You Could Be A Trophy Awards Winner

You have Trophy Awards questions. We have Trophy Awards answers.

Entering the Trophy Awards

Q. Do I need to be a Beautification Award winner from my chapter to enter the state awards competition?

A. No. Everyone is encouraged to enter their projects into the state Trophy Awards. State and chapter programs are separate from each other.

Q. Can I enter a project into multiple entry categories?

A. Yes. You may also enter your installation project into the lighting, water feature, xeriscape and/or design/build categories. Each entry requires a separate fee and entry form.

Q. Are full-size plans required for my design/build entry?

A. No. Plans are required for your design/build entries, but they may be 8.5 x 11″.

Q. Do I need to provide contractors’ comments on page 8 of the entry form?

A. Technically, no. We strongly encourage you to provide comments, but they are not required. The judges want to know about any challenges or special circumstances you faced and why you believe this project should be an award winner. Sell your work! Contractors that provide detailed comments do better in the competition. Important note. To avoid disqualification, do not include your company’s name.


Q. How many digital photos do I need to send with each entry?

A. Please submit no more than seven digital photos. Name one image (preferably horizontal) as “plaque.” Exceptions: For entries in Category 13 (Lighting), submit night photos. For entries in Category 6 (Landscape Renovation), submit three additional “before” photos.

Q. Do I need to submit “before” photos for my renovation entry?

A. Yes. Three “before” photos are required for your entry.

Q. Should I reduce the file size of my photos before sending?

A. Please submit high-resolution digital photos in the original (or actual) file size. If you enlarge a photo on your computer screen and it looks pixelized or blurry, then it will not look sharp on an award plaque.


Q. Do I need written client authorization for my project to be judged?

A. Yes. Step 7 (page 10) of the entry form requires the owner’s written consent. Contractors must also certify in writing that the information provided on the entry form is true and correct.

Q. Will judges come to the property at night to judge my lighting entry?

A. No. The projects are judged during the day.

Q. When do the judges judge?

A. Judging is scheduled to begin in Southern California in mid-September (Date TBD) and continue for two weeks. Judging is scheduled from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., every day, including weekends.

Q. When is judging scheduled for my area?

A. CLCA will send you an email with approximate date for your projects prior to judging. Exact dates will be available as judging progresses. Please notify your clients.

Your Site

Q. Do I need to spruce up the project prior to judging?

A. No. The judges focus on the fundamentals and craftsmanship, not the flash. Putting in a few flats of pansies or fresh mulch won’t impress them.

Q. What about the drought?

A. The judges reward well-done irrigation systems and recognize the limits local officials and conditions may place on water usage. As one judge noted during California’s last drought, brown is the new green.

Q. Can I keep signage up at the project, so the judges know they are at the right site?

A. Visible company signage or branding during judging are grounds for disqualification.

Why Sponsor?

Q. Should my company sponsor the Trophy Awards?

A. Yes. For companies large and small, sponsoring the CLCA Trophy Awards supports the recognition of excellence in the premier event of the year for the association and its members. The financial contribution reinforces the awards banquet’s social and commercial activities while gaining your company statewide recognition within the association, the opportunity to connect on a personal basis with event attendees and the ability to publicly recognize that the association and its members are a meaningful aspect to your business.

Trophy Awards sponsors are recognized on event signage, promotional material and award plaques and at the awards ceremony. Your company name is included on CLCA’s website with winners. Sponsors can present winners their plaques during the award show and take photos with winners. Awards show dinner tickets are an additional cost to the sponsorship.

Why Be A Judge?

Q. Should I volunteer to be a Trophy Awards judge?

A. Yes. By working to elevate the professionalism and standards of the industry, serving as a Trophy Awards judge allows you to “give back” to the industry that as given to you.

It will also benefit you going forward. Being exposed to new ideas — entrants’ creative small residential projects, amazing custom estates, elite commercial properties, and private rooftop gardens — will spur creative growth in your company.

Added bonus: Being selected by your peers to be a Trophy Awards judge plays extremely well on your company website and in your marketing materials. Credibility. Professionalism. Respect. Judges have it all.

Leveraging Your Win

Q. If I win an award, what should I do to capitalize on the award?

A. First, celebrate! Next, spread the word. Share the good news with clients and employees. Then, utilize social media and your company’s marketing materials to spread the word to the industry and current, past and potential customers. Harness the power of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and your company website.

Also, make sure you let your customers know, via your marketing mailers, emails or even a headline on your billing and proposals.

More Plaques?

Q. I won! The plaque is amazing. I’d like a copy for my client, all of my crew, my general contractor and my mother! How do I make that happen?

A. No problem! Contact Susan Carlson, CLCA’s Creative Services expert, at CLCA HQ, (916) 830-2780 for duplicate or personalized plaques.


Q. My client is concerned about their privacy …

A. We are, too. CLCA works with Trophy Awards entrants to protect client privacy. Trophy Awards judges and CLCA staff abide by a non-disclosure agreement. Addresses are used only to get the judges to the proper property and are not disclosed unless authorized by the client and contractor. For clients with privacy concerns, we suggest:

    • In step four of the entry form (Project Information), name the project something vague (e.g., Browns Valley Estate or Rivergreen Drive Project). Don’t use client names or street addresses. Your project name will be on the award plaque.
    • In step seven, (Owner’s Consent, Affidavit of Work Performed and Publicity Release), check and initial the Photo Permission box. If this box is checked, photos will not be posted to or shared with the media – they’ll only be used for the CLCA Trophy Awards judging and ceremony. You may also opt out of having photos included in the Trophy Awards ceremony.