Open for entries: Wednesday 1 November 2023
Early Bird entry discount: until 23.59hrs GMT Thursday 30 November 2023. Save £30!
Entry deadline: 23:59 hrs (GMT) on Thursday 1 February 2024
Shortlist announced: Thursday 14 March 2024
Winners announced: at a live ceremony in London on the evening of Wednesday 15 May 2024.
We appreciate that the following is a little lengthy but we really urge you to read it carefully before entering. We’re also always here and happy to help answer any specific questions or concerns you may have.
Scroll down for all the details or use the quick links menu to jump to the various sections including the all-important Terms & Conditions!
Ping us an email and we will get straight back to you.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2024?
We’ve bolstered the Top Tips and FAQs below and tweaked some of the category criteria detail so please do be sure to refer to that carefully throughout creating your entry. Please also note that if you are entering a category to which a fee applies, payment must now be made by card only. There’s one new category this year – the Sector Impact Award – which has evolved from last year’s Sector Support Award. And the winners for two of our categories will be determined by vote – Café or Restaurant of the Year will be put to a public vote and Innovator of the Year, a sector-wide vote.
Are The Museums + Heritage Awards for YOU?
The Museums + Heritage Awards (M+H Awards) are open to all museums, galleries and archives as well as digital, cultural, natural and built heritage. We welcome and encourage entries from all areas of the cultural sector; from organisations that connect objects, stories and spaces with audiences and people, as well as the individuals, companies, agencies, consultants, freelancers and organisations which support their work.
If you are a supplier, contractor or partner entering a project that you have led or have worked on please ensure you have the prior consent of your client (eg a museum, gallery or heritage visitor attraction). We strongly recommend that you collaborate with your client to ensure you are providing all the necessary insight, facts and figures which our judges will be looking for.
All projects/entries must be carried out in the UK (including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man), with the exception of the following categories which are open to international entrants:
- Best Use of Digital – International
- Exhibition of the Year – International
- Innovator of the Year – open to businesses in the UK and overseas
Categories and criteria
There are 18 categories to choose from, offering something for everyone regardless of location, size or budget. As you will see, the outline criteria are shown against each category and a series of questions are asked at the point of submitting your entry.
What is the period of eligibility?
The 2024 M+H Awards, as always, will focus on achievements of the previous calendar year ie 1 January to 31 December 2023. These eligibility dates (ie the calendar year 2023) are there to ensure that entries relate, in the main, to the achievements of 2023. Wider context can be given to your entry, if relevant, but submissions which relate to projects/events which took place years ago and ended prior to 2023 are not eligible.
When you come to providing the dates to which your entry applies, please bear in mind the following examples:
- ‘Project’ started in 2019 and ended in 2023 ✅ Eligible *
- ‘Project’ started in 2019 and is still ongoing ✅ Eligible *
- ‘Project’ ran only during 2023 ✅ Eligible
- ‘Project’ started in 2023 and is ongoing ✅ Eligible
- ‘Project’ started in 2019 and finished in 2022. ❌ Ineligible **
* focus on the activities of 2023 but we’re happy for you to provide context by including information about the time preceding 2023.
** the only exception to this rule is if your entry is focused on the legacy of a project that concluded outside the period of eligibility
We do this to ensure that the awards are timely and relevant and that they reflect the sector as it is today, not as it was in the past.
In considering your submission please bear in mind that you are required to give evidence of outcomes and so if the ‘project’ (please refer to the terminology section below) you have in mind has only just started at the very end of the eligibility period eg December 2023, you may find that you do not have sufficient evidence to make a submission. Please give this careful consideration.
It is worth noting that context is important and so whilst the focus of your submission should be on 2023, you are able to give background reference to earlier times, if relevant.
How much does it cost to enter?
Free to Enter: three of the categories are entirely free to enter: Volunteer(s) of the Year; Sustainable Project of the Year and the new Sector Impact Award.
The following two rates apply to all other categories except for Innovator of the Year:
Early Bird Rate: enter during November 2023 and the entry rate is £100 + VAT. On submitting your entry, use Discount Code: EarlyBird
Standard Rate: enter from 1 December 2023 up until the closing deadline of 23:59 hrs (GMT) on Thursday 1 February 2024 and the entry fee is £130 + VAT
Innovator of the Year is priced as follows:
Innovator of the Year Early Bird: enter from 1 November 2023 up until the closing deadline of 23:59 hrs (GMT) on Thursday 1 February 2024 and the entry fee is £220 + VAT. On submitting your entry, use Discount Code: EarlyBird
Innovator of the Year Standard Rate: enter from 1 December 2023 up until the closing deadline of 23:59 hrs (GMT) on Thursday 1 February 2024 and the entry fee is £250 + VAT
If you are entering a category for which a fee applies, please note that payment must be made by card (Mastercard or Visa). When you submit your entry and pay, you can download your VAT receipt.
The system will automatically calculate your entry fees depending on which category(s) you are entering and when.
To enter the awards, head to the Museums + Heritage Awards online entry platform, register and verify your email. From when the awards open for entries on 1 November, you will then find that the information shown here is also accessible within the entry platform. Please note the following before proceeding and be aware that the entry process for Innovator of the Year is different to all other categories, as detailed in point 3 below:
- Please ensure you read the category criteria (you can also access this information on the entry platform) as well as the FAQs and T&Cs (below) before compiling your entry. Each category has its own entry form with a series of questions and you can view and download the blank form within the entry platform when you start your entry.
- To enter you must first register on the entry platform to create an account. Please refer to the above ‘who can enter’ section to check that you/your organisation is eligible.
- Each category has a simple entry form with a few questions or a straightforward nomination form. Within the system, you are able to print off a blank form should you wish. This will enable you to work offline and then later copy and paste the contents into the online version. Exception: please note that the entry process for Innovator of the Year is different. This category is open to businesses in the sector and a 3-minute video pitch is required instead of the standard entry form.
- You may enter as many categories as you wish, but you must complete a different submission for each one. You are permitted to enter the same project into more than one category but will be required to complete a new entry form and tailor your answers to the criteria of that category. You are also able to enter the same category more than once, with different projects.
- You can draft and re-draft your entry as many times as you like (even after submission) up until the closing deadline of 2359 hrs (GMT) on Thursday 1 February 2024.
- As a part of the entry process, you must provide a minimum of six high-resolution images. You also have the opportunity to provide other relevant material (additional images, video, website URLs, etc) in support of your entry. We wish to promote the shortlisted and winning entries extensively and cannot do this effectively without images. This year, we are limiting the amount of supporting materials to help ensure all entries are focused on the most important aspects.
- For categories with an entry fee (see the top of this page for details), payment by card is required upon submission.
- Please note that entries will only be accepted if made via the Museums + Heritage Awards online entry platform.
- Please refer to our note about terminology below – it will help clarify some issues around definitions
- Please also take a look at our Terms & Conditions and FAQs which are detailed below. In particular, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that all shortlistees are expected to purchase a minimum of 2 tickets to the Awards ceremony. You will also find details of the ticket pricing.
We want you to succeed! So, when compiling your entry, think carefully about the following:
- be passionate; make your entry shine!
- focus on the criteria and tailor your entry to that
- don’t assume the judges know your organisation or project
- be clear about your success and provide facts and figures such as reach
- don’t bury key information in the supporting materials – your answers will determine whether or not the rest is viewed
- where relevant, be clear about scale and impact, how many people have benefited?
- be clear about evaluation and feedback from those who have benefited such as your visitors
- prioritise your supporting materials and add clear labels as it is unlikely that it will be possible to view everything, certainly in the earlier rounds
In an attempt to streamline the entry process, the entry forms use standardised language across most of the categories. For example, the word ‘project’ is often used in reference to entries but it is not literal. It could, for example, relate to your shop if you’re entering Shop of the Year or your Café, for Café or Restaurant of the Year. Indeed, it may relate to activities, partnerships or people. Likewise, the entry forms and criteria may sometimes refer to ‘museums’ but only as a short-hand for *all* eligible organisations. And where we give examples of groups of people or audiences, it is not exhaustive.
Our panel of judges is selected for their extensive experience and broad knowledge of the sector. They sit on the panel in their own right, not on behalf of their respective organisations.
Your submission will be judged on the contents of your entry form and any supporting materials supplied. The only exception is Innovator of the Year which requires a 3-minute video pitch instead.
In two categories, the shortlistees will be put to a vote to determine the winner, all others are judged by our panel:
- Café or Restaurant of the Year will be determined by a public vote. Shortlistees will be supplied with materials to share with your visitors, encouraging them to vote for you to win. The winner will have the most number of votes in relation to organisation size (determined by annual visitor numbers)
- Innovator of the Year will be determined by a sector-wide vote. Anyone working in our sector will vote by watching the videos submitted by the shortlisted submissions.
Q: Can I enter the same category more than once?
A: Yes! But the nominee or entered project must, of course, differ.
Q: Can I enter the same project into more than one category?
A: Yes! But please ensure you tailor your entries to the specific category criteria – don’t just cut and paste your answers! We urge you to consider carefully where your entry fits best and to focus on that as opposed to hedging your bets by entering the same project into multiple categories!
Q: What is the deadline for entering?
A: 2359 hrs (GMT) on Thursday 1 February 2024
Q: Can I view the entry form before proceeding?
A: To view the entry form for your chosen category(s), you must first register on the Awards entry platform. It is not possible to view or print an empty entry form so simply answer each question with a single character or word and then preview/print your form.
Q: Can I make changes to my form once it has been submitted?
A: You can make changes to your entry right up until the closing deadline of 2359 hrs (GMT) on Thursday 1 February 2024, even after submission.
Q: Do I have to pay before entering?
A: No. Payment is only made once your application is complete and you have submitted it. This means you can log-in, draft (and re-draft) your entry as many times as you like before submitting. Once you have submitted and paid it is not possible to withdraw your entry.
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A: Due to the volume of entries received, we can only accept payment by card (Visa or MasterCard). If you have any concerns about this please contact us.
Q: How lengthy is the application process?
A: We’ve kept it as quick and easy as possible, with most categories requiring no more than 900 words and some being considerably less.
Q: Can awards judges enter the Museums + Heritage Awards?
A: Our judges aren’t permitted to enter the awards but their colleagues employed by the organisations they work for, can. The awards judges are selected for their extensive experience in this sector and are on the panel in their own right, not on behalf of their own organisation. If an entry is submitted by their colleagues, our judges abstain from the category to which the entry applies. To preclude their colleagues from entering would be to exclude hundreds of organisations from having an opportunity to participate.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- All entries must be submitted online via the Museums + Heritage Awards online entry platform, which opens on 1 November. Please note: no other method of entry is permitted.
- By entering the Museums + Heritage Awards, you agree to purchase at least two tickets, if you are shortlisted, to the awards ceremony in London on the evening of Wednesday 15 May 2024. Tickets are priced as follows:
Shortlistees (this applies to the entrant’s booking only, using a unique link which will be provided): £235 + VAT
General Early Bird: £265 + VAT (book before 1 March)
General: £285 + VAT (bookings made after 1 March)
- Please note that all information provided in your entry form is treated as confidential and shared only with the judging panel. However, general descriptions taken from your entry may be used to promote it should you be shortlisted or win.
- The entry fee, where applicable, must be paid by card on submission of your entry.
- We reserve the right to use the photographs you supply to promote the Awards, our shortlistees and winners. Photographs and videos supplied should be copyright-free.
- Awards will be made solely at the discretion of the judges. No feedback or correspondence will be entered into about the results, and the judges’ decisions are final.
- By registering and/or entering the Museums + Heritage Awards, you are agreeing to receive information from M and H Media Ltd. Your details will never be shared with a third party and you can unsubscribe very easily anytime you like.