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 judging session will take place on April 27, 2022, with the shortlist being announced on the April 29, 2022.

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

Entries should not exceed 1000 words in total and should relate to work undertaken between October 2020 – April 2022.

March 18

Early Bird Close

April 1

Entry Deadline

April 27

Judging Session

April 29

Shortlist Announced

May 13

Early Bird Ticket Deadline

June 16

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.

Culture & Continuity Awards

The judges will be looking for a clear description of the agency culture and how this contributes to its growth. They will be expecting to hear how training and development is used to help support the agency team in securing new business and growing existing accounts.

Each entry must include information under the following headings:

• Overview of the Agency / Team
Give details of number of employees, structure etc. Judges will be looking for clarity and context to help understand more about your agency or team.

• Details of company culture initiatives & budget allocated (1-10 points)
e.g., flexible working, holiday schemes, training and development, incentive schemes, rewards packages, CSR and volunteering initiatives

• Evidence positive impact / results of any initiatives (1-10 points)
e.g., increased productivity, staff retention, staff promotion and development

• Why you think you should win (1-10 points)
What do you think sets your culture apart from other agencies/teams being judges? Judges will be looking for the thing that makes your culture 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.

Agency Awards

Judges will be looking for agencies 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 nominee
Provide an overview of the nominee. Include numbers, staff turnover, roles etc for agency and team nominations.

• Agency / Team 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 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.

Ethical, Transparent, Fair

Don’t Panic Events are based in the UK and are one of the world’s most ethical and transparent awards organisers. Working with International, industry experts (who cannot enter the awards themselves) their robust, two-step judging process includes remote pre-scoring and virtual or face to face final judging sessions.

In partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, the entry process, categories and criteria are refined and developed to ensure the process is and trustworthy. Judges sign a judging code of conduct to ensure confidentiality and to provide peace of mind for entrants.

Don’t Panic are proud to display the Awards Trust Mark, an independent accreditation programme which validates the ethical process operated on all their awards.

Don’t Panic believe all Awards must have validity so that clients, business partners and employees can trust the system.

Supporting Material

If appropriate you may upload up to three pieces of supporting materials along with your entry. These can be in JPEG, PDF or Microsoft Word, and must be under 2MB and could include items such as:

  • Audited accounts
  • Team CV’s
  • Training and development records
  • Copies of media coverage
  • Media evaluation
  • Client references
  • RAJAR / ABC circulation figures
  • Website analytics
  • Testimonials
  • Videos (via online link in form)
  • Publications
  • Marketing materials
  • Photography
  • Weblinks
  • Market research findings

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 Awards 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.