Past Entrant Q&A with Cara from Mudgee Region Tourism

We’ve quizzed some of our past entrants to see what they think of the Regional Tourism Awards. Find out their top tips for entrants, why they enter the awards and where they’ve found help along the way.

Up next is Cara George, CEO of Mudgee Region Tourism.

How many times have you entered the Regional Tourism Awards? Have you also entered at state level?

We’ve entered Regionals three times (2015, 2016, 2018 – as no regionals in 2017) and State four times (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

What category (or categories) have you entered?

Destination Marketing and Visitor Information Services

What reason/s did you have for entering (or continuing to enter each year)? If you’ve entered more than once, have they changed over time?

The opportunity to stop, reflect and recognise your team’s achievements is something we value greatly. The Regional Tourism Awards process not only assists our business to reflect on the past but prepares us for our future.

Winning our category has resulted in greater exposure for our destination, increased awareness of key messages and has contributed to producing even stronger results for our visitor economy.

Did you get help from anyone with your submission?

Our submissions are written in-house, however we do watch the webinar each year and attend the submission writing workshops and apply judges’ feedback from past years. We’re always looking to be inspired and challenged to do better every year.

How have you promoted your awards success?

Logos are used on our email signatures, on our website, trophies and certificates are displayed in our Visitor Information Centre and take pride of place in their own cabinet, we share the news in real time via social media, our PR agency distributes a media release to trade and local press, we engage with our local radio stations and newspaper for interviews, we share the success with our members, we use the logos on our annual Partnership Prospectus to instill faith in our ability to deliver with our members, we include it in funding submissions….we talk about it often with stakeholders, media and visitors.

Will you be entering in 2019? Why or why not?

We sure will!

What would you say to someone who’s considering entering the awards for the first time? Do you have any tips or advice for preparing a submission?

Do it. Go through the process of watching the webinars and attending workshops, it will make the task less overwhelming and more achievable. Use the opportunity to assess your past business activity and plan for strategy moving forward.

Even if a win is not on the cards in year one, try again the next year. Be open to the judges feedback. You’ll find gaps in your business that you didn’t know were there. You’ll also realise you had some fantastic success stories that you forgot to truly recognise and celebrate. Pause, reflect, write – you won’t regret it.

If Cara’s advice has got you thinking more about entering, the best place to start is our How to Enter page. If you’ve got questions, head over to our FAQs or get in touch.