Why give an award?
Used correctly, awards can be an effective tool to promote a message.

When to give an award?
Deciding when to give an award and for what purpose often varies greatly between organizations.  That being said, most awards usually fall within one of three recognition approaches, that being Formal, Planned, and/or Immediate.

Formal Recognition

Formal recognition is usually an annual event held by an organization to recognize the contribution of employees, members or business partners.  Typically, this event or awards gala is only held once a year.  Formal recognition often occurs in perpetuity, repeating every year.

Examples of formal recognition events include:

- Employee(s) of the Year Awards
- Service Recognition Awards
- High profile annual events such as The Oscars and The Grammys.

When choosing an award for formal recognition events, it is important to note that the award could become symbolic of the event.  This is an important component regarding the branding of the event; creating a desirable item that comes to epitomize your event, achievement and company.

Also consider that it is not recommended to continuously change the actual award, to ensure a level of consistency.  Therefore, the decision regarding which item to award is often a decision that encompasses multiple recognition events, now and into the future.

Planned Recognition

Planned recognition is often an arranged and frequently scheduled way of acknowledging contributions and accomplishments of an individual or team.  In contrast to formal recognition, planned recognition is often far less formal and often occurs more frequently.

Examples of planned recognition include:

- Sales Achievement
- Employee of the month
- Productivity
- Attendance
- Safety
- Customer Service

Much like choosing an award for formal recognition, consistency is a consideration for planned recognition awards.

Immediate Recognition

Immediate recognition encompasses all recognition that is neither formal nor planned.  Immediate recognition can be given at any time by an organization.  This type of recognition is often given to employees who demonstrate behaviors and values of the organization, contributions to the goals and objectives of the organization or work unit and to acknowledge individual or team accomplishments. 

This form of recognition can also encompass personal (non-corporate) forms of recognition, such as wedding gifts, personal acknowledgment, etc.

Examples of immediate recognition include:

- A special project (recognizing employees or business partners)
- Employee appreciation
- Teamwork
- Exemplary effort

Unlike formal or planned recognition, consistency is not a major consideration when choosing immediate recognition awards.

Budget considerations

Determining how much to spend on a particular award or event is a decision that has to be decided upon by the organization awarding the items.  Every organization has differing recognition programs, requirements, budgets, number of employees, etc., so there is no figure that applies to all organizations.

That being said, it is important to ensure that the recipient is never insulted by the award being given.  This is something that is often overlooked by organizations that don’t look beyond the budget.  The purpose of the award is to recognize some form of achievement, and the award is symbolic of your appreciation.  If you are an employee who has sacrificed 25 years of service for an organization, receiving any item that appears cheap will likely have the opposite intended effect.  This is a driving philosophy at Eclipse Awards, as we choose not to carry any items that could be mistakenly perceived in this manner.  The goal is to properly recognize the recipient and create a recognition item that employees aspire to.

Choosing an awards supplier
When deciding on an awards supplier, it is important to take several factors into consideration.  Some of these factors are outlined below:

Quality: It is important to select an awards supplier that can produce the highest quality awards possible.  While most suppliers claim high quality, there are very noticeable differences in quality depending on the supplier.  Some factors to consider:

Quality control: Is the awards company you are dealing with a company that stocks, engraves and ships from their location, or do they forward orders to a third party and act more like an intermediary?  Companies that control the entire process in-house are far more able to control quality and respond to customer requests (Eclipse is a full service recognition supplier).

Product Quality: Not all glass and crystal items are of the same quality.  Make sure you inquire not only the material, but the grade of material (K9 Optic Crystal for example).

Engraving: The quality of the engraving can vary greatly between suppliers.  There are many different methods to engrave awards and varying skills of engravers.  Eclipse Awards is a company that has been specialized in glass and crystal awards and has over 10 years engraving experience.

Reliability: The ultimate failure of an awards supplier would be to deliver an order of awards past the required date.  Having an awards ceremony and no awards would be a major disaster and embarrassment.  Many companies make claims, but few companies actually back up their claims with guarantees.

Eclipse Awards is the only company in the industry to offer three solid guarantees; guaranteed accuracy, guaranteed on-time delivery, and guaranteed safe delivery or your order is free.  This is why we do not quote our lead time (that doesn’t include shipping), but rather ask you when you require your awards and work our way backwards from there.

Price: Price is obviously a consideration for any organization selecting an awards supplier.  It is important to note that there are various hidden charges applied by some companies.

Most companies apply a setup charge between $50-$125 dollars.  There are often also graphic design costs, a charge for proofs and/or proof revisions.  Some companies also limit your graphic design by charging a fee per letter or line.

Eclipse Awards finds most of these extra charges confusing, especially when trying to determine what awards fit within a budget.  Therefore, Eclipse Awards utilizes its simple pricing system, whereby the price that is quoted for an item is fully inclusive of all the required services necessary to create a personalized award, including multiple proofs if necessary.

Choosing the right award
Eclipse Awards offers a variety of awards and styles suitable for a variety of purposes.  Each product is like a blank canvas in which you can add your logo, information, branding, style.  Also take into consideration how much verbiage needs to be engraved onto the item, as some items are better suited for a lot of verbiage while others more suitable for cleaner, more subtle messages. 

What text needs to be included
What text to include always differs from client to client, however Eclipse Awards recommends taking into consideration some of the following:

Date: A date adds credence to your award.  It informs when the award was given or for what period the recipient is being recognized.

Recipient Name: We recommend personalizing every item with the recipient’s name.  Having the recipients name on the award will make the award much more meaningful and effective as opposed to a generic message.

Achievement/Purpose: For what reason the award is being given.

Donor Name: Make sure you include your name, so it is clear from whom the award is being given.  This is not necessary if you include your corporate logo.

Include logo: Adding a logo makes the award feel more corporate and professional. 

Body Text: Include a brief description of the purpose of the award.  Try to keep the message as short and to the point as possible, as opposed to long multi-paragraph messages.

Graphic design and layout of your award

Most clients send their information to Eclipse Awards and have one of our professional graphic designers put together a proof for their viewing.  If changes are required, they are usually made at that time.

If you have a specific layout you would like us to follow, simply indicate so when placing your order and our graphic designer design your item accordingly.  If you have an actual design, you can upload this design during the online checkout process.

 © 2013 Eclipse Awards International Inc.

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