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So You Want To Win an Innovation Award

Alan Jones

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve sat on about a dozen NMMA Innovation Awards judging panels and have had a chance to see hundreds of entrants through these prestigious contests. Although the Boating Writers International panelists aren’t paid for their time (we do get transportation and accommodations), I love doing it to get a first look at the latest new products. Every year we see submissions from people who don’t understand the contest, haven’t read the rules or criteria, or who do a poor job of presenting their case why their product should win.

There are many reasons the Innovation Awards might be the best marketing money a company can spend. NMMA members pay $450, and it costs non-members $550 per entry. Winners are authorized to display the winner’s gold badge in advertisements, and it lends instant credibility, especially to new companies. Winners also get numerous mentions in press releases and on social media. Lillipad Marine has won three Innovation Awards, starting with the first in 2015 for its diving board, and showcases the award badges in its marketing... [read more]


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