Entry Details

Entry Details & Checklist PDF

As remote work continues, we understand that submitting physical pieces may be difficult or impossible for some. For now, please register and submit your entries digitally here by the July 24 deadline—and, if you can, send your physical/mounted submissions as well. If you are delayed or unable to submit physical pieces for categories as required, please let us know and we will work with you to overcome the issue.


IHAF’s In-House Creativity Awards recognize creative excellence among internal agencies across nearly 40 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 and work is displayed at the IHAF Conference & Awards on November 10-11, 2020, held at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston, MA. 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, while Silver and Honorable Mention winners receive framed certificates. Following the event, all winning entries are posted on the IHAF website.


Any in-house agency or corporate creative organization is eligible to submit their work for consideration. All entries must be first produced, printed and/or aired between January 1 and December 31, 2019, and must fall within the categories noted below.

Entry Codes & Categories

Each entry category has a four-character code assigned to it. Categories with an entry code ending in “-p” require the submission of a high-resolution digital file plus a physical, mounted piece. Entry codes ending in “-d” are fully submitted digitally and do not require a physical piece and/or mounting.

All entries must be accurately categorized and coded. Individual pieces may be submitted for consideration in multiple categories with each as its own unique entry, on its own board (as applicable), with its own entry ticket and fee. IHAF reserves the right to reassign any/all submissions to ensure entries are appropriately categorized.

Annual Reports

Yearly publications, typically containing financial updates intended for stockholders and stakeholders as a record of an organization’s annual performance.

01A-d   Digital Reports

01B-p   Printed Reports

Corporate Communications

Elements developed to communicate and strengthen an organization’s brand identity and presence in the marketplace.

02A-d   Brand Identity Kits

02B-p   Cards & Invitations

02C-d   Logos

Digital Marketing

Assorted forms of online content used to promote products, services, organizations and brands.

03A-d   Apps

03B-d   Banner Ads

03C-d   Emails

03D-d   Infographics

03E-d   B2B Websites

03F-d   B2C Websites

Direct Mail

Printed solicitations intended to elicit a consumer reaction or response, delivered to recipients via postal mail or courier service.

04A-p   B2B Mailers

04B-p   B2C Mailers


Development of temporary or permanent environmental designs, fixtures and notices.

05A-d   Architectural Installations

05B-d   Posters & Signage


Promotional and/or informational assets produced in support of a live event held at a specific place and time.

06A-d   Event

Multi-Media Campaigns

A series of elements produced across three or more forms of media, built as an integrated campaign.

07A-d   B2B Campaign

07B-d   B2C Campaign

On a Shoestring

Any work, any format—conceived and fully produced for under $10,000.

08A-d   On a Shoestring

Out of Home

Assets developed for display through outdoor media, with exposure to mass audiences along various streets, sidewalks, subways and surfaces.

09A-d   Out of Home

Point of Purchase

Visual display featuring a product or service, with promotional messaging delivered to the consumer at the point of sale.

10A-d   Point of Purchase

Print Advertising

Advertising that appears in printed publications such as magazines and newspapers.

11A-p   B2B Print Ads

11B-p   B2C Print Ads

Product Packaging

Any type of physical label or packaging, designed to attract potential buyers to purchase a specific product or service.

12A-p   Product Packaging


Interior/exterior layout, graphics and editorial content that constitutes a published book, magazine and newsletter.

13A-p   B2B Publications

13B-p   B2C Publications


Materials promoting public awareness of a product, service or message, specifically by gaining coverage through assorted media outlets.

14A-p   Publicity

Sales Collateral

Brochures, kits and catalogs designed to move prospective buyers through the sales cycle—from awareness to consideration to purchase.

15A-p B2B Collateral

15B-p B2C Collateral

Social Media

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

16A-d   Animation Graphics

16B-d   Organic Posts

16C-d   Paid Posts

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.

17A-d   Stuff the Client Didn’t Pick


Broadcasts promoting assorted messaging—educating and engaging viewers through the use of moving pictures and sound.

18A-d   Corporate, external audience

18B-d   Corporate, internal audience

18C-d   Immersive Content (VR, AR, MR, 360)

18D-d   TV/Web, 0:60 or under

18E-d   TV/Web, over 0:60

Entry Fees

All Entries (postmarked by July 24, 2020)

   IHAF Members: $75 per entry

   Non-Members: $150 per entry

Mounting Assistance (optional)

   IHAF Members: $50 per entry

   Non-Members: $100 per entry

Entries will not be judged unless full payment is received by the deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Entry Deadline

All entries must be postmarked by July 24, 2020. Given the impact of COVID-19, we have extended our regular entry period from June 30 to July 24, allowing added time for you to gather and submit your materials. As such, there is no late-entry period (and no late-entry fee) this year—with no exceptions. Entries postmarked after July 24th will not be considered.

As remote work continues, we understand that submitting physical pieces may be difficult or impossible for some. If you are delayed or unable to submit physical pieces for categories as required, please let us know and we will work with you to overcome the issue.

Entry Requirements

Registering Your Entries

Start by going to ihaforum.org/creativityawards and click “ENTER” in the navigation bar. If you are an IHAF member, login with your username and password—this will ensure you receive discounted entry pricing. If you are not a member of IHAF, please create a new entrant login (using the link on the right of your screen).

From there, you will be directed to the “ADD NEW ENTRY” page. (If you have entries in progress, you will also find them here.) For each new entry, select the appropriate entry category and indicate an entry title and description—then, click “SUBMIT.” After all of your entry forms are populated, click “CHECKOUT” and you will be guided to complete the process, paying by credit card or requesting an invoice from IHAF.

You should receive a confirmation email indicating that you have successfully registered your entries. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please let us know.

Preparing Digital Files

As stated earlier, each entry category has been assigned a four-character code. Entry codes ending in “-d” are considered digital submissions and do not require the inclusion of a physical piece and/or mounted material.* Failure to submit the proper digital file(s) will result in disqualification of the entry.

    • File Formats: A high-resolution PDF, JPEG or TIF file (no less than 300 dpi) is required for each digital entry. If PDF, please convert all text and outlines.

    • Website Entries: Provide an active URL/site link within a Word document, plus high-res screenshots that effectively represent the site.

    • Video Entries: Provide an MP4, MOV or WMV file along with high-res screenshots that effectively represent the video. YouTube, Vimeo or other platform links will not be accepted.

    • File Labeling: Each digital entry must be labeled as follows: CategoryCode_CompanyName_EntryNumber. Category codes can be found on pages 2-3 of this document. Entry numbers can be found on your entry ticket (at the bottom of the confirmation email you received when you initially registered your entry online).

    • USB Flash Drive: Load entries onto one or more USB flash drives. Label the outside of each flash drive with your company name.

* For digital entries that do not require the submission of a physical piece, you have the option of sending a mounted sample. This does not automatically increase your odds of winning. Sending additional materials only has merit if the digital submission alone does not sufficiently represent your entry. If you elect to submit additional materials, you must follow the instructions for Preparing Mounted Materials, below.)

Preparing Mounted Materials

As stated earlier, each entry category has a four-character code assigned to it. Entry codes ending in “-p” require the submission of a physical piece mounted on black mat board plus a high-resolution digital file (see Preparing Digital Files). Failure to submit the proper digital file(s) will result in disqualification of the entry.

    • Board-Size Requirements: Black mat board must be at least 0.055" thick with a margin of at least 1" on all sides. Entries may only be submitted on boards measuring 6"x6" or 14"x14" - no smaller or larger. For physical materials that exceed the maximum board size, please mount a scaled-to-fit, high-resolution image of the piece on the board with a notation indicating its original size.

    • Entries with Multiple Pages: For multi-page pieces (e.g. mailers, brochures, magazines, etc.) that require handling in order to fully evaluate them, secure a clear acetate pocket to the front of the board and place your sample in the pocket. Samples must be able to be easily removed and re-inserted for judging and display.

    • Entries with Multiple Pieces: If your entry contains multiple pieces, a maximum of five images can be "collaged" on a single board. If you require more than one board per entry, indicate the number and sequence of the boards you are submitting (e.g. "1 of 3," "2 of 3," "3 of 3") by affixing a label to the back, bottom-left corner of each board. You may submit a maximum of three boards per entry. For the Multi-Media Campaigns category only, up to five boards will be accepted.

    • 3-Dimensional Entries: Mount high-resolution image(s) directly on the board. Submission of the actual 3D piece is also highly recommended.

    • Board Labelling: Each entry you submit must have the appropriate entry ticket attached to the back of each board. Entry ticket(s) can be found at the bottom of the confirmation email you received when you first registered your entries online. Each ticket includes a unique number for that entry - be sure to adhere it securely to the back of the board.

    • Mounting Assistance: IHAF offers mounting services at an additional cost (see Entry Fees). Simply indicate that you would like mounting assistance when you first register your entries online. Then, send us your unmounted samples (physcial pieces or scaled-to-fit output) along with the required high-resolution digital file. Be sure to include an entry ticket for each submission, which we will adhere during mounting.

Shipping Your Materials

Once you have appropriately prepared your digital/physical materials for submission, please ship them to IHAF. Take extra care in packing your physical entries to ensure they arrive in good condition, as they will be displayed at the IHAF Conference & Awards in November.

Ship all materials to:  In-House Agency Forum, Attn: Hollis Gesen, 179 Lincoln St., Suite 400, Boston, MA 02111, 617-587-3945

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 infringement on the part of the entrant and will not engage in copyright disputes. Materials submitted for entry will not be returned.

If you have any questions, please contact Hollis Gesen at 617-587-3945 or hgesen@ihaforum.org. Thank you—and we look forward to seeing your work!