- Each project and accompanying materials must be submitted with a complete AEA entry form.
- Entries must have been produced, but not necessarily started or completed, in the award year. On the entry form, entrants must explain why they believe the program has evolved to the point that it now deserves an award.
- Winning entries from the last three years are not eligible to compete unless there have been substantial changes in content and/or format. This assessment is based on information provided by and the testimony of the applicant on the entry form.
- Association entries must be submitted by the executive officer or by a designee with the approval of the executive officer.
- Associations are encouraged to submit multiple entries. Associations may submit multiple entries in each award category as long as each entry represents entirely separate and distinct initiatives; otherwise only one entry will be accepted.
- Entries will not be re-categorized and will remain in the category as entered by the applicant.
- Entries received without the appropriate entry fee will be disqualified.
- Entries must be received at the EOC office by the close of business on the stated deadline. No exception to the deadline date will be made.
- All entries become the property of the EOC and will not be returned.
- Please see category descriptions as posted on the EOC website for additional criteria.
How to Apply
Nominations for the 2021 AEA Awards will open in late fall 2021.
Associations are encouraged to submit multiple entries; however, each project must represent separate and distinct initiatives and may only be submitted in one category.
- Best Web 2.0 Program
Innovative uses of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or custom applications designed to communicate with members and non-members including, but not limited to: event promotions, industry updates or membership recruitment or renewals. The initiative may be a stand-alone effort or as part of a comprehensive communications or marketing strategy for an event, issue, program or activity.
- Best Website
Includes any HBA website that directly benefits consumers and/or members of the association. The site must be well designed, with timely information that is easy to access. Innovative design, unique features and demonstrated value to members or consumers will be judged, along with a written description of website planning, promotion and maintenance. May be either a primary website or an affiliated website for a show/event, for-profit entity, issue or program. Please include website success measurements such as number of hits and links followed.
- Best Publication (Print or Electronic)
Innovative and comprehensive printed or electronic communications to association membership and/or the non-member public. Examples include magazines, newsletters or newspapers, directories, special events publications or update publications.
- Best Public Relations Program Conducted
Association projects, activities and efforts related to public education about the industry. Programs might include new home-buyer training sessions, newspaper column services, radio talk show spots, housing impact forums, building/development primers for elected officials and staff, or marketing/promotional campaigns in conjunction with home shows and Parades.
- Best Education Program
Educational offering(s) with direct benefit to the membership. This category includes educational programs for members in conjunction with NAHB and/or Home Builders Institute; local agencies providing continuing education; or state technical colleges and universities. May also include programs offered directly by the HBA (e.g. OSHA training, sales and marketing seminars) separate from normal general membership meetings.
- Best Workforce Development Plan Implemented
Successful programs, projects or ideas that encourage and improve the number of qualified workers in the industry. This category includes educational programs in conjunction with NAHB and/or Home Builders Institute, local agencies providing continuing education, state technical colleges and universities, or K-12 grade institutions. May also include programs offered directly by the HBA separate from normal general membership meetings.
Government Affairs Pillar
- Best Local Government Affairs Effort
This category includes government relations or political involvement programs that specifically lobby locally elected and appointed officials (e.g. city, single municipality, county) or public agencies on local HBA member issues, such as codes, impact fees, development/building regulations, permitting or other industry issues. Programs might include letters, targeted newsletter distributions, breakfast meetings, member contact/liaison programs, political action committees and strategies to include elected officials in HBA events.
- Best Regional Government Affairs Effort
This category includes government relations or political involvement programs that specifically lobby elected officials or public agencies in a region (e.g. multi-municipality, multi-county, state legislators and regulators, governors) on broader HBA member issues, such as land use, growth, environmental issues or tax legislation. Programs might include letters, targeted newsletter distributions, breakfast meetings, member contact/liaison programs, political action committees and strategies to include elected officials in HBA events.
HBA Operations Pillar
- Best Service Provided by State Association to a Local Association (open to state HBAs only)
Programs or services providing benefits or other incentives of direct benefit to the local associations by the state association. Examples include, grassroots field programs, education/training programs local HBAs can implement, affinity revenue programs, administrative/operational services support, EO training/support and leadership development training/support.
- Best Association Operations Program Administered
Programs or services developed by the association that have helped improve or enhance office operations of the association. Includes HBA procedures/policy manuals, employee handbooks/training/orientation and incentive programs, effective outsourcing or insourcing of specific projects or services, technological enhancements, customer service programs and leadership development/training programs.
- Best Community Service Project Conducted
Projects or programs designed and developed to provide support and assistance to the community. Programs might include services in cases of natural disasters, support of local shelter care facilities or programs, improving housing for the disadvantaged, or partnering with Habitat for Humanity, HomeAid, Ronald McDonald House or other related organizations.
- Best HBA Partnership/Coalition
Includes any partnership of the HBA (or its affiliated foundations and charitable arms) with other state or local HBAs, organizations, associations and/or community stakeholders that results in support and assistance or otherwise unattainable benefit or service to members, the building industry or the community. Partnership/coalition structure and features are judged along with a written description of the planning and implementation of the project. (Additional criteria: Entries must include a signed release of information from all involved partners. Entries will not meet criteria for the AEA categories of Best Member Service or Best Source of Non-Dues Revenue.)
- Best Cost-Savings Program
Programs or services implemented by the HBA from which the HBA realized significant budgetary savings year over year. Judges will evaluate entries based on clearly defined positive net budget effects that can be traced to the implementation of the program. The program should also have a positive effect on the HBA and overall outlook of members.
- Best Service to Members
Programs or services providing economic benefit or other business development value to the membership. Examples include affinity or discount programs developed and managed by HBA (e.g. cellular phones, insurance, legal action program, long distance service), sales and marketing programs/training, specialty networking and B2B programs and HBA-initiated quality-service programs.
- Best Membership Recruitment/Retention Plan Implemented
Successful programs, projects or ideas that encourage and improve membership recruitment or renewal. Entries might include a short-term recruitment campaign or components of retention efforts. Examples of recruitment programs include creative tie-ins to NAHB initiatives, samples supporting year-long recruitment efforts by the HBA through member involvement, leadership support, or written materials promoting member benefits. Retention programs may include orientations, member involvement efforts, renewal time line or promotion of HBA core services and benefits.
- Best Council Development Program
Initiatives that emphasize ways associations have recognized or developed niche areas or groups within the industry leading to enhanced membership growth and involvement. The council may be new or have been in existence for several years, but over the course of the previous calendar year has achieved strong growth or reached some other pinnacle or achievement. The local council does not have to be recognized by NAHB; however, it must show a leadership structure, mission and goals.
- Best Membership Event
Includes any association event including awards programs, special workshops, innovative networking events, orientations, etc. (excluding Parades of Homes or Home/Industry Shows — please see the revenue pillar for these categories). Judges will evaluate specific components of the project, including planning, development or growth stemming from the event, value to members, communications/promotional materials and its innovative aspects.
- Best Home or Industry Trade Show
Exhibitor or trade-oriented show or event targeted either to consumers or the industry which benefits the association. Judges will evaluate specific components of the project, including planning, project goals, timeline, budget, written communications/promotional materials, challenges faced/addressed and innovation. Emphasis will be placed on revenue generated versus expenses.
- Best Parade or Tour of Homes
Single- or scattered-site tours of homes (either new and/or remodeled) which benefit the association. Judges will evaluate specific components of the project, including planning, project goals, time line, budget, communications and promotional materials, challenges faced/addressed and innovative aspects of the program or event. Emphasis will be placed on revenue generated versus expenses.
- Best Revenue Effort – Non Parade, Tour, or Show
Programs that are not parades or tour of homes, or home or industry trade shows which financially benefit the association. Judges will evaluate specific components of the program or project, including planning, project goals, time line, budget, communications and promotional materials, challenges faced/addressed and innovative aspects. Emphasis will be placed on revenue generated versus expenses incurred.