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Southeast Tourism Society Shining Example Awards
Recognizing the Best in Professional Tourism

Proudly display your lantern like these 2013 winners!

If you are not an STS member, but would like to be,
register here and be part of our association for travel and tourism professionals!

The Shining Example Awards recognize outstanding contributions in tourism in the Southeastern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia & West Virginia. "Shining Example Awards highlight some of the best work in travel and tourism, and winners truly set examples that others in the industry can follow," said STS President and CEO Bill Hardman. "Showcasing great work is important because tourism is the largest, second-largest or third-largest industry in every Southeastern state." Shining Example Awards, an industry fixture since 1985, are presented in 12 categories, 14 awards.
Nominations must be received by Friday, August 1, 2014

Award Categories

Awarded to an attraction whose work has resulted in a year of notable accomplishment (i.e., development of new business markets, substantial growth in revenue or attendance, special outreach). Nominations should show concrete results; explanations can include descriptions of advertising/promotional campaigns, special celebrations or commemorations. Open to non-STS members
Category 1 Budget < $2Million
Category 2 Budget > $2Million
Evaluated on the overall performance of the organization and should show demonstrable accomplishments through effective tourism marketing (advertising, promotions, public relations, etc.). Nominations should show creativity in design, development and implementation of any projects cited. Nominations must provide documentation for the CVB revenue category in which they are entered. While nominations can include the history and growth of an organization, the emphasis must be on projects or programs developed and implemented from August 1, 2012, through July 31, 2013.
Nominations should show demonstrable team accomplishments throughout the tourism office, including effective tourism marketing (advertising, promotions, public relations, etc.), creativity in design and development, and implementation of new projects. While nominations can include the history and growth of an organization, the emphasis must be on programs (marketing, employee development, research, etc.) or projects developed or implemented from August 1, 2012, through July 31, 2013.
Honors an elected official (city, county, state or federal whose support or influence greatly enhanced the tourism industry. The nominations may include achievements or contributions over the nominee’s entire career or a single accomplishment in the recent past. Only STS Members may nominate, but award is open to non-STS members.
STS TOP 20 EVENT OR FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR (Two Awards) – Open to non-STS members.
Category 1 Attendance below 100,000
Category 2 Attendance more than 100,000  
For events that have been nominated at least once as an STS Top 20 Event in the examined period. Nominees include events such as festivals, themed events, community celebrations, holiday programs, home tours and craft festivals. The nominated events should show a high level of organization, event production and community involvement. Factors that can influence selection include attendance growth, innovative marketing and special promotional efforts. Nominees must provide documentation for attendance category in which they have chosen. Open to non-STS members.
BEACON AWARD –  Self-nominations are acceptable.
Recognizes an individual who best exemplifies outstanding leadership in the pursuit of excellence and who has advanced the tourism industry. The winning nominee will have dedicated many years to tourism and nominations may include contributions over an entire career or for a recent, notable single accomplishment. Judging will consider accomplishments, innovation, performance, empowerment of others, integrity and respect. Self-nominations are acceptable.
Recognizes extraordinary on-the-job performance by a person new to the travel and tourism industry. Nominees must work full-time for an STS member organization, and their initial employment in the industry must have come between August 1, 2008 and July 31, 2013. Nominations will be evaluated on leadership, enthusiasm for the industry, innovation, successful programs or events and other performance-related accomplishments. Extra consideration goes to nominees who are involved in the industry outside of their normal employment. The nominee should be an effective advocate for the goals of the industry to the public, the government and others in the industry. Should be recognized as building value for the industry among consumers and companies in the industry; success in solving problems central to the practice or well-being of the industry and show a reputation of leadership amongst industry peers while challenging the industry to greater achievement Employers, supervisors or colleagues may nominate individuals.
BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN – Will be judged on research, creativity, demographic targets and campaign strategic considerations .Nominations should have explanation of how the campaign was implemented and its level of success. What impact did the campaign have on the market? Nominations must include qualitative and quantitative data to support claims of success. Did the campaign achieve its objectives and goals? What impact did the campaign have on future marketing? How did consumers receive the campaign? Note: information entered here will be kept confidential to STS staff and judges and will not be shared publicly unless express consent is given.
BEST NICHE MARKETING CAMPAIGN – Will be judged on niche market viability and a distinct quality of unique, original and creative thought. Focus on selection of the winner will be based on strategy: Submissions should reference research, creativity, demographic targets and campaign strategic considerations; and Execution: Explanation of how the campaign was implemented and its level of success. What impact did the campaign have on the market? The successful nominated campaign will demonstrate excellence, both in design and form.
Recognizes the accomplishments of a destination, company or organization in the realm of sustainable tourism. Nominations should illustrate how the nominee promotes tourism development while safeguarding local culture and/or protecting the environment. The connection between development and tourism must be clear. 

Download the nomination Form *Rules*

Following Awards are not open for nomination.  Description included for information purposes only.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AWARD – Selected solely by the STS Board Chair, this award is not open for nominations and is awarded at the discretion of the current Chair STS to an individual who has been a significant asset and mad the greatest contribution during the previous year to STS.
Spirit of STS A special recognition to an individual who best expresses genuine love and devotion for STS. The selection process is by a small and anonymous committee (not open for nominations) and will be awarded to a person whose personal contributions exemplify Dorothy’s passion for the Society’s members and purpose. 



Tom Adkinson Honored with the 2012
Dorothy Hardman
Spirit of STS Award

Ron Khulman, Bill Hardman, Jim Ricketts
CVB of the Year, Category 3

Stacey Dickson
1st Mobile App to win Shining Example
(Internet Excellence)

Wright Tilley
Watauga County TDA
A Shining Example Emcee

Rashelle Beasley
Rising Star 2012

Donna Carpenter
Accepts Beacon Award on behalf of Marcus Smith,
SMI Speedway Motorsports



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