ACE Instructions

The Awards for Communication Excellence recognize outstanding communications efforts by chambers of commerce. A panel of judges selects Grand Award trophy winners and Award of Excellence certificate winners in four categories and two size classifications for a total of eight Grand Award trophy presentations made at the awards show ACCE's Annual Convention. The day before the awards show, a second panel of judges selects a Best in Show winner in each size classification. Enter the 2016 competition now!

Entry Instructions for the 2016 ACE Competition

  1. The two size classes are: chambers with annual revenue under $1 million and chambers with annual revenue above $1 million.
  2. All print entries must include a pdf. For lengthy print entries such as magazines and directories, send a pdf of the cover, table of contents and one or two features that represent the overall quality of the publication and are worthy of display.
  3. Upload your files to DropBox. New to DropBox? It's easy to use: sign up for a free account, drag/drop (upload) files, then share those files with Ian Scott by using Ian's email address ([email protected]). Learn more about using DropBox by downloading this "How-to Guide."
  4. Video entries must be uploaded by you to YouTube or Vimeo with the links included on your entry form.

View the 2015 Awards for Communication Excellence winners.

Tips and Tricks

For a preview of the online form, click here and you'll see a snapshot of each page and a description of materials you need to gather. (Ignore all dates on the preview pages; they are place holders only.)

You may enter more than once in any of the four categories, but you will be competing against yourself. However it is possible to win two (or more) certificates of excellence in the same category if you have multiple entries. There are two levels of awards: the Grand Award (a trophy) goes to the single best entry in the category. The second is an “Award of Excellence,” an 8 x 10 certificate, suitable for framing, with your chamber name and the category for which you are being cited. Judges may award as many certificates of excellence as they see fit. Grand Award winners in the two size classes will be judged against each other at the annual convention for the “Best in Show” award.

Your synopsis is very important. It's a brief summary (300–400 words) of the value and impact of your entry. It’s your opportunity to tell the judges about the unique features or benefits that make your entry a winner. The synopsis should highlight what the entry accomplished; include details about results achieved such as increases in subscriptions, registrations, dues income--any metric that shows the entry's value, plus unique factors that are part of the entry’s backstory.


  1. Advertising and Marketing — Print, Web, TV, radio and outdoor advertising/marketing projects; membership brochures and promotions for events, awards and products
  2. Campaigns (usually a complex program employing multiple media) —  Advocacy,  Awards Programs,  Economic Development, Chamber Image, Membership Drives, other
  3. Electronic — Websites, Blogs, Mobile Apps, Mobile Sites, Social Media Campaigns, Videos, E-Newsletters (submit two consecutive issues)
  4. Publications — Annual Reports, Community Guides, Directories, Magazines (submit two consecutive issues), Newsletters (submit two consecutive issues), blogs, data bases

Size Classes

Entries compete in two size classifications: chambers with budgets of $1 million and above, and those with budgets of less than $1 million.


Entries for the 2016 competition must be submitted on or before April 29, 2016. They will be judged the week of May 22 and winners (except the Best in Show) will be announced mid-June. Trophies and the Best in Show winners will be presented at the ACCE annual convention, August 9–12 in Savannah.


A panel of three judges will review and rate the entries based on originality, design/visual impact, message clarity/effectiveness, and results achieved.

Best in Show

Grand Award winners in the four categories automatically qualify for a second round of judging at the convention to determine a Best in Show winner. A Best in Show trophy will be awarded in each of the two size classes.


Only chambers of commerce or similar organizations such as CVBs or economic development groups may enter. Vendors may not submit entries on behalf of clients. Entries judged ineligible will be returned with the entry fee minus $50 for processing.

Entries must reflect work undertaken or completed in calendar year 2015 (between January 1 and December 31). Entries must be received by ACCE on or before April 29, 2016 to qualify. All entries and related materials become the property of ACCE and may be accessible to all members via ACCE's online samples library. Winning entries also may be displayed at ACCE events and in ACCE publications.

How to Enter

Each entry consists of an entry form, a synopsis about your entry (see below) and samples of the entry. On the entry form, be sure to check the box indicating your income size: Class One is for chambers with a total budget of $1 million and above; Class Two is for chambers with a total budget of less than $1 million.

How should your award read if you win? List your entry name on the form just as you would like it to appear on the award itself or in published material. Example: "Nashville Area Chamber 2014 Report to the Community" or "Chamber Centennial Celebration Invitation."

IMPORTANT: the Synopsis

Your synopsis directs the attention of judges to important features of your entry. Briefly explain any unique need for the entry, how you developed it and the results it achieved. How did it work to achieve your chamber's objectives? Provide data that show results. Include budgets for both the overall program and the entry itself. You may want to mention other tools that were used to enhance or support the entry, such as social media, electronic communications, or other print items. Your synopsis quickly summarizes the reasons why your entry deserves an award. It should be no longer than one page.

Fees and Entry Submissions

You must fill out the ACE Entry Form ONLINE to be included. Each entry requires a separate online form.

For print magazines, newsletters, brochures and other hard copy items, send one copy of your entry using the U.S. Postal Service, UPS or Fedex. Also, be sure to send a pdf of your entry. For large entries such as magazines or directories, send a pdf of 8–10 pages including the publication cover, table of contents and two or three outstanding feature stories. If you submit more than one print entry, put one sample of each entry and its synopsis in a separate envelope, then package all the envelopes in one large envelope or box along with your check reflecting the total amount of fees for all your entries. No check is required if you pay by credit card online. Be sure to send pdfs of each entry.

For electronic campaigns, make PDFs of any pertinent web pages or other electronic files and send them via the online entry form. Then make a printout of each PDF and send it with a copy of your synopsis. If you submit more than one electronic entry, put each in a separate envelope, then put all the envelopes in one large envelope or box along with your check reflecting the total amount of fees for all your entries. No check is required if you pay by credit card online. Video entries must be uploaded by you to YouTube or Vimeo with the links included on your entry form. Also, include links to e-newsletters and other electronic entries that reside on the web. Provide a pdf of the entry (and a printout) if you cannot provide a link to it.

For a complex campaign entry involving combined uses of the internet, print and other media, provide links to all of your e-media files, copies of print materials and pdfs of those print materials. Mail the print items along with your synopsis and check; send the pdfs via a service such as Dropbox. 

If your entry is a video, you must upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and provide a link, along with your synopsis. Please do not email video attachments.

Mail entries to:
ACE Awards 2016
1330 Braddock Place
Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314-6400

ACCE Member Fees Non-Member Fees
Early Bird (enter by 4/12/16) $165 $250
Standard Rate (after 4/12/16) $195 $295

Early Bird Discount: Your entry must be made online on or before April 12, 2016.

Final Deadline to enter: April 29, 2016.

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