ACE Awards 2022 – calling the best in the business

Highly regarded by both industry and clients, the ACE Awards celebrate the excellent work our members do to create remarkable outcomes for Aotearoa. They’re also a chance to reflect on and celebrate your hard mahi, before sharing it far and wide.

Thinking of entering this year? ACE New Zealand Chief Executive Helen Davidson talked us through the process and offered a few tips for putting your best foot forward. 


Why enter?   

The ACE Awards are an excellent way for members to promote their business and celebrate their people. Internally, your teams feel recognised and assured the company is committed to doing the best work it can. Externally, the significant media coverage and social media buzz is beneficial for existing client relationships and helpful for attracting new ones. 

The number of ACE Awards presented each year is not limited. We’re not judging submissions against one another, instead we’re judging the quality of the consulting service provided. So, it’s worth the effort required to submit. 


What we’re looking for  

We welcome entries from members where excellent consulting can be demonstrated – regardless of the nature or scale of the service. Success comes in all sizes. Whether you’re a five-person agency or a multinational company, the awards are designed to give all our member firms the opportunity to showcase what they do and how they do it.

Whether you’ve built a large and high-profile infrastructure project through complex timeframes, worked with a small family trust to reinstate a homestead using innovative techniques, or provided a framework for identifying and managing risk through excellent client engagement – all submissions have the potential for an award.

You must be able to demonstrate excellence in the following focus areas:  

  • Delivery of a first-class consulting experience
  • Creation of value for the client, stakeholders and community
  • Client satisfaction
  • Depth and extent of technical expertise

Essentially, we’re looking for consultants who can show they went above and beyond to deliver exceptional outcomes.  


The process

Once you've expressed your interest, you can make an official 2022 ACE Awards submission by Friday 8 April 2022. 

Expert industry judges rigorously assess entries to ensure the integrity of the awards. References are checked with clients and, where appropriate, we check in with peer reviewers, contractors and other key stakeholders.  

Where physical works have been completed as a result of the consulting service, the judges will normally visit the site. Where there are no physical works, judges will review the outputs which may include digital artefacts or tools, reports or other elements that demonstrate the outcome of the consulting service.  


Three tips for new entrants 

Fill in the gaps
Follow the instructions on our website. It might sound obvious, but we often receive submissions with missing contact details, for example. Carefully select your referees – the judges want to talk to someone who intimately knows what the consultant delivered and what it was like to work with the consultant.

For your entry, you’ll need to identify a business consulting focus and up to five technical disciplines. You don’t need to select all five disciplines – but make sure the ones you choose are addressed in your submission. For example, the judges frequently comment that a project may have selected five disciplines but discussed only three in their submission. We’re more interested in quality than quantity.  

Move beyond the project 
While projects (both big and small) are usually the vehicle used to demonstrate excellence in consulting, judges don’t want to see submissions for projects where you can’t show how the consulting services were exceptional and how they contributed to the outcome of the project. It’s really important you take us through the consulting journey in your submission and what made the consulting experience you offered so special, not just the outcome of the project.

Tell the full story  
We often get asked about how to submit an entry for a complex project, and what to include in the submission.  

The online submission process includes prompts that will help guide you when deciding what to include and how to tell your story. Ultimately, you're telling the judges a story of your work, why it's special, and what you've done differently to how the industry delivers similar projects. Don’t forget, the judges are your peers and will be selected for their experience in the disciplines or consulting areas you identify in your expression of interest – so don’t shy away from technical language or details – our judges love the technical details!  

Most importantly, your submission should provide clear, verifiable evidence of how the service provided demonstrates excellence in consulting.  


Next steps 

Find out more, express your interest and apply for the 2022 ACE Awards

If you have any questions about your submission, contact ACE New Zealand General Manager of Engagement Holly Morchat Stanko on [email protected]