Don't know where to start?  Here's a good place...

1. What does it cost to enter?

There is no cost to enter the Awards. The cost of running the Awards programme is covered by our wonderful Sponsors and Supporters.

2. How do I work out what category to enter?

You can find out more about all of the categories here. That should give you an indication of which categories could be suitable to enter.

3. We won an award last year. Are we disadvantaged if we enter again this year?

No, in fact we encourage companies to re-enter. Entering and becoming a finalist year after year is valuable. Companies that have won awards previously have often adopted a 'been there, done that' approach, which we are actively trying to change. The awards are judged on performance for the past calendar year so the contents of a previous entry will be different to this years entry.

4. How can I be sure that we qualify as a hi-tech company?

There are no clear guidelines as to what qualifies you as a hi-tech company and the nature of the industry means the benchmark is continually shifting.

Our basic definition is companies that produce goods and services in the electronics, software, telecommunications, creative technology, biotechnology, physical science, agritech, robotic and gaming sectors.

If you fall outside of this we are happy to discuss whether or not you are a good fit. Please contact us directly at info@hitech.org.nz.

5. Who sees my entry? How do I know that its contents will be kept confidential?

The Hi-Tech Awards entry process has evolved over nearly 20 years and is one of the most robust and transparent in New Zealand. Once submitted your entry goes directly to the entry portal and is held securely until the entry deadline closes. The entry convenor grants access to your entry to the relevant judges once all entries have been submitted. Each judge will only have access to the entries in their category.

All of the judges sign a non-disclosure agreement and are required to securely dispose of all electronic and paper copies of an entry as soon as judging is completed. Judges are also required to inform the Judging Convenor of any potential conflicts of interest on receiving the list of entrants. If a conflict of interest is identified, the judge does not gain access to the entry concerned. If you have any concerns that a breach of confidentiality has occurred or your entry has been in any way compromised you can engage with the Judging Adjudicator who is appointed to ensure that all due process is adhered to.

6. The deadline is 5.00pm on 6 March 2017 - can I get an extension to this?

No. There are no extensions and no circumstances under which an extension will be given. The entry portal will close at the 5.00pm deadline. We strongly recommend that you don't put yourself in this position and submit your entry at least 24 hours prior to the deadline. We will email you to confirm that it has been received so you have plenty time to follow up if you don't hear back from us immediately.

7. What annoys the judges the most?

Entries that don't answer the question that was asked. Many entrants do not supply the information that was asked for. Sometimes they can provide a lot of other information - none of which is relevant to the question. Particular attention needs to be paid to what the question is asking for. We recommend that you go through and highlight the key words in each question and then check your answer back, to make sure you have complied with what has been asked for.

8. How important is what we put on the entry form?

If you don't answer the questions and don't state a compelling case for your company then you are not going to make the shortlist. Some companies have asked why they have not made the list of finalists – and often it has been because they have not articulated their case very well on the entry form.

A number of judges expressed frustration that positive, general market information that was known about a company was not reflected in an entry - usually to the entrant's detriment. So if you have neglected to state that you have closed a significant deal or are globally ranked in your field then they can't consider that information in their judging, no matter how widely it is known. This issue often lies with the entry writer assuming that what they consider to be general knowledge doesn't need to be included - when in fact it is central to the story they are telling.

The judges for your category all possess a degree of expert knowledge that relates to the field you are in - but you need to assume that they know nothing about your products or your company, particularly the international judges, who are likely to have never heard about you at all. Make sure you tell your story well and within the criteria. Honing your story is one of the very positive side benefits of entering any awards. Getting someone from outside of your company to write your entry - or at the very least getting an intelligent outsider to review your draft - can help with this. But no writer can have the knowledge of your company that you do and if you don't disclose all of the essential information there is no way it can get into your entry.

9. When should we start writing our entry?

Leaving writing an entry too late to complete a comprehensive review process is at the heart of an entry not doing as well as it should. Ideally, start your entry pre-Christmas or in early January so you can be sure you include all the critical information. Judges notice entries riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors - which makes it very difficult to read and the judge's job more challenging. An error-free entry is going to put you in the best possible light. Again, it comes back to reading the criteria and the questions - then supplying exactly what is asked for, to give you the best opportunity to succeed. And remember, it doesn't matter how well known your company is or how well it is performing, it can only be judged on what is on the entry form - so it is worth putting the time in to tell your story well.

10. Can I get help with the writing of our entry?

Yes, we have a number of writers available who have experience in writing, preparing and editing entries. These guys get busy so best to contact them as soon as possible so they can best assist you with your entry. There is a charge for this service and this can be discussed directly with your preferred writer.

Julian Kroll – Julian@jkl.co.nz
Bill Bennett – bill@billbennett.co.nz
Anthony Doesburg – anthonydoesburg@gmail.com
Georgia Saxon - georgia@awardshop.co.nz
Owen Scott – owen@concentrate.co.nz 
Shelley Grell – shelley@communicateit.co.nz 
Nicolette le Cren - nicolette.lecren@perceptionpr.co.nz 

11. I am not happy that the judges have been fair in their assessment - who do I talk to?

In the first instance email the entry co-ordinator on entry@hitech.org.nz. Your concerns will then be relayed to the Judging Convenor and the Awards Adjudicator. They will investigate the issues you raise and come back to you with a response. It should be noted, however, that the judges’ decision is final and there is no requirement for the judges to enter into any discussion in regards to the merits of individual entries.

12. I am completing the entry form on behalf of a client, whose details do I register?

Register with your own details as this will give you access to the entry via your email address. Within the entry form you will complete your client's contact details assigning the entry to them.

13. When will we find out who the finalists are?

The finalists will be announced at events held simultaneously in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch late March 2017. Details will be on the Events page.

14. When will we find out who the winners are?

The winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner in Auckland on Friday 12th May 2017. Details are on the Events page.

15. Can I nominate another company who I think should enter?

Yes you can via the website or by emailing info@hitech.org.nz If emailing us please include the name of the company you are nominating, a key contact within that oragnisation along with their email address and phone number. Please note a nomination does not constitute an entry and the nominated company will still need to submit an entry online via the website.

16. Any other query...

If you have any other query please don't hesitate to contact us at info@hitech.org.nz.