“I wish we would have saved our pieces!” We occasionally hear this exclamation as the BIA Product of Excellence Awards draws nearer (the 2014 entry deadline is February 21, in case you were wondering!)

Aside from forgetting to save your year’s best examples of flawless postpress craftsmanship, many of you in binding, finishing, and custom lose-leaf manufacturing have questions about how to submit your entries. So, we have put together seven mistakesthat can bemade when entering the 2014 Product of Excellence Awardsand how to avoid them.

We can’t wait to see your entries! Here’s hoping your craftsmanship is deemed the “best of the best” in 2014!

#1: Not checking the production date
Only submit pieces produced between February 2013 and February 2014. If they were not produced in this time frame, they are not eligible for entry. 

#2: Choosing the wrong category
Look carefully at the categorydescriptions and choose the appropriate subcategory for each piece. This way judges can recognize its best attributes, and you increase your chances of winning. However, judges reserve the right to move an entry to a different category if they feel it better meets the criteria for that category. To help you identify the right category, consider:

  • The equipment used to produce the piece
  • The type of process used
  • How the piece is used

See more on rules and judging.

#3: Providing incomplete details
Be sure to complete all information on the entry form. If your product entry forms are not completed thoroughly, they may not qualify for the contest.

#4: Missing submission forms
Attach an entry form to each piece you submit. Remember to submit two copies of each entry and attach the entry form to one copy. This way, the judges can properly identify your pieces and in which category they belong.

#5: Stapling the entry form to your piece
When attaching the entry form to your piece, place it inside the piece, use a paper clip, low-adhesive tape, or other non-damaging binding agent. Please do not staple! Staplingthe form to your piece can cause imperfections and disqualify it from the competition.

#6: Sending pieces in late
It can take some time and deliberation to choose which pieces to submit. Start early, because the deadline for entries is February 21, 2014. In early March, we will begin judging your pieces. If you have any last-minute questions, don’t hesitate to contact Mike Packard, Director, Binding Industries Association, at mpackard@printing.org.

#7: Not entering the Product of Excellence Awards
It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you don’t enter, you can’t win! Honorees get a one-up on the competition because their success is published industry wide. You will not only receive a plaque to display, but also:

–          Inclusion in press release announcing all winners to the media

–          Listing in The Binding Edge magazine, garnering a readership of 14,000

–          Company name and link on www.printing.org/poeawards

–          Recognition in Printing Industries of America: The Magazine sent to industry execs

And, since no great honor is complete without an official ceremony, winners will have the opportunity to stand up and be recognized at the 2014 BIA Annual Conference where you can accept congratulations from your peers.

Get more details on the BIA Product of Excellence Awards. Remember to enter your best graphic finishing and loose-leaf craftmanship by February 21, 2014. Just download the entry form and get started!