11 Reasons Why Your Company Should Enter to Win the Catersource ACE Award

As we gear up for the Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, which is a mere five months away, we’re preparing to honor the best caterers in the U.S. and around the world with our biggest award: the Catersource ACE Award!

Courtesy of Tulips & Maple, 2012 ACE International winners. Photo by Blair Gable.

Why should you enter to win the Catersource ACE Award?

Courtesy of A Divine Event, 2012 ACE South winners.

1. Glory for your company in your market! There’s nothing like an industry-oriented award from a B2B organization to let your potential customers know that you’re a notch above the rest. Why settle for best in your metropolitan area when you can be best in the Midwest (or East, South, West or International)? With such esteemed competitors, winning– or even qualifying as a finalist– is quite the feather in your cap.

Courtesy of Crazy Chefs, 2012 ACE East winners

2. It proves that you’re not only on top of trends and styles, but that you can also pull off many events with finesse. The ACE award considers your business acumen. At Catersource, our judges are current and former caterers who look at your milestones, your contracts and your company growth. We examine all sides of the catering business– sales, culinary, decor and operations– so it’s not just a popularity contest for the coolest photos (although, to be honest, cool photos are never a turn-off, but they’re only one part of the total package).

Courtesy of 24 carrots, 2012 ACE West winners

3. You’ll get to see your increased status as a caterer all year long, as you’ll be heavily featured throughout the year in Catersource magazine. Your photos and ideas will be featured on our cover, our snapshot page or in one of our features. ACE winners are frequently contacted as sources for our stories, from outdoors to weddings to year-end to trends to themes and celebrations. Hang all the stories you’re in on the wall of your offices for all your potential clients to see.

Courtesy of Butler’s Pantry, 2012 ACE Midwest winners

4. Drive SEO to your website. In addition to being featured in Catersource regularly, you’ll also frequently appear on Catersource.com and this here blog. You’ll also get your own ACE Award page on Catersource.com for others to admire. Extra digital ink to boost your visitors and a quick link to send them to promote your business? It can’t hurt!

Courtesy of Tulips & Maple, 2012 ACE International winners

5. Applying is absolutely free. No entry fees. Just your own evidence of your hard work.

Courtesy of 24 carrots, 2012 ACE West award winners

6. You’ll be added to our preferred list to sample products from our sponsors and advertisers. We know that the best caterers shine with creativity and ingenious uses for these products, and we want to see what amazing ideas our winners can come up with.

Courtesy of Butler’s Pantry, 2012 ACE Midwest winners

7. You also win two tickets to the 2014 Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, so you can coast in to the following year glowing from all of the magazine coverage you’ve received. “Did you see that Catersource cover from July/August?” you’ll say to other attendees, while sipping on the extra champagne you can afford because your ticket was paid for. “That was my company,” you’ll gloat.

Courtesy of A Divine Event, 2012 ACE South winners

8. Because the award is decided by other caterers, there’s no online voting– so once you’ve applied, you don’t have to worry about how many social media followers you have and who is going to share in your promotion. We love social media, but we know a lot of small companies don’t have the resources to monitor their popularity regularly; that’s why this award is decided from a committee of caterers.

Courtesy of Tulips & Maple, 2012 ACE International Winners

9. If you win, you’ll be honored with seat on the Catersource Advisory Board. Tell us what to do!See an opportunity for improvement at Catersource? We’re all ears. Want to hobnob with the other higher-ups on the board? You’re right there, sharing pretzels and coffee with them at our annual board meeting. (Disclaimer: Last year it was pretzels and coffee. Snacks may be different in future years!)

Courtesy of Crazy Chefs, 2012 ACE East winners

10. An ear, a friend, and a confidant in me, your awestruck magazine editor. This past year I’ve really enjoyed working regularly with our ACE winners. I love finding out what they’re doing that’s new and now, and I love featuring them in the magazine. We’ll be best friends by the end of your term as an ACE winner, trust me. (But you’re probably too busy for long chats on the phone about how your children are doing and what the latest company gossip is, so I’ll just check in via email before every issue to see what your company is up to.)

Courtesy of 24 carrots, 2012 ACE West winner

11. Any size or any sort of caterer can apply– that is, of course, except for past ACE winners. It doesn’t matter how big your company is, whether you’re on-premise, off-premise, university catering, boutique or a large caterer that is part of a restaurant group; as long as you have a brand devoted to catering, you can be a winner! Former ACE finalists are also welcome to apply.

Courtesy of Crazy Chefs, 2012 ACE East winners

If all this sounds a little daunting, don’t worry. You can be involved with Catersource as much or as little as you’d like as an ACE winner.

Courtesy of Butler's Pantry, 2012 ACE Midwest winners

Courtesy of Butler’s Pantry, 2012 ACE Midwest winners

To enter, just visit the ACE website and check out the application. If you have questions, please email Angie Ridgeway (aridgeway@catersource.com) or you can drop me a line (editor@catersource.com).

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