to create the ultimate experiential marketing program. Note that this entry needs to focus on the overall campaign, not just the technology used.

      Best High-Tech Audience Interaction

      Awarded to the best use of technology to create audience interaction at an event. Note that extremely high-tech interactive campaigns should go in the digital+live category. This category is focused on a “single” audience interaction created through the use of social media and/or technology.

      Best Use of Touch- or Gesture-based Interactives

      Awarded to the event marketing campaign that best used a touch- or gesture-based interactive to make connections and engage the target audience.

      Best Mobile Marketing Vehicle

      Recognizing the best-designed mobile marketing vehicle, the customized vehicle that became a traveling event on wheels. Judges will look at overall design, interior, exterior, graphical elements, and overall experience.

      Best Trade Show Exhibit

      Handed to the footprint that went way beyond stoic space and used a trade show floor as a canvas to paint an experience. Judges will look at the overall immersion, from the total physical footprint and structure to visitor experience, functionality, creativity, materials, and use of media.

      Best Stage Design

      Shines the spotlight on the designed stage, the most high-tech stage, the most interactive stage—it’s all about the stage. Enter b-to-b general session experiences and consumer stage experiences here. Judges will look for creativity, scale and pure design moxie—along with integration of concept, creativity and content.

      Best Outdoor Environment

      Throws out a special recognition to the designer that created a killer concept that was also…weatherproof. Enter all types of outdoor event environments here. Required element: It was never used indoors.

  • EVENT STRATEGY & ACTIVATION

      Best Use of Social Media

      Awarded to the event campaign that best used social media to engage and connect with target audiences.

      Best Use of a Single Technology

      Awarded to the campaign that best used a single technology to enhance the experience, strike a chord and drive objectives. Please note: The goal of this category is to highlight a single technology that anchored or enhanced a program. This doesn’t mean that your campaign had to have only used one technology—but rather, that you’re going to focus on how a single technology (even in a campaign that used multiple technologies) powered the program. Example: A campaign that used just RFID can be entered into this category. But a campaign that used RFID and six other technologies can also be entered into this category ONLY IF you focus on how RFID was the anchor of the program.

      Best Use of Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality

      Awarded to the best use of VR or AR to drive a brand experience.

       

      Best Use of A/V

      Awarded to the best use of audio and video at an event. Enter your best and brightest use of media, staging, sound and lighting. Indoor and outdoor programs, b-to-b and b-to-c—you are welcome to enter them all here.

      Best Combination of Event Technologies

      Awarded to the event or trade show campaign that best used a variety of technologies to enhance the experience, strike a chord and drive objectives. Please note: The goal of this category is to show off how multiple technologies worked together to drive engagement. Remember to provide an overview of the specific technologies used and how they worked as a group to power the event.

      Best Permanent or Pop-up Retail Experience

      Awarded to the install that turned a client’s objective into a physical reality. Pop-up stores, shipping containers, lobbies, briefing centers, retail stores, indoor and outdoor. Judges will look at the initial design idea and the structural reality that brought the client’s story to life.

      Best Overall B-to-B Environment

      Awarded to the best meeting or event environment for a business-to-business event. From product launches and press events, proprietary and more. Judges will look for the best design-driven solution that added richer, deeper elements to an event space.

       

      Best Overall Consumer Environment

      Recognizes the consumer event environment that dove way into the realm of experience design. From outdoor exhibits to indoor immersions. Judges will look for creativity, structural prowess, traffic flow, and overall impact. (Note: All truck-anchored programs should be entered in Best Mobile Marketing Vehicle category).

      Best Live Streamed Event

      Recognizing the 100% live, fully streamed event that delivered content in compelling and engaging ways while also delivering against marketing goals.

  • Entry Requirements

    ENTRY DEADLINES & FEES

    Early Deadline: August 5 — entries received before midnight ET on August 5 are $460 each.
    Late Deadline: August 12 — entries received after August 5 will incur an additional $135 fee per entry.
    Extended Deadline: August 18 — entries received after August 5 will incur an additional $135 fee per entry.

    PREPARE YOUR ENTRIES

    Entering the Ex Awards + EDTAs is easier than ever when you prepare your submission items in advance. Here’s what you’ll need to include with each entry:
    1. Submitter company information (the entering company’s name, address, etc.)
    2. Primary entry contact (the point person for all entry details)
    3. Brand-side client reference contact: name, title, phone, email (clients may be contacted by judges to confirm a specific detail or answer a question)
    4. Answers to the entry questions (see below)
    5. Hi-res brand logo (for the brand associated with the campaign. Only .ai or .eps file types accepted)
    6. Three photos (15 MB file size limit each)
    7. Optional (but highly recommended!): Campaign recap/overview video (100 MB file size limit)

    JUDGES

    • Kim Aimi

      Senior Director, Experiential-Global Product Marketing
      Visa
    • Glover Campbell

      Client Marketing Manager, Event Experience
      Vanguard
    • Stephanie Dubois

      Director, Head of Event Operations
      SAP
    • Phil Duncan

      Chief Design Officer
      Procter & Gamble
    • Mark Henneberger

      VP - Event Solutions
      Walmart
    • Christine NGO ISAAC

      Director, Consumer Engagement
      Hennessy
    • Cameron Mercer

      Head of Event Marketing EMEA, APAC & Workplace
      Facebook
    • Montinique Morgan

      Experiential Marketing Manager
      Anheuser-Busch
    • Rene Ramos

      VP - Lifestyle and Experiential
      Constellation Brands
    • Kevin Schwoer

      Senior Manager-Events
      Verizon Media
    • Heather Henderson Thomas

      Senior Manager, Cisco Live Event Experience, Sponsorship & Operations
      Cisco Live

    Ex Awards Gala

    Winners will be honored at the 19th annual Ex Awards + EDTA Gala at the Experiential Marketing Summit, October 6, 2021, at McCormick Place, Chicago. All full conference pass holders can attend the gala. If you’re only interested in attending the gala you may purchase an individual ticket for $375 or a table of 10 for $3,250. Register here.

    CONTACT THE EX + EDTA TEAM

    Should you have an inquiry about the categories, rules or eligibility of the Ex + EDTAs please contact:

    EMILY MAKADOK
    emakadok@accessintel.com

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