“If you have all the business you can handle, then you should not enter the International Gallery.” Kevin Keane, president and CEO of IAPHC, has been saying it for years, and if it seems a bit sarcastic, you’re reading it the wrong way. Going for an award in the Craftsmen’s International Gallery of Excellence remains one of the simplest and most cost-effective promotional efforts a printing company can make. Now in its 36th year, the competition is easy to enter, open to everybody, and guaranteed to boost the pride of all who capture one of its Gold, Silver, or Bronze trophies. (There’s also a supreme award for “Best of the Best.”) The International Gallery is special in that IAPHC refers winners to print buyers who ask the group to recommend sources of graphic services. In his blog, Kevin offers lots advice about using winning entries as marketing tools. This year’s deadline for entries is June 30. Winners will be announced at IAPHC’s international convention in August. Here’s a link to the entry form, and here’s one to a “sell sheet” that explains how IAPHC handles the referrals. And here is a personal invitation from Kevin himself: Gallery: It's Good for Busine$$ Whether for reasons of corporate pride, or honoring the teamwork of dedicated employees or, perhaps most important, saluting a valued client, market savvy designers/printers/finishers and vendor/suppliers too, all understand the connections their clients make between award winning promotion and comprehension of the client's marketing vision. Making publicity work for you and your firm is made easier when you have newsworthy news to share. And winning awards is a time tested model to get your name in lights. The Internet reveals many print and graphics firms who obtained publicity from their International Gallery successes. You need to PROMOTE your firm in good times and in bad, and we think it's an essential yet little comprehended benefit of entering the International Gallery. We know everyone is time pressed and over stressed, but Promotion has power with prospective clients. Awards won are a very important form of testimonial for the trustworthiness of a firm. That's why you see so many news releases, pictures and stories all over the IAPHC website under the International Gallery button and sub-sections. In our opinion, the most market savvy printers clearly recognize that awards success enjoyed on behalf of current clients and their favorite projects will pay dividends of client loyalty and continued patronage. And that is a value proposition hard to beat. Finally, don't forget the clear bright bottom line benefit: every single business day we refer new business opportunities to firms whose particular expertise we learned about by virtue of their closely examined International Gallery entries. If you have all the business you could ever need, then please don't enter the International Gallery, but if you like the idea of an unexpected new client once in awhile, then please make haste.