How to use the online entry system in simple steps:

  1. Click on a category on the categories page
  2. Log in if you have an account or register
  3. If registering as a new user, please wait for a verification email
  4. Once logged on you will be taken to the basket page – scroll down to see the entry form
  5. Enter the details of your entry
  6. Press save for later if you’re not ready to submit at this stage so you can edit
  7. If you are ready to submit then keep scrolling and click continue at the bottom of the page
  8. Complete your personal contact info and continue
  9. Click complete to submit
  10. If you saved your entry for later, simply log back in when you’re ready and go to your ‘saved items’ and follow the above steps.
  11. To add another category go back to ‘basket’ and add new catageory using drop down

Your entry should show:

  1. Clear evidence of innovation - for all categories - we are looking for new ideas, new ways of doing things. A fresh and revolutionary approach.
  2. Evidence of impact - what impact has the innovation had on the business in question and for the market? Note: Both criteria are important but 2 is only relevant to the judges if 1 is convincing. See each individual category for more detailed requirements

What do we mean by innovation? What are we looking for?

Any business when considering a project, a product or a marketing initiative is faced with a choice - whether to simply match their competitors or whether to try and gain an advantage by trying something new. These awards are focused on those businesses and brands taking the second route - the path to successful innovation.

In general, we are simply looking for something new and original. It may be in use in other markets or countries, yet still new to this market. Or it may be genuinely brand new. In either event we are very interested to hear from you.

New what? - That depends on the category - but all categories, whether people based like the Marketing Team award - or proposition based - should evidence innovation. For the people based awards this may be about the way in which a team is organised, or relates to the rest of the business. Or it may be about the influence the team has had on innovations in the business.

Innovation may be about doing new things, or it may be about doing things differently - both are valid claims to innovation.

Where the entry is focused on creative outputs then we are again looking for an indication, or evidence, that real fresh thinking and execution is involved.

Innovation must be tangible - an innovation is more than just an idea. It will start with a spark of an idea, it will be then be developed and tested and only when it is put into practice - and can be said to have made an impact, or an difference - can it be called an innovation. An innovation must drive some form of change.

That's why in the IMAIA criteria we also ask for evidence of impact. It does not mean that the IMAIA's are another effectiveness awards programme - but it does mean that to do well in the IMAIAs you must be able to show innovation and its impact on the market. Otherwise, we would be simply giving awards for the best ideas.

Why enter?

Having your work recognised by a jury of experts is real recognition of the effort your team has put in. It sends a message to the market and it sends a message to your own business. Innovation can be hard, many attempts will fail and often it may seem easier to simply execute competently. Successful innovation must of course be competent as well - but it also offers you an extra edge. Recognising that is why the IMAIAs were founded - and why now in its 7th year it is established as an important fixture in the calendar. We look forward to seeing your work!


All categories are open for entry except for the four individual categories which are first nominated for, and then an entry form is completed by nominees.

Each entry form asks questions relevant to the category, each with a word count. All sections must be completed before submitting.

Where applicable we will ask for visuals to be uploaded to accompany the entry, and a link to the work in question. If you are shortlisted further supporting material may be requested from you.

The entries will then be assessed by the independent judging panel, firstly online with each judge coming to an independent assessment of the entries. Then the judges will attend (virtually) a judging day chaired by chairperson Tom Wright at which all winners will be decided.

If the judges feel necessary a highly commended may also be awarded. If a judge has a conflict of interest they will not judge the conflicted category and will not be present for the final judging session. Chairperson's decision is final.