Award (noun) 1. something that is conferred or bestowed, especially on the basis of merit or need.
Nail Files, Etc.
If an award can be considered dangerous by airlines — say, a nice crystal piece that could conceivably be used as a weapon — tell participants to pack it in their suitcases, not their carry-on bags. Better yet, winners will appreciate your shipping the awards home for them.
Give Me a Break
Your vendor should take responsibility for shipping breakage. Know the company's shipping policy and, if necessary, try to negotiate for at least free second-day air delivery of replacements for damaged goods.
Most vendors will accept your artwork — event logo, corporate seal, etc. — via e-mail, but it's worth checking that your company's design program (Corel Draw, Illustrator, or other) is supported.
Find out what kind of presentation box the award will be delivered in. A silk-lined box, rather than a styrofoam mailer, may be appropriate for your top achievers' awards.
Save on Shipping
If you can live without presentation boxes, shipping costs can be reduced greatly, sometimes by as much as 50 percent.
Sniff Out Fees
When researching prices, make sure you're comparing apples to apples. Does the price include design, etching, and set-up charges? What kind of taxes will you be paying on the order?
Write from the Heart
A World of Thanks … You've Made the Difference … Unmatched Dedication, Unparalleled Performance … With Sincere Admiration and Appreciation. Take some time to get the wording right on your awards. This is the time to speak from the heart.
Build in a proofing stage to the production process so that you can be sure of what you're getting and that all names and dates can be double-checked.
Do you want to get the last word in? Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org