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the giftware association

Gift of the Year: Two weeks to go...

The Gift of the Year 2019 competition officially opens on July the 15th, 2018.

Companies have been registering since the last competition closed in December 2017, and will soon be putting their newest and best products up for the coveted Gift of the Year status.

How does it work?

The competition is entered online, at, where entrants fill in information about their products and photos of them. For each product they want to enter, they pick at least one category. There is no limit to how many categories a product can be entered into, but the judges might not vote for a notebook entered into Gift Food!

How is it judged?

The competition is judged in two stages.

First, around fifty judges (a panel formed of trade press editors, retail buyers and industry experts) will be given access to the products all at once, after the competition closes. A judge will have three or four categories to look through based on their areas of interest, and they will each choose a number of products they would like to see shortlisted.

When those votes are counted, the top ten or so products in each category will be shortlisted, and the second phase of judging begins. Products are sent in to Gift of the Year HQ here in Birmingham, and in January a smaller panel of judges looks at the products up close and in person. They vote on their favourite products in each category, and the points are counted up to get the top three (or four) products in each category.

The highest-scoring products in each category are the winners, and from them the winner of winners is chosen: the Judges' Choice.

What do the winners get?

Every product entered gets exclusive 'Nominated for Gift of the Year' branding which they can use online, as well as tent card designs they can print and send to their retail stockists.

All shortlisted products get 'Shortlisted' branding and the companies are listed in the Gift of the Year winners brochure, published at Spring Fair.

All finalists are invited to a glamorous event at Spring Fair, where the awards will be given out. Their products will all be featured in a magnificent full-colour Gift of the Year catalogue. They also receive a small trophy to commemorate their achievement.

Winners, of course, receive trophies and prime place in the Gift of the Year Winners Brochure. In addition, their products will be featured throughout the year in Giftware Association news stories.

The Judges' Choice winner receives a free stand at Autumn Fair 2019, courtesy of its organisers, who are the competition's headline sponsor (terms and conditions apply).

Of course, entering Gift of the Year is a great way to increase your exposure no matter how far your product gets in the competition, as the trade media pay close attention to the competition as it progresses.

How much does it cost?

The first entry costs £50 for GA members* and £75 for non-GA members; each entry after the first costs £35 for GA members and £50 for non-GA members.

Until the 30th of September, an 'early bird' entry rate applies, at least 20% off the prices listed here.

If you have any other questions at all, contact 0121 237 1142 or email


*Also members of NAJ, BTAA, JDA, DesignGAP.

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