If your association or chamber regularly solicits submissions for things like awards, speakers, abstracts, scholarships, grants, etc. then you know how chaotic the process can be. Once you announce you’re opening up submissions, they’ll be submitted everywhere — your email, your voicemail, in the middle of a Zoom meeting!
Before you know it you’re completely overloaded with a ton of unorganized submissions. You don’t even know where to begin with collecting feedback from your team, too, let alone choosing the winners. But there is a way to simplify the process! Here are six benefits to taking your submission and review process completely online:
Use cases of submission software
Submission review software can be used for any type of submission, including:
- Call for papers/abstracts/posters
- Call for speakers/presenters for webinars, lunch and learns, conferences, events, trade shows and more!
- Awards management
- Scholarship applications
- Grant proposal management
- Committee applications
Basically anything you can think of! A review submission tool can help.
MC Professional AMS has its own Review Panel software built in. Check out our video to see it in action.
6 benefits of online submission review software
1. It streamlines the submission process.
With an online form, you’ll be able to set standards that submissions can’t deviate from. Submitters will know exactly what’s required — and what they can’t submit.
This tool also simplified the process for you and your team – saving you time and a headache! The collection of submissions, sharing them for review, taking notes, reviewing and commenting, making a decision and then reporting to submitters is all done in one single place. No more building folders, sharing access, compiling data and comments and playing email or telephone tag to get everyone aligned.
With review panel software, you can also customize HOW you want reviewers to give feedback – pass / fail, star ratings, or numerical ratings, all on different categories and features.
2. It make submissions way less stressful.
Submission time will be a whole lot easier when you can point all of your promotional efforts to one place, and when reviewers only have one place to go to review.
3. You can get more submissions.
An online submission process means you can use that landing page to give the submitter all of the information they might need. A streamlined, simple process for submitters increased their likelihood of filling it out and applying. Cutting down on the questions and using a streamlined form means people will be much more likely to complete their submission.
4. Feedback will become more collaborative.
Submissions aren’t the only thing you need to collect! With an online process, all of your reviewers can leave comments and have discussions in one place before making selections, rather than having disjointed conversations about it.
5. You’ll have more insight to use in the future.
An online submission tool collects all data and stats about your submission process in one place. You can track trends over time and make data-driven decisions about how to improve your program year after year.
6. You can easily duplicate the process for another type of submission.
Once you’re set up for, let’s say, a call for speakers process, you’ll be all ready to go for any other submissions-related activities. Now that scholarship program you’ve been thinking about administering doesn’t seem so hard!
Three questions to include on your submission form
When you’re building out your submission form, you can include any questions you want. We recommend these three to help highlight serious applications.
Question #1: Why are you applying for this opportunity?
If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek and his thoughts around “starting with why” then you KNOW you’re looking for an answer beyond “financial need,” “because we like to be recognized with awards,” “to get my presentation in front of your audience,” etc.
Their answer should immediately show you how their goals align with yours, as well as how passionate they are about the chance to partner with you in some way. If their answer doesn’t exude a reason beyond what’s face-value for the submission, perhaps they’re just going through the motions.
This question is applicable for grant submissions, committee applications and everything in between.
Question #2: What do you expect to gain from this opportunity?
Calls for speakers, committee members, scholarships, grants, etc. are all two-way streets. Yes, these opportunities are you giving something to them. But, they should be looking for something in return.
For example, in the case of conference speakers, yes you are giving them a platform to showcase their expertise…but the quality of your audience and your own execution of the event need to benefit them, too!
Asking specifically about what they think they will gain by working with you will tell you right off the bat if they’re in it to win it – and, on the flip side, if you’re equipped to fulfill their expectations.
Question #3: If you were reviewing your own submission, why would you choose it?
With any submission, you want to know if the submitter did their research. Now, there are other ways to identify if they did (correctly spelling, capitalizing, and punctuating your organization and opportunity name; being able to tie their submission back to the call, etc.) but being this bold forces them to think from your reviewers’ perspective and REALLY showcase that they have a good understanding of what you’re looking for.
Try including one, two, or all of the above and see where it gets you!
How MC Professional Review Panel Submission Software Works
Mc Professional, a MemberClicks Association Management Software (AMS) solution, has Review Panel as a built-in feature available for all users. This feature was built to take the stress out of submissions, simplifying the review process and helping you save money and stay stress free.
Build a form and collect submissions
Submission forms can be added to event signup forms or live as a standalone submission form. This form can be shared on your website, in emails, newsletters or social media. Any and all submissions are collected on the backend of your MC Professional AMS so you can view submissions in the same place you’re logging into every day.
You can set due dates, timelines, deadlines, schedule sessions and build programs based on the needs of your projects. Admins can submit reviews after deadlines if needed.
Your Review Committee shares their thoughts and ratings
Submissions can be shared to designated reviewers. Reviewers will be able to view, comment, rank and rate all submissions.
This information will be viewable to all parties so the review process is truly collaborative – even online. This removes the task of sharing comments and connecting reviewers to each other, giving you time back in your day.
Review results and notify your submitters
Once all committee members review, comment and rate submissions, you can review as a whole and pick your winner or winners. Notify your submitters and winners directly from the tool and celebrate the news!
Submission review software
If you handle submissions of any and all types, then a submission review software can help make the life of your team, your submitters and your review committee easier. Your AMS should help you do this anyways. Are you satisfied with your association software?