Museums + Heritage Awards 2020

Enter Shop of the Year turnover more than £500k

Category Specific Criteria

This award celebrates best practice in museum and heritage retailing across the globe. It doesn’t matter how big your retail offering is, as there is this award for Best Shop with a turnover of more than £500k as well as another award for Best Shop with a turnover of less than £500k.

Looking not only at profit but the entire retail operation over the past year, this award aims to honour the leaders in our sector. In convincing the judges of why you should scoop the Best Shop Award, please provide the following figures: Average Transaction Value; Spend Per Head as well as Turnover, Gross and Net Profit plus percentage increases on the previous year (unless new). Tell us about your conversion rates – the percentage of visitors buying from your shop and how these have changed in relation to the visitor numbers. Importantly, please also demonstrate how your shop is on brand and how effectively it and its products link to the museum, its collection and its narrative. Your shop can be permanent, temporary or online or a combination of all three. In all instances the judges will be looking for impressive results as well as considering the overall customer experience. Please ensure all figures are included in your Entry Paper and not just in your Supporting Material.

Your entry paper MUST be tailored to the above criteria.

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Image: 2019 Winner, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art


Submissions should relate to the period between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019. This category is open to UK and International organisations.

The Awards are open to museum, heritage visitor attractions and gallery operators and their contractors and suppliers unless otherwise stated. Entries from contractors/suppliers must only be submitted with the prior consent of the client concerned and we strongly recommend that you collaborate with your client to ensure you are providing all the necessary insight which the judging panel will be looking for you in your entry.

The Entry Process

This process applies to all categories with the exception of the FREE Volunteer(s) of the Year Award which has a different entry procedure. The closing date for all entries is Friday 31 January 2020. To give yourself the best chance of success please ensure you carefully read the below step by step process and watch our How To Video (below) which explains precisely what you need to do in order to enter the Museums + Heritage Awards! Failure to do so is likely to result in disappointment…

You are welcome to submit as many projects into as many categories as you wish but please ensure you always refer to the category specific criteria for each entry.

Please note that all shortlistees are required to purchase at least one ticket to the Awards Ceremony on the evening of 13 May in London.

If you have any questions regarding the entry process or your eligibility please refer to our FAQs in the first instance or contact our team directly – [email protected] +44 (0)1905 724734

Entering the Awards: a step by step guide

  • 1. Carefully read the category criteria above

  • 2. Complete Your Written Entry Paper Plus Page Of Images

    Getting this paper right is key to success. It must be tailored to the category criteria and it must contain all your main facts – it needs to ‘sell’ the project to our judging panel. This information must stand alone and not rely on supporting materials (see below).  Click here or take a look at the images below to see an example of what your entry paper should look like.


    Your entry paper (two written pages stapled to one page of four captioned images) must respond to the criteria of the category which you are entering (see above), must be written in English and must include ALL the following entry paper headings:

    1. Category Entered

    2. Organisation/Company/Client name (if you are entering on behalf of a client please make this clear eg John Smith & Co on behalf of The XYZ Museum)

    3. Title of project/exhibition/campaign/service being entered

    4Brief summary of team involved

    Then tailor the following sections to the category specific criteria

    5. Description of the project/exhibition/campaign/service

    6. Overall objective

    7. Implementation

    8. Creativity and/or originality

    9. Impact on visitor numbers where applicable, please be clear about the scale and reach of your project. Provide us with the facts!

    10. Outcome, including formal evaluation of results

    11. Cost of delivery and Return on Investment – please note these figures will be treated confidentially

    Please note the following restrictions:

    Your Written Entry Paper should not exceed 2 sides of A4 and a minimum font size of 11 pt. This two page paper should be stapled to your single page of four captioned images. Please do not bind it.

  • 3. Print Ten Copies Of Your Entry Paper

    Each copy should consist of your two page entry paper stapled to a page of photos which best illustrate your entered project – all as outlined above. Please do not bind or place in a folder or plastic wallet.

  • 4. Compile Your Supporting Materials

    Your written Entry Paper must contain all the key facts, illustrating how it meets the criteria and is deserving of recognition. It must be strong enough in its own right to convince the judging panel of why it should win but you are also encouraged to submit further materials in support of your entry, as follows:

    6 high resolution images in jpeg format on a USB – please ensure these really illustrate your entry and that the USB is labelled.

    Video (must be submitted on DVD or USB in a PC compatible format) – please ensure this video is directly relating to the project described in your entry

    Any relevant additional information which you think will help ‘sell’ your entry to the judges such as attitudinal research, marketing literature, market share detail, productivity analysis, product samples, media coverage, internet coverage – please ensure that you submit the relevant URL and any necessary passwords to allow access to a site.

  • 5. Download and Complete The Entry Form

    You are welcome to enter the same project into multiple categories or to enter different projects, in which case please use one Entry Form per project. Ensure you complete all the required fields on this form and then include the form in your entry package as per the process outlined below. The entry fees are as follows:

    Single entry = £100 (with the exception of Limited Budget Project of the Year which is just £60 and the Volunteer(s) of the Year Award which is free to enter)

    Each additional entry = £60 (regardless of whether the project is the same or not)

  • 6. Package everything up and get it in the post!

    Check that you have 1 x Entry Form; 10 x 3 page Entry Paper (2 written pages stapled to 1 page of four captioned images) together with your supporting materials. Please ensure that your entry is properly packaged to minimise chances of damage during delivery and contained either within a strong envelope or box file. Your entry must arrive in the Awards office by Friday 31 January 2020.

    Good luck and fingers crossed!

Download the Entry Form

Entering the Awards - a short how-to video

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