Winning industry awards is fun. Makes sense. Business or pleasure, we all love to win. It may not always be world fame, but a small token of appreciation and some recognition is always nice. However usually in business, that small token of appreciation isn’t something to write home about. Don’t get me wrong – some awards have a nice monetary reward that can give your business an even nicer cash infusion. But that would be the exception, not the rule.

The recognition, on the other hand, that’s why you should enter the competition in the first place. It’s the enormous potential and what you can do with it that’s worth all the effort.

Industry awards are an opportunity to show the best that you’ve got, and that might just be what you, the mobile app entrepreneur, need to get the word out there, or at least to get your engines started.

It’s alright if you’re still hesitant. ‘Is it worth putting so much effort into awards submission?’ is an important question. And all I can tell you is – it depends.

Exposure and brand awareness can be big in an industry with a lot of competition, where mobile apps continue to roll off the production line non-stop. Wining an industry award is a way to differentiate yourself in a world of endless competition, not only in the face of BizDev partners, but also in the face of consumers. I will later share a concrete example.

FYI, not winning isn’t the worst either. Simply submitting and being nominated as one of the top finalists can generate great buzz all on its own, depending on the award. You may gain exposure and recognition through press, reviews, and social media. Of course, winning has plenty of added values and perks too :).

So what can you do with an industry award? A lot!

Add it in your website, landing pages, and most importantly, state it out loud in your app’s store page. Add a patch to your store screenshots or featured image. Post about it in the social. Add a patch to your install ads banners (“#1 winner in the XYZ awards 2017”). Run a PR blitz or at least update all bloggers and journalists that have reviewed your app in the past. They would love to know about your success and maybe they will publish a new review of your app.

Make sure that existing and potential investors know about it. Share it with your BizDev partners.

Send it to existing users in a newsletter.

You get the idea.

But which contests to enter? Well, it depends. Below is a list of the mobile app related awards that you should probably check out. I suggest adding the events that you are interested in to your calendar.

 

1. Best Mobile App Awards

  • When: TBA
  • Where: N/A
  • Platform: iOS, Android, Web
  • Submission deadline: (Winter Awards – closed): Feb. 24, 2017, (Overall Awards): Dec. 31, 2017
  • Cost: $75 for a silver award and $125 for a gold award
  • Examples of past winners:
PicsArt Joinme Cleanmaster

 

This is a popular competition. Even if you don’t go home with the trophy, your nomination can still help you boost awareness. Sometimes it can even be worth it for the backlink… Essentially, you are contributing to your brand awareness as well as SEO (Android apps on Google play benefit from “regular” links as well.)

The competition of the Winter Awards includes Best Social app, Educational app and Designed app. At the end of the year, you have the Overall Awards, which include Best Game, App, and Business App. The submission process is relatively very simple. To check the applications click here.

 

 

2. Appsters Awards

  • When: June 13, 2017
  • Where: London
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Submission deadline: not listed
  • Cost: N/A
  • Examples of past winners:
    Navmii Dublin airport HailO

This is the award ceremony of the Apps World Evolution event. The Appsters awards are recognizing the latest and most advanced of the mobile app world. If your app or the technology behind it are advanced or innovative, this is a good way to get your name out there.

There are seven award categories for ‘best’: innovative app, most influential start up, use of app technology, entertainment app, developer, enterprise app, and consumer app.

Since this awards ceremony is a part of an industry event, you can also take advantage of the opportunities to network, speak at hosted lunch tables, and attend an after-party. If you want to know more about the apps world event or other mobile industry events, check out the blog post I wrote about the events of 2017 here. To apply to the appsters awards click here.

 

 

3. Apple Design Awards

  • When (expected): June, 2017; official date TBA
  • Where: San Francisco
  • Platform: iOS (or what?)
  • Submission deadline: None
  • Cost: Free
  • Examples of past winners:
    Frame.io Streaks Zova

This award is one of the only competitions out there for Apple apps only. The criteria to win awards in this competition is based on visual design, graphics, features (notifications, multitasking abilities, Siri capabilities etc.), and user interaction. Here are the guidelines to follow to ensure correct submission.

The winner from the group of finalists is announced at the summertime Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The date of the conference is yet to be announced publicly, so stay tuned with Apple for this one. There really isn’t a submission for this competition, since the selection for the award is picked from already existing Apple apps. However, you should make sure your app is properly registered.

 

 

4. International Mobile Gaming Awards

  • When: 2018 date TBA
  • Where: San Francisco
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Submission deadline: TBA
  • Cost: No information
  • Examples of past winners:
    PokemonGo Dawn of Titans Clash Royale

Mobile games are big these days, so if you’ve got a game app the IMGAs are a great opportunity to get your ASO up. One hundred mobile app games are pre-selected from the submissions and played by a jury of gamers judging on originality and aesthetics, among other things. There are 14 awards in total, meaning you have a good chance to compete for one of them.  To submit your app, you must register and log in. Check back later in 2017 for details on the submission deadline for 2018’s event. To see the application and get more info about the process click here.

 

 

5. Mobile Excellence Awards

http://mobilexawards.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Logo-MEA.png

  • When: January (expected), 2018
  • Where: US and Europe both TBA
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Submission deadline: TBA
  • Cost: ranges from $425 to $550
  • Examples of past winners:
    IHG translator Futurama: Game of Drones ChatWork

The Mobile Excellence awards are considered as one of the more prestigious awards, having Intel and YouTube as corporate sponsors. This award’s focus is on innovation and leadership in the industry and the competition features three main categories, topped by a ‘premier’ award. Mobile Excellence has also expanded into Europe, so now it’s possible to compete outside of the US. There are 30 award categories. Judging criteria is based on six guidelines: innovation, use of mobility, ease of use, quantifiable business results, market success and achievement of objectives.

Submission for the US and European award shows requires having an app up and running from September. Check back in the fall of 2017 for submission dates. Here are the guidelines for submission.

 

 

6. Independent Games Festival

http://www.ubmgamenetwork.com/images/igf-logo.png

 

  • When: 2018 (TBA)
  • Where: San Francisco
  • Platform: Any platform
  • Submission deadline: TBA
  • Cost: ranges from $25 to $75
  • Examples of past winners:
    Overcooked! Her story Mini Metro

The IGF Awards is linked to the Game Developer’s Conference which is one of the industry’s biggest indie game conferences. There are eight categories available you can compete for: visual, storytelling, sound, design, artistic mediums, student and the grand Seumas McNally award. All the awards come with a cash prize (usually $3K) with the grand McNally award going for $30,000.

You can submit your app to more than one category if you want. Anyone from the around the world is welcome to participate. Here is a link to the rules. The submissions for 2017 are closed now, but do check back in the fall of 2017 for the new deadline for 2018’s dates.

 

SafeDK's X-Ray

 

7. Global Mobile Awards

http://www.gsma.com/newsroom/wp-content/uploads/650-glomo-2016.jpg

  • When: 2018 (TBA)
  • Where: TBA
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Submission deadline: TBA
  • Cost: From 250 to 500 euros
  • Examples of past winners:
    Spinnr Asphalt 8: Airborne Peel

The GMAs are the awards portion of the Mobile World Conference event. There are eight main categories, which are: Social & Economic Development, Connected Life, Best Mobile Technology, Best Mobile Handsets and Devices, and more, each with its own subcategories. Some of these awards are not specifically for apps, but they mostly work around the idea of progress and making life easier for everyone.

Check back in the fall of 2017 for the 2018 submission and other important dates. Make sure you register first and create an account on the website in order to submit your app for a category. To apply, click here.

 

 

8. DICE Awards

https://pokemongo.tv/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DICE-Awards-Blue-White.jpg

  • When: 2018 (TBA)
  • Where: Las Vegas
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Submission deadline: TBA
  • Cost: $1000
  • Examples of past winners:
    Star Wars battlefront Super Mario Maker Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas; except if you win the award, of course. This award is part of the DICE Summit that features small, curated roundtable discussions with the industry’s finest experts. The award puts you on a pedestal with some of the big names, with this year EA’s Battlefield 1 and Pokémon GO as finalists. DICE has an award titled the Mobile Game of the Year, judged on “unique and addictive play experience.” Be sure to fill out the submission form in order to apply, since it has some strict instructions and policies for applicants. Check back during 2017 fall season for the 2018 awards show.

 

 

9. Webby  Awards

https://stephenchukumba.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/screen-shot-2013-05-31-at-1-16-34-pm.png

  • When: 2018 (TBA)
  • Where: New York
  • Platform: iOS, Android and Web.
  • Submission deadline: TBA
  • Cost: ranges from $150 to $595
  • Examples of past winners:
    Expedia Shazam Fandango

Often referred to as the ‘Web Oscars’, the Webby awards are about honoring the excellence of the internet.  Due to the tremendous growth and impact of the internet, the Webbys are looking to award six major platforms (with many awards): Websites, Film & Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Social, Mobile Sites & Apps and Podcasts & Digital Audio.

This competition is partly a reality show, the winner of the people’s choice award is picked by the audience at home. There is also a Webby Winner that is being selected by the panel of judges. There are quite a few subcategories under the “Mobile Sites & Apps” such as sports, social, real estate, fashion, fitness and more. Also, you can enter multiple categories if you want and if your app happens to fit more than one category. If you’re still debating, here are their reasons for you to enter. To check the application click here.  Their site says that submission is expected to open in September of 2017.

 

 

10. AppCircus’ ConhIT

  • When: 2018 (TBA)
  • Where: TBA
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Submission deadline: TBA
  • Cost: its free to submit your app but you need to pay the entry fee for the event
  • Examples of past winners:
    Mimi hearing  Catch my pain

This year App Circus kicks off 2017 with the ConhIT. This award is relatively new and 2017 will be the third year this award is offered. If you’ve got an app that relates to medicine, doctors or patients and is a healthcare solution (no wellness or fitness apps), then you might be interested in showcasing it. Other things to benefit from even if you don’t win are feedback from the medical technology industry and networking. To submit, you need to create an AppCircus account, which is free. Second, you should add the app to your account profile and you’re set. To apply, click here.

As a winner, your app gets a whole page with a bunch of links to all the stores where your app is available. So many backlinks.

Even if this event is not for you or you can’t apply in time, App Circus always has other types of app events happening over the course of the year.

 

 

11. Mobile Premier Awards

http://mobilepremierawards.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/mobile-premier-2016_logo.png

To get into the Mobile Premier Awards, you first have to win at the AppCircus event competitions. There are 16 award winners in the AppCircus competitions throughout the year. All those winners are then automatically entered into the Mobile Premier Awards running which will be presented at the Mobile World Conference.

App Circus is a huge hotspot for app competitions, with several different international events every year based on the industry different sectors. You can get a lot of exposure and brand awareness even if you didn’t win. But if you do win some of these awards you can use them for a little PR work on top of the SEO and social media presence you get out of participating.

 

 

12. Google Play Awards

  • When: TBA
  • Where: N/A
  • Platform: Android
  • Submission deadline: N/A
  • Cost: N/A
  • Examples of past winners:
    Hooked Red Bull TV WOORLD

As of 2017 the Google Play Awards are back to Google I\O! This is one of those Android only awards. This competition is looking for the top developers and apps that have shown their talent through innovation. This competition is looking to honor Standout Indie as well as Standout Startup. The classic categories for best app for kids and best multiplayer game and many more will be honored as well. There is a total of 12 categories you may enter your app into. Here are 2017 full list of winners. Sadly there is no submission link available at this time, but it does make things easy if you know what you’re searching for.

 

 

In conclusion

The options for awards are plenty, with each one demanding more or less the same to apply. What you should get from this post is that there is an award out there that you can apply for that has exactly what you need. Check out these awards year-round to get your name out there, stand out in the crowd, expand your network and find those investors to help grow your business. If I missed any important awards, please feel free to drop us an email and we will add it to the list contact@safedk.com.