About the Awards
IHAF’s In-House Creativity Awards recognize creative excellence among internal agencies across nearly 50 print and digital categories including annual reports, direct mail, events, out-of-home, product packaging, print advertising, social media, video and more.
Winners are determined via a points system based on recorded ballots submitted by a select panel of judges—industry experts including in-house agency creative directors, external agency creative directors, marketing/creative executives and industry consultants.
Winning entries are announced at the IHAF Conference & Awards in November. Gold, Silver and Honorable Mention awards are conferred within each category, followed by a single Best of Show. Best of Show and Gold winners receive crystal trophies; Silver and Honorable Mention winners receive framed certificates. Following the event, all winning entries are posted on the IHAF website and IHAF YouTube channel.
Any in-house agency or corporate creative organization is eligible to submit their original work for consideration. Materials must be first produced, printed and/or aired between January 1 and December 31, 2022 and must fall within the categories noted below. Work produced in collaboration with external resources and/or providers may only be submitted if 80% or more of the final product was created by the in-house agency.
Entry Codes and Categories
Each entry category has a three-character code assigned to it. All entries must be accurately categorized and coded. Individual pieces may be submitted for consideration in multiple categories—each as its own unique entry with its own entry fee. IHAF reserves the right to reassign any/all submissions to ensure entries are appropriately categorized.
Yearly publications containing financial updates for stockholders and/or stakeholders as a record of an organization's annual performance.
01A Annual Reports
Elements developed to communicate and strengthen an organization’s brand identity and presence with internal and/or external audiences.
02A Brand Identity Kits
02B Cards & Invitations
02C Employee Communications
Exceptional written expression and/or messaging within the context of promotional marketing materials.
03A Creative Copywriting
Assorted forms of digital outreach used to promote products, services, organizations and brands.
04A Banner Ads
04D B2B Websites
04E B2C Websites
Printed solicitations delivered via postal mail with the intention of eliciting consumer responses, e.g., letters, postcards, self-mailers and dimensional mailers.
05A Direct Mail
Architectural designs, fixtures, art installations and graphics—permanent or temporary. Also includes promotional wall hangings and corporate signage.
06A Corporate Installations
06B Posters & Signage
Graphics packages inclusive of branding, messaging and experiential elements developed in support of an event held at a specific place and time.
07A In-Person Events
07B Virtual Events
A series of integrated campaign elements produced across a minimum of three different forms of media.
08A B2B Campaigns
08B B2C Campaigns
On a Shoestring
Any work, any format—conceived and fully produced for under $15,000.
09A On a Shoestring
Out of Home
Assets for display through paid media outdoors; mass-market outdoor advertising via billboards, bus shelters, kiosks and transit placements.
10A Out of Home
Audio episode or podcast series conceived and produced in house, featuring topics of interest related to the business and/or brand.
11A Podcast/Audio Series
Point of Sale
Visual display for a retail environment, featuring a product or service with consumer messaging delivered at the time of sale, when a retail transaction takes place.
12A Point of Sale
Materials distributed to get press coverage through unpaid media outlets for the purpose of building awareness for a brand, message, product or service.
13A PR Campaign
Advertising that appears in printed publications such as magazines and newspapers.
14A B2B Print Ads
14B B2C Print Ads
Exterior package design and/or labeling of a physical product offered for sale at retail. (Does not include 3D collateral or promotional mailers.)
15A Product Packaging
Interior/exterior layout, graphics and editorial content that constitutes a published book, magazine or multi-page newsletter.
16A B2B Publications
16B B2C Publications
Brochures, kits and catalogs designed to move prospective buyers through the sales cycle—from awareness to consideration to purchase.
17A B2B Collateral
17B B2C Collateral
Work intended to prompt positive, communal action in response to pressing social issues and/or challenges.
18A Social Impact
Digital advertising, marketing and/or promotional posts that connect audiences to brands via one or more social platforms.
19A Animated Graphics
19C Organic Posts, single platform
19D Organic Posts, multi-platform
19E Paid Posts, single platform
19F Paid Posts, multi-platform
19G User-Generated Content
Stuff the Client Didn’t Pick
Any work, any format proposed by the in-house agency and rejected by the client, resulting in the piece never being produced.
20A Stuff the Client Didn’t Pick
Broadcasts promoting assorted messaging—educating and engaging viewers through video storytelling.
21A Broadcast TV Spots
21B Corporate, external audience
21C Corporate, internal audience
21D Online Video Ads, 0:60 or under
21E Online Video Ads, over 0:60
21F Public Service Announcements
21G Sizzle Reels
21H Social Videos
Work that stands out so much, it simply doesn't fit into any other category. Can only be entered once when it's entered here—we can't wait to see it!
22A Wild-Card Creative
All Entries (submitted by June 30, 2023)
IHAF Members: $99 per entry Non-Members: $199 per entry
Late Entries (submitted by July 14, 2023)
Late Fee: $50 per entry
Entry fees may be paid online via credit card or by requesting an invoice during the submission process. Entries will not be judged unless full payment is received by the deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.
All regular entries must be submitted by June 30, 2023. Late entries will be accepted if submitted by July 14, 2023 and accompanied by a late fee (see Entry Fees). Entries submitted after July 14, 2023 will not be accepted.
Preparing Your Entries
All entries across all categories require the submission of digital files (even printed materials) and will be reviewed digitally by our panel of judges. Failure to submit the proper digital file(s) and/or format(s) will result in disqualification of the entry.
File Labeling: Each digital file must be labeled as follows: CategoryCode_CompanyName_EntryTitle. Category codes can be found above. If submitting multiple, same-format files (multiple image files, multiple videos, or multiple PDFs), please add a number to the end of each file name, e.g., 1, 2, 3.
Thumbnail Image: Each entry requires a high-res, horizontal thumbnail image (1000x700px or similar). This file will display on the homepage of our online gallery of entries. Files must be jpg, jpeg or png.
Image Files: You may provide up to ten (10) high-res image files per entry. Files must be jpg, jpeg, png or gif.
PDF Files: You may also provide up to three (3) PDFs, which are useful for multi-page entries like brochures, publications and annual reports.
URLs: Provide an active URL/site link, plus high-res thumbnail images that effectively represent the site.
Video Files: Provide up to four (4) video files per entry. Subtitles are not required. YouTube, Vimeo or other platform links will not be accepted.
Submitting Your Entries
To begin, click Entry Portal—you’ll find it in the green navigation bar. Click Profile Setup to create your sign-in credentials. (Your sign-in is unique to the IHAF Awards; it is not the same as your IHAF member login.)
Once signed in, you should be automatically routed to your dashboard. From there, select Create Entry in the green box in the middle of the page. For each entry, select the appropriate category and provide the details below:
Entry Title: Brief name of the piece you are submitting, up to 15 words (Do not enter the file name here.)
Entry Description: Description of the project, up to 75 words. Entries are judged based on creativity, not results or business outcomes. Your entry description may add context to aid in the judging process.
Member Status: IHAF members receive discounted pricing on awards entries. Be sure to indicate your status at time of registration. Unsure if your company is an IHAF member? Check our directory at ihaforum.org/membership-directory.
Permissions: Specify whether IHAF has permission to publicize your participation in our awards competition and/or showcase your submitted work beyond displaying it at the IHAF Awards Show.
After populating the specifics of each entry, upload the corresponding digital image file(s). Once you have selected the files you would like to include, be sure to click Upload in the green box. When you're done, click Submit at the bottom of the page. Or Save Draft if you would like to come back to it later or prepare another entry.
(To access entries in progress, click Entries in the left-side menu and then the green Edit button next to the entry you would llike to revisit.)
Go to the left-side menu and choose Entries, selecting the entries you wish to submit to IHAF. Click Submit Selected and then Pay Now to indicate your method of payment and submit your work, as follows:
Credit Card Payment: Enter the appropriate credit card information as noted on screen. Then click Calculate Cost > Pay to complete the transaction and fully submit your work.
Check or Electronic Payment: To request an invoice from IHAF, click Calculate Cost > Generate Invoice. THis will generate an invoice, and fully submit your work.
IHAF assumes that all entries are original and the work/property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein. IHAF is not liable for copyright infringement on the part of the entrant and will not engage in copyright disputes.
Entries will be displayed electronically at the IHAF Conference & Awards, with winners listed publicly on the IHAF website and IHAF YouTube channel. If you have questions regarding the In-House Creativity Awards or entry details as described, please contact Hollis Gesen at 617-587-3945 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you—and we look forward to enjoying your work!