Entry Details

About the Awards

IHAF’s In-House Creativity Awards recognize creative excellence among internal agencies across over 40 print and digital categories including annual reports, banner ads and emails, events, out-of-home, product packaging, print advertising, social media, video and more. The entry period runs from April through June, with work accepted from teams of all sizes and varieties.

Winning entries are announced at the IHAF Conference & Awards in November. Gold, Silver, and Honorable Mention awards are conferred within each category, followed by an overall Best of Show. Best of Show and Gold winners receive crystal trophies. Silver and Honorable Mention winners receive framed certificates. Following the event, winning entries are posted on the IHAF website and IHAF YouTube channel.


Any in-house agency or corporate creative services 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, 2023, 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 conceived and created by the internal 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 up to three different 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.

Annual Reports

Yearly publications containing financial updates for stockholders and/or stakeholders as a record of an organization's annual performance.

01A   Annual Reports

Corporate Communications

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

02D   Logos

Creative Copywriting

Exceptional written expression and/or messaging within the context of promotional marketing materials.

03A   Creative Copywriting

Digital Marketing

Assorted forms of digital outreach that are used to promote products, services, organizations and brands.

04A   Banner Ads

04B   Emails

04C   B2B Websites

04D   B2C Websites

Direct Mail

Printed solicitations delivered via postal mail (e.g., letters, postcards, and mailers) to elicit a specific consumer response..

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 to support an event held at a specific place and time.

07A   Events, external audience

07B   Events, internal audience

Multi-Media Campaigns

An integrated series of 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

Podcast/Audio Series

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 time of sale, when retail transaction takes place.

12A   Point of Sale

PR Campaign

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

Print Advertising

Printed advertisements that appear in hard-copy publications such as newspapers, magazines and journals.

14A   Print Advertising

Product Packaging

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 formal publication, e.g., book, magazine, or newsletter.

16A   B2B Publications

16B   B2C Publications

Sales Collateral

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

Social Impact

Any work intended to prompt positive, communal action in response to pressing social issues and/or challenges.

18A      Social Impact

Social Media

Digital advertising, marketing and/or promotional posts that connect audiences to brands via one or more social platforms.

19A   Animated Graphics

19B   Organic Posts, multi-platform

19C   Organic Posts, single platform

19D   Paid Posts, multi-platform

19E   Paid Posts, single platform

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   Sizzle Reels

21G   Social Videos

Wild-Card Creative

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!

22A   Wild-Card Creative

Entry Requirements

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 in the green navigation bar. Enter your email address and password to create your login. This login is unique to the IHAF Awards; it is not the same as your member login on the IHAF website.

Once signed in, you should be automatically be routed to your dashboard. From there, select the Start Entry button in the bottom-left corner of the page. For each entry, choose In-House Creativity Awards as the program, then select the appropriate Entry Category and provide the details below:

  • Entry Title:  Name of the piece you are submitting, under 10 words. (Please do not enter the file name here.)

  • Entry Description:  Tell us about the project in 75 words or fewer. Descriptions should ideally offer context to aid in the judging process. Remember, entries are judged based on creativity, not results or business outcomes.

  • Member Status:  IHAF members receive discounted pricing on awards entries. Be sure to indicate your status on your submission. 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, click Save + Next. Then, upload your corresponding digital image file(s). When you're done, click Save + Close at the bottom of the page and your submission will be added to your cart for checkout.

After saving your entry, you'll automatically return to your dashboard. From here, you can edit entries, start new ones, or complete the checkout process. To access entries in progress, click the Entry Title from your dashboard. You'll be able to get back into your entry to review/edit and submit.

Once all of your entries are complete, return to your dashboard and click Cart in the top-right corner of the page. Indicate your method of payment and click Proceed to Payment, following the remaining prompts which includes clicking Process Payment to fully submit your work. If you wish to pay via check or electronic transfer, select Invoice to generate a statement and payment instructions.

Entry Fees

Regular Entries (submitted by June 28, 2024)

   IHAF Members: $99 per entry          Non-Members: $199 per entry

Late Entries (submitted by July 15, 2024)

   Late Fee: $50 additional per entry

Entry fees may be paid 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.

Entry Deadline

Regular entries must be received via our online submission process by June 28, 2024. Late entries will be accepted through July 15, 2024 with the additional fee (see Entry Fees). Entries submitted after July 15, 2024 will not be accepted.


All work is reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of internal and external agency creative directors, marketing/creative executives, and industry consultants. Entries are evaluated individually and scored via a points system on recorded ballots. Best of Show is determined by convening the judging panel to review all Gold category winners, aligning on a single entry as overall best for the year.

Final Details

IHAF assumes that all entries are original, with all information and/or work provided being the rightful property of the entrant with all rights granted therein. IHAF is not liable for copyright infingement 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 publicized 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 hgesen@ihaforum.org.

Thank you—and we look forward to your participation in our celebration of in-house creativity.