Information for Finalists and Nominees

How the 2014 Equestrian Social Media Awards (ESMA) and Equestrian Digital Awards (EDA) will work

The process

To be in the running for an ESMA or EDA you must first of all submit an entry/entries from November 4 – December 5 2013. It's free to submit entries during the the entry period, until 4pm (GMT) on 5 December. For the ESMAs, entries will appear on the public nomination form. Equestrian Digital Enterprises Limited reserves the right to re-appropriate or withhold entry in any categories without notice.

Just for the EDAs

Entries for the first Equestrian Digital Awards will open on November 4 along with the main ESMAs. The winners will be decided solely by the Expert Panel. Finalists will be announced in January, with the winners announced in March, alongside the ESMA winners.

Judging criteria for the EDAs

  • Content
  • User experience (structure & navigation)
  • Visual design
  • Cross-platform integration (social media, blog etc.)
  • Overall experience.

For the Rich Media category

  • Content
  • Visual design/film quality
  • Overall experience

Back to the ESMAs…

Members of the public will be asked to nominate their favourites between 9 December and midday (GMT) on Friday 20 December via the ESMA website. Late entries will be accepted for nomination up-to the closing date for nominations on Friday 20 December but are subject to a late entry fee of £50 which must be paid before appearing in the nomination form PAYING THE ADMIN FEE DOES NOT GUARANTEE A PLACE IN THE FINALS. Anyone wishing to amend an existing entry, or enter additional categories will have to submit another form, which will only be dealt with once the payment is received.

Stage 1. Submitting entries to the 2014 Equestrian Social Media Awards

No late entry will be added to the public nomination form unless the entry fee has been received by the closing date.

All entries must be submitted via the online form.

Entry submissions that exceed 300 words may be disqualified.

Do not include any confidential information in the 300-word entry description as these may be used in the awards videos and for press.

Your 300-word description maybe published online if you are a winner.

You may submit the same entry in more than one category, multiple entries in the ESMAs can be submitted (and paid for on one form in the case of a late entry). If you wish for another entry to be submitted by another name, a separate entry for maybe submitted.

The decision of the judges is final and further discussion will not be entered into.

Entrants associated with an ESMA or EDA judge may still enter the awards, but the judge concerned will not take part in the judging process for the categories involved.

The ESMAs assumes all entries are original and the entrant either owns the work or has permission from a client or other appropriate party to enter the work, with all rights granted therein. In the event that an entrant without such rights submits an entry, the entrant will not be eligible for the competition. The ESMAs are not liable for any copyright infringement on the part of the entrant.

In the event of a complaint against any winning or shortlisted entry, Equestrian Digital Enterprises Limited will conduct a full investigation into each case and will request detailed documentation from all parties concerned, including the complainant, the entrant and the client. The Judges will make the final decision and, if the complaint is upheld, the award will be withdrawn.

Ineligible entries may be disqualified at any phase of the competition without notification.

Once submitted, entries may be reallocated to different categories as decided by the Equestrian Social Media Awards team. No refunds will be made under any circumstances.

Stage 2. Public nomination

Members of the public may submit up to three nominees in each general categories. They may only submit one nominee from their chosen region.

Each nomination must be accompanied by a supporting statement explaining why their chosen nominee(s) excel in the social media world. Supporting statements must be unique.

Stage 3: Ensuring true engagement

• The nominees in each category with unique supporting statements will go through to the selection process.

• The selection process ensure that anyone who is successful as a finalist is actively engaged on their social media channels, and that they display good online etiquette.

In order to secure a place in the final, they must meet the following criteria:

1. Posts to social media channels regularly, not including content about the ESMAs.
2. Usually replies to appropriate/relevant comments from fans within 24 hours.
3. Their platform manages spam well; i.e. they delete any spam posted.
4. Post original content and acknowledge Intellectual Property where required.
5. Show understanding of the terms of use for their chosen platform/s

(Each of these aspects will be monitored by the ESMA team during a set period prior to the opening of nominations.)

The top entries (usually ten) in each category will then go through to the finals.

Stage 3: Judging

When finalists are announced on January 20 they will receive points and be in the running for two awards: Experts' Choice and People's Choice.

Judges' Choice Awards

The Expert Panel is a group of equestrian PR, digital marketing and branding experts from across the globe. It will be their role to decide the winner of the Experts' Choice awards.

The names of those making it to the final in each category will be sent to the judges mid January 2014.

At this stage, judges must declare any and all conflicts of interest upon receipt. This applies to current/previous clients, if they are members of equestrian social networking sites/forums (category 15), or any other relationship deemed relevant. This is designed to avoid any doubt in the judges’ decisions.

Being a member of the expert panel means full-time employers and businesses in which panel members own shares cannot be nominated in any category.

Judges will review finalists’ social media/websites activity and rate them out of ten for each of the following criteria where appropriate:

Judges and members of the public are asked to use the following criteria:

• Innovation – are they thinking outside the box?
• Interaction – do they involve fans/followers and encourage discussions?
• Information – is it accurate, interesting and useful to their audience, and if it does not belong to them do they credit the owner?

Further considerations apply to the following:

a. For the category for Best use of Social Media by a Professional Horseperson the judges should use the criteria Item ‘Individual’ to gauge if the individual is posting as themselves.

b. For the category for Best Equestrian Social Networking Site or Forum judges and the public are asked to sign up for an account, become familiar with the platform and base their decision on the following:

• User-friendliness – can you find your feet quickly and get started?
• Is it fun?
• Sociability – can you easily share content with fellow users and the outside world?
• Would you stay and recommend that your friends join?

Point Deductions:

Judges will be asked to keep a look out for what is considered ‘spammy’ behaviour.

If a judge becomes aware that any finalist is in breach of the terms and conditions of a social network on which they are being judged, then the ESMA team should be alerted.

Most importantly:

Copyright infringement
Facebook's rules for competitions
Using a personal Facebook profile for business

People's Choice Awards

The People's Choice awards will be decided by public vote, using a voting form on the ESMA site.

General judging information

While every care will have been taken in Stage 3 to rule out those breaking the terms of use of any platform or the law, if a finalist is found to have been in breach they will be automatically disqualified without notice and no discussion will be entered into whatsoever.

• Finalists may canvass for votes, but are required to ask their fans and followers to judge as many categories as possible, not just theirs.

• An organisation/individual may become a finalist in up to three general categories and one regional category.

• The ESMA team reserves the right to disqualify anyone – without notice – thought to be buying or achieving votes through unfair means, or anyone who brings the ESMAs or EDAs into disrepute.

• Members of the expert panel must not be contacted with regards the ESMAs at any point. Any finalists thought to be influencing the expert panel in any way will be given a single written warning.

• Contacting an expert regarding the ESMAs a second time will result in automatic disqualification.

After Judging:

The finalist with the highest score in each category is the winner.

If any of the categories are tied, because two or more finalists have the same score, the three experts who judged the category will be asked to pick a winner. The finalist with two or more votes wins.

The World Award

The winners of the regional categories will be passed to Richard Johnson, FEI’s Director of Corporate Communications to decide the winner of the World Award.

The Awards Ceremony

• The winners will be announced in a video ceremony on 24 February. The series of episodes will be uploaded to YouTube and will be available through the ESMA site.

• All finalists must provide one acceptance speech video for each category in which they are a finalist – each no more than 20 seconds in length.

• Finalists' clips should be in .dv format – at 16:9. Send them to the ESMA team through the file sharing platform, DropBox. Please label the file with your name, not 'ESMA' or 'EDA'. The file containing the videos should be shared with: connect@equestriansocialmediaawards.com

If you wish to set up a DropBox account you can with this link: http://db.tt/9RtJEwE

• The ESMA team will edit the clips together as part of the whole awards programme. Please do not include music, effects, graphics or fades in the first and final 3 seconds of your video.

• Videos must be received by 5pm (GMT) on 7 February 2014.

• Videos received after the deadline will not be used.

• Sending us a video does not guarantee that it will be used.

• By sending the clips they become property of Equestrian Digital Enterprises Limited and in the process of sending them you give full rights over their use forever.

• Videos containing any copyright material will not be used. It is the finalists' responsibility to ensure material used in clips belongs to them.

Additional Information

• The ESMA team reserve the right to extend the closing deadline, amend categories or not award categories should the standard of entries received not reach the required standard.

• The ESMA team reserves the right to disqualify anyone, without notice, if they; are thought to be buying or achieving votes through unfair means; bring the ESMAs or EDAs into disrepute; and/or use copyright material without permission from the owner.

• Decisions of the judges, ESMA Team and public are final regarding the selection of shortlisted finalists and winners, and no discussion with be entered into whatsoever.

• The ESMA Team reserve the right to make changes to these terms at any time without notice.

• To withdraw from the 2014 ESMAs or EDAs please email as soon as possible: connect@equestriansocialmediaawards.com

• Equestrian Digital Enterprises Limited accepts no responsibility for, and gives no assurance or warranty in relation to, the authenticity of finalists in the ESMAs or EDAs, nor their quality or fitness for any particular purpose or otherwise.

• The Equestrian Digital Enterprises Limited shall have no liability for any losses or damages whatsoever, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising, from the use of finalists' products or services.

Prizes

Each winner will receive a certificate, winners' badge graphic and email signature for their own exclusive use.

Sponsors in some categories offer a prize for the Judges' Choice winner of their category. This is a goodwill gesture between the category winner and the sponsor. Equestrian Digital Enterprises Limited accepts no liability for administering or supplying said prizes.