ICMA Members Reveal: Top 3 Reasons to Enter Élan Awards Competition

Do you want to propel your business forward with worldwide recognition?

Submit an entry to the Élan Awards of Excellence competition. The awards recognize world-class achievements in card design and technological innovation, establishing the global vanguard for card manufacturing excellence.

Each year at the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA)’s Card Manufacturing & Personalization EXPO, the best and most innovative cards, products and services in the card industry are showcased as part of the Élan Awards competition. The 2020 EXPO will take place March 29-April 1 at the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida, and will explore trending topics, provide networking opportunities and offer practical and strategic takeaways.

The 2020 EXPO will cover a lot in a short period of time!

The all-star lineup includes presentations and panel discussions on: The Evolution of the Biometric Smart Card Market, Quantum Technologies’ Impact on the Card Industry, The Greening of the Card Industry: A Technical Perspective, The Smartification of Card Manufacturing, 5 Things to Know Before Setting out on Your Metal Card Design Journey, Marketing to Millennials and Generation Z, as well as Product Innovation in the Global Card Industry.

At the EXPO, winners of the Élan Awards will be announced in six categories—Secure Payment Cards, Loyalty, Promotional and Gift Cards, ID and Access Control Cards, Unique Innovation, Personalization & Fulfillment (Product, Service or Project), Best Supplier or Vendor for a New Product, Service or Innovation and the People’s Choice (selected by ICMA EXPO delegates).

Looking for something new? A subcategory for metal cards has been added to the Secure Payment Card category and companies are invited to enter cards as a “concept,” without client branding or approval from issuers.

The Élan Award judges use a quantifiable scoring system based on criteria in nine categories, which are graphical design, printing, complexity, technology, quality, innovation, uniqueness, practicality and security (if applicable). One winner and two finalists will be selected in each of the categories.

Élan Award Winners Share Top 3 Benefits
There are several reasons why ICMA members submit their work to the most prestigious award program in the industry.

#1: Gain New Business Opportunities
Winning an Élan Award can have a significant impact on your business, including new corporate opportunities, high-profile visibility and increased brand recognition as a result of ICMA’s public relations campaign.

PLI’s Melissa Clemente, corporate director of innovation and marketing, said, “Competition helps drive innovation at PLI and innovation brings new and improved substrates, specialty print and lamination techniques, as well as unique packaging and product promotion ideas, to our clients. It helps them and us earn distinction, which leads to success in the marketplace.”

#2: Stand Out from Competitors
Winning an Élan Award means worldwide recognition. It is a status symbol, a level of “certification” in card manufacturing. The benefits of winning go far beyond prestige and recognition.

Since 2012, CompoSecure has had a winning card design every year. To date, CompoSecure has won 13 Élan Awards and has placed as a finalist 13 times. “We use the success of our award-winning designs in every sales presentation we give,” said Dori Skelding, vice president of marketing and supply chain. “Being able to show the winning cards during sales presentations has been an important marketing tool when talking to potential clients.”

#3: Energize Employees
With hundreds of entries each year, the Élan Awards celebrate the world’s most impressive cards and elicit industry-wide accolades for those recognized.

Since 2003, Goldpac has won 30 Élan Awards across multiple categories. The company credits the Élan Awards with boosting its name recognition in the industry, adding brand value and inspiring employees.

“Having the prestige of being an award-winning company helps us recruit the best designers who help us stay up on the latest trends and production practices,” said Goldpac’s Hong Li, director of design. “Our awards help us highlight our strengths in creative design and give us the confidence to keep progressing forward.”

Submit an entry today! The competition closes Friday, March 6, 2020.

Want More Industry Insider Insights or a Glimpse into Global Card Trends?
For three decades, ICMA has represented the interests of the card manufacturing industry—which includes manufacturers, personalizers, issuers and suppliers—as its leading global association.

ICMA offers regular educational opportunities, including the web-based Card Industry Training & Education program, which provides information on key areas of the industry, as well as tutorials and webinars from industry experts. ICMA also provides reports on the card market and on personalization and fulfillment statistics to keep members informed of emerging trends and changing forecasts.

Throughout the year, ICMA members have the opportunity to share insights and knowledge by giving presentations at ICMA events, webcasts and tutorials.

The organization hosts three conferences each year. The main event is the annual Card Manufacturing & Personalization EXPO and the other two conferences are CardTREX North America and CardTREX Europe.

To learn more about the benefits of ICMA membership, click here.