Launch your next program in under an hour with our preconfigured customizable templates
May 28, 2024

What is awards management software? All your questions answered

Icon List
In this article

We regularly come across a lot of questions about awards management software and awards programs in general. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to source the most frequently asked ones and provide brief answers to help shed some light on the topic. Read on!  

Awards management software 

So let’s start answering the most important questions of all — those that uncover awards management software and what it can do for you. 

What is awards management software?

Awards management software enables you to streamline the entire awards program lifecycle, automate the organizers' workflow, and accelerate all processes. It offers a range of features that help manage every step of the way, from collecting and handling applications to evaluation, and selecting and showcasing the winners. 

Awards management software typically features: 

  • Application management features, including customization of registration and application forms, facilitating payment processing for application fees, and providing an intuitive dashboard for one-click application management.
  • An online application portal allowing applicants to easily submit their entries. 
  • Evaluation and voting tools for judges to review the entries. 
  • Email automation to streamline communication with applicants and judges. 
  • Customization and branding options which allow organizers to tailor the awards program to their specific needs. 
  • Analytics and reporting features that offer insight in to the performance of the awards program and ensure consistency across editions. 

Do you need awards management software?

Yes, if you manage an awards program with multiple entries, applicants, and judges since the software will automate all mundane tasks that you would otherwise need to do manually, raising the likelihood of mistakes in the process. The bigger your awards program, the greater the need for an awards management software solution.   

Which is the best awards management software?

Different sources feature different rankings for the best awards management software, based on different program types such as awards, grants, scholarships, contests, or other recognition programs. That said, some of the solutions listed are not specifically designed to manage awards as their main use case. That is why we recommend Evalato which has perfected awards management and optimized its features to cater to awards programs specifically.


What is the difference between awards management software and grant management software?

While both awards management and grant management software cater to programs with an application and an evaluation phase and have the features to handle those processes, they also have some specifics that make them a better fit for one of the use cases over the other. 

For example, awards management software has more advanced payment, evaluation, marketing, and branding options, and a focus on applicant-and-jury-friendly features such as an easy registration process and user-friendly applicant and judging portals. Grant management software on the other hand focuses on things like post-program tracking of funds distribution.     

Are Google Forms an alternative to awards management software?

While Google Forms could be a viable awards software alternative for the application phase of a small-scale program with limited entries, this tool does not cover the evaluation phase which is often the most complex process to manage in an awards program lifecycle. It also lacks scale, meaning that it could make managing a larger awards program quite problematic. 

Another issue with Google Forms is that it offers very limited options for requesting information from applicants. While it covers questions and answers, it lacks options for things like photos and video upload, meaning, it won’t be appropriate at all for some specific awards program types such as photo contests or any program that requires videos at entry submission. 

Google Forms, while a handy tool for surveys, additionally lacks any branding and customization options, which could make an awards program seem less professional, potentially harming its image.   

What types of organizations need awards management software?

Any organization that wants to set up an awards program to recognize best practices or individuals in a specific industry or field, could benefit from awards management software. This includes various businesses, associations, media, non-profits, governments, and other organizations. 

Awards managers 

Awards managers are those who benefit the most from deploying an awards management solution, so, let’s take a look at their job in detail.  

What is an awards manager?

An awards manager is the person in charge of managing the awards process within an organization, from planning and budgeting to execution and managing of the awards program, along with monitoring the outcome and reporting on results. In the cases where this role doesn’t exist on its own, it is fulfilled by an existing position within an organization, such as event manager, marketing manager, or another professional with an administrative or marketing role.      

What does an awards manager do?

An awards manager has a string of tasks, including planning, budgeting, and even marketing an awards program. Some of those tasks could be delegated to team members or managed with the help of an awards management solution. The awards manager might also be in charge of the awards ceremony, should the organization decide to hold one.  

What skills do you need to become an award manager?  

An awards manager should have a variety of organizational and event planning and management skills. While this skillset is somewhat similar to what is required for other jobs (such as event management, project management, etc.), it has some specifics, which is why taking an awards management course is a good idea to fine-tune those skills.  

The benefits of awards 

Now, let’s take a look at why awards are so popular and how they benefit both applicants and awards organizers. 

What is the point of awards programs? 

Awards are an excellent way to celebrate achievements, regardless of the industry or organization. Given the right tools, they could be fairly easy to organize, which helps make them an effective choice to recognize achievements, as well as companies and individuals.  

How are awards useful?

Awards have multiple benefits for all parties. Program organizers can use them for community engagement, recognizing and promoting best industry practices, raise brand awareness, and even an additional revenue source if you opt to make them paid or find sponsors and partners.  

Applicants meanwhile benefit from the third-party recognition, along with the marketing power and increased publicity that comes with winning an award. Award-winning organizations and businesses often see new partnerships and customers as a result of having their achievements recognized. 

What is the value of awards? 

The value of an awards program is contingent on multiple factors, such as the organizer and awarding body, the evaluation criteria, the awards jury, the prize, and last but not least — the application and evaluation process. Higher-value awards are often organized with the help of awards management tools which make the awards more professional. 

Award programs 

Now that we know why awards are a good idea, come the questions about award programs and how to organize and run them.

What are the different types of awards programs?

Awards programs are an efficient way to recognize and celebrate achievements in a specific area or industry. There are different types of awards programs, including:

  • Awards — these programs celebrate a variety of achievements and aim to recognize best practices in a certain field. Some examples are business and corporate awards, industry and professional awards, arts and entertainment awards, scientific and technological awards, and peer-to-peer recognition awards, to name a few. Most often, the evaluation process requires strict criteria and a jury panel to cast their votes.
  • Contests and competitions — programs where individuals, teams, or organizations compete to win a prize, for example, photo contests, writing competitions, and more. Entries could be evaluated either by judges or reviewers or through public voting.
  • Powerlists — lists that rank the most influential or successful individuals or organizations in a specific area or industry based on public voting or specific criteria.  
  • Grants — programs with the purpose of awarding funds to individuals or organizations who compete by submitting an application. Applications are usually evaluated by a panel of reviewers.
  • Scholarships — programs aimed at awarding funds for the purposes of education, based on academic achievements. Applications are usually evaluated by a panel of reviewers.
  • Employee recognition programs internal award programs, usually in large organizations that aim to recognize their employee achievements. There are various types of employee recognition programs, from milestone-based performance monitoring to internal competitions with entries and an evaluation panel.  

How do you create an award program? 

Creating an award program is an intricate process that involves multiple steps starting with setting goals, budget, and defining the target audience, then working on a timeline and planning of all phases, namely registration, submission, evaluation, and results announcement. 

Then comes choosing an awards platform to handle the submission and evaluation processes, selecting the right jury and/or defining target public voter groups, planning the promotion of the awards, and of course the announcement of winners with an awards ceremony or another alternative.     

How do you create an industry award? 

The most important elements of creating a successful industry awards program are establishing strict and clearly defined evaluation criteria and selecting the right professionals for your jury panel to give your industry awards the appropriate reputation and credibility. 

How do you run a successful award program?

Running a successful awards program requires having a clear plan and streamlining all processes to ensure a smooth application and evaluation, and minimize the likelihood of mistakes. One way to do that is to employ an awards management software solution to take care of the grunt work involved in organizing awards, leaving you more time for planning and execution of strategic tasks. 

While it is possible to run a successful awards program without awards management software, it is much more challenging given the amount of manual work involved, especially for a large-scale program with tens or hundreds of entries and above. Additionally, running an awards program manually makes it look less professional and lifts the risks of mistakes.


Evalato is actually the answer to the question of how to run a successful award program. So, let’s take a look at exactly how that happens.  

What is Evalato? 

Evalato is the next-gen awards management software that helps you organize awards from end to end, streamlining all your processes. It helps you collect applications, empower evaluation, and pick the worthiest winners. 

What makes Evalato the best awards management software choice? 

While most awards management solutions have their strong sides, Evalato is a cut above the rest since awards are its main use case and it has been developed with awards managers and the challenges they face in mind. 

What sets Evalato apart is that it is extremely user-friendly, has the industry’s fastest launch time for new programs, unique features such as score normalization for removing unintentional judge bias, an embeddable registration form, multiple options for announcing winners, and more.  Then, there’s Evalato’s stellar customer support team that is always available to assist you with both questions about the software and tips to help you make the most out of it.

How does Evalato help you? 

Evalato is packed with features that help you organize an awards program (and any program with a submission and evaluation phase for that matter). It is user-friendly and ensures a smooth experience for all parties involved — awards program organizers, applicants, and judges. It saves your organization time and effort and frees up resources, ultimately helping you grow.  

Last but not least, Evalato features an ever-evolving knowledge base of resources for awards managers to help them make the most out of the software and grow.  

What are Evalato’s top features?

Evalato has a multitude of useful features but the most notable ones include: 

  • Preset customizable templates for an easy program setup 
  • An embeddable registration form for a smooth registration experience 
  • A next-gen applicant portal that improves submission rates 
  • Six voting types to take care of any evaluation scenario 
  • A user-friendly judging portal that keeps your awards program jury happy
  • A winners page to take care of your results announcement 
  • Email automation to take care of your program’s communication 
  • Real-time analytics to keep you on top of results


There is no better way to learn what awards management software is than to see it in action. You can do so by testing Evalato for free (no credit card required). And if you have questions about how it can help you run an awards program, you can book a demo (also free).  

Get started in a snap

Launch your next awards program in under an hour with Evalato’s pre-made templates and intuitive design. 
Unlimited free testing. No credit card required.