Entering product into awards can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task, but entering the Progressive Preschool Awards couldn’t be simpler – as our handy guide outlines.
What are the Progressive Preschool Awards?
Now in their seventh year (lucky for some!), they are the only trade awards for the toy, nursery and preschool sector. Considered a benchmark of excellence throughout the industry, the awards recognise and reward excellence in product, retailing and marketing throughout the preschool industry. Phew.
Can anyone enter the product categories?
If you have preschool product which has been launched into retail at some point over the last year (between July 2018 and July 2019) then yes. We class preschool product as being aimed at children aged from newborn to five-years-old.
Are they very expensive to enter?
No – all entries to the the PPS Awards, as they are affectionately known, are completely free. We don’t believe that it is fair for smaller companies and new start-ups to have their chances limited in any way and attaching a cost to entry would do that. Our judging process is totally fair and independent so it is only right that our submissions process kicks everything off on a level playing field as well.
How ‘fair and independent’ is the judging process?
Extremely – and we go to great lengths to make sure it stays that way! We invite a panel of major and independent retail buyers, which has previously included experts from John Lewis, Bentalls, Mothercare, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Toymaster, Character.com and M&Co as well as a number of specialist independent retailers to come and judge all the product submissions in person. It means they all take a day out of their busy schedules to spend with us, poring over thousands of toys, nursery products and other items. It’s a time-consuming task, but they really enjoy it and are often seen scribbling notes if they’ve spotted something they really like the look of but don’t have in stock back at the store.
Entering awards is complicated though, isn’t it. I wouldn’t know where to start.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Firstly, think about what you’d like to enter – perhaps something you’re very proud of or has been a strong seller. Then you have to do is decide which category best suits your product. There are ten to choose from and most of the time it’s pretty straightforward. If you’re really stuck though, drop us a line and we’ll help as best we can. In fact, we have refreshed the product categories for 2019, adding Best Infant Development Range and Best Kids’ Lifestyle Range into the mix to reflect the changing market.
OK, that sounds straightforward enough. Then what?
It really couldn’t be easier. Just download and complete this simple form and send it in to us along with a sample, which will be added to the huge pile in our warehouse until it is ready to be put out on display for the judging day. We’ll need a fresh form for each product though (that’s right, you can enter as many times as you want!). Start thinking about it now though, because the closing date for product to be received for entry is Friday 5 July, 2019.
How do we find out if we’ve made the shortlist?
Don’t worry, we’ll be in touch! So make sure all the contact details on your entry form are correct. We’ll be announcing the shortlist soon after the judging day and if you have been selected as a finalist, that’s when the excitement really begins! The winners will be announced at a lavish event at Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Tuesday 5 November, surrounded by over 400 suppliers, retailers and industry pioneers. It’s quite something!
Information on how to enter the retail, marketing and special awards will be announced in the coming weeks.