Judging Criteria


Judges will read and pre-score all entry forms, considering any supporting materials submitted.

Judges will be asked to give a score for each question within the entry form, as listed in the bullet points below. These will be combined to give an overall score for each entry.

All judges pre-scores will then be combined and the highest scoring entries will determine the shortlists.

Judges will meet to discuss the highest scoring entries and then agree the winner for each category.

The awards will be judged by some of the biggest names in search. Click here to see this year’s judging panel.

Entries should not exceed 1000 words in total and should relate to work undertaken between March 2021 — June 2022.

JUNE 10

Early Bird Close

JUNE 17

Entry Deadline

JULY 13

Judging Session

JULY 15

Shortlist Announced

OCTOBER 6

Awards Ceremony

Campaign Awards

The judges will be looking for clear objectives, creative and effective implementation and tangible and demonstrable results in the campaign award categories. They will also consider the structure, presentation and clarity of each entry.

Each entry must include information under the following headings:

• Objectives & Budget (1-10 points)
Judges will be looking for what you were looking to achieve from the campaign and any targets that were set. We recommend showing targets as quantifiable metrics e.g., ‘Increase conversions from 150 to 300 a month’ rather than ‘Increase conversions by 10%’. Please include a breakdown of implementation costs, staffing costs, agency fees etc. All elements of the entry form are confidential and judges will not share this information. If you are unable to provide a detailed budget breakdown, please include the financial band your budget is within along with the percentage budget allocated for staffing costs, agency fees and media spend etc.

• Target audience & strategy (1-10 points)
Judges will be looking for details around the audience you were targeting and your overall strategy to reach them, as well as the strategy to meet the overall objectives.

• Implementation & creativity (1-10 points)
Provide a detailed explanation of your implementation for the campaign. Include screenshots to help visualise campaigns. Provide information on the creativity of the campaign.

• Details of any challenges faced and how these were overcome (1-10 points)
Tell the judges what challenges were unique to you and how have you overcome them. What was the end result of overcoming these challenges?

• Results & evaluation (1-10 points)
Relate your results to the objectives and targets. Provide actual numbers rather than percentages wherever possible and show tangible results.

• Why should your campaign win? (1-10 points)
What do you think sets your campaign apart from the other campaigns being judged? Judges will in particular be looking for the thing that makes this campaign different to the others, what is unique?

Any entries that do not include information under all of these headings will be marked down. If appropriate you may include up to three pieces of supporting materials.

Innovation / Software Awards

The judges will be looking for a clear description of an outstanding innovation or product, with indication of budget. Judges will be looking for new features/tools added in the last twelve months for the software awards. They will also consider the structure, presentation and clarity of each entry.

Each entry must include information under the following headings:

• Overview of Innovation / Software / Product
Provide a synopsis of what the tool does and how it adds value to the end user.

• Total budget
Detail costs associated with running the innovation/software/product and how much you intend to or do sell the innovation/software/product for.

• Existing problems & target audience (1-10 points)
Include details outlining the problems that this innovation/software/product solves and how if at all these problems were previously dealt with. Detail who the target customers or users of this product are.

• USP & Features (1-10 points)
Outline what is the innovation/software/product’s unique proposition. Highlight the major features that are unique to the product/software or innovation which help solve a customer problem or benefit the customer positively.

• Key Metrics (1-10 points)
Detail what key metrics have you used to measure whether this innovation, software or product is successful? I.e., does it save money, makes things faster, generate more revenue?

• Why should your Innovation, Software or Product win? (1-10 points)
What single thing about your innovation, software or product is not done by anyone else? What makes it stand out to be award worthy?

Any entries that do not include information under all of these headings will be marked down. If appropriate, you may include up to three pieces of supporting materials.

We also ask you to send a ‘US Search Awards’ log in to allow judges to be able to test and evaluate your product if they feel necessary.

Please note judging is based on the application form and the judges’ industry knowledge of the tools. They are a highly experienced judging panel with in-depth industry knowledge so the tool log ins requested are for any judges who feel that want to delve deeper into any claims / functionality detailed in the entry.

Please note if you’re unable to provide a login, please contact awards@dontpanicprojects.com.

Agency / Team / Rising Star Awards

Judges will be looking for agencies, teams or individuals that can demonstrate an ongoing and sustained commitment to delivering best practice while showing a creative and innovative approach to search. Judges will also consider the structure, presentation and clarity of each entry.

Each entry must include information under the following headings:

• Overview of the Agency / Team / Rising Star nominee
Provide an overview of the nominee. Include numbers, staff turnover, roles etc for agency and team nominations or current and previous job roles etc for Rising Star nominations.

• Agency / Team / Rising Star objectives (1-10 points)
Tell the Judges what you were looking to achieve and any targets that have been set within the agency or team to help achieve your goals. What were your individual goals? We recommend showing targets as quantifiable metrics e.g., ‘Increase conversions from 150 to 300 a month’ rather than ‘Increase conversions by 10%’.

• Recent work example(s) (1-10 points)
Provide details of recent client or campaign work. How does your recent work display creativity and make your agency, team or rising star stand out amongst others?

• Details of any recent achievements (1-10 points)
What makes your team or agency stand out? Please include details of any achievements you feel make your agency or team award worthy. What are you proud of?

• Details of any challenges faced and how these were overcome (1-10 points)
What challenges were unique to you and how have you overcome them. What was the end result of overcoming these challenges? Tell a story.

• Why should your Agency / Team / Rising Star win? (1-10 points)
Show the Judges what you feel makes you stand out amongst others and why you feel your entry is award winning. What makes you unique? What gives you the competitive edge?

Any entries that do not include information under all of these headings will be marked down. If appropriate you may include up to three pieces of supporting materials.

Confidentiality

All material will remain confidential to the judges. All judging discussions are confidential and will not be shared or discussed with anyone outside of the judging panel ahead of the ceremony or thereafter. Judges will not share confidential material, judging papers or entries with anyone. Judges will securely delete all judging materials immediately after the judging period or give materials to the We Are Search team who will manage this. Judges can only access entries that they have been provided to score.


Winning case studies may be used in post-event materials to promote best practice and permission will be sought from entrants before publishing these.