MCM Awards Winners: Learning From the Best

IF IT SEEMS A LITTLE EARLY for you to be receiving our special MCM Awards issue, you’re right — we typically profile the winning catalogs and ecommerce sites in September. But we decided to move up the coverage this year so it would run while the Award winners were still basking in their glow.

It wasn’t easy to pull this issue together in just a few weeks after announcing the winners on May 4. It takes time to pore over the judges’ comments to determine why a catalog or website won in order to write up all the profiles.

But it’s always one of our favorite editions of the year because we learn so much from the process — not only about what the winning catalog and web merchants are doing right, but also where they need to make some improvements.

Many thanks to our judging panelists, who put so much time and effort into the evaluation process. Yes, they tend to be tough: Not every category necessarily has a Gold or Silver Award — or any winner at all.

But the frank assessments and expert advice the judges offer in their evaluations of the entries are invaluable. That’s why we give everyone who enters their feedback from the judges — to help them improve and take their businesses to the next level. This educational aspect of the program has become increasingly important in recent years.

That said, this issue is all about the winners. And given the expense constraints of producing a stellar print catalog and the fast-changing techniques and technologies involved with selling online — plus the general challenge of getting people to spend money — the award recipients deserve a lot of credit. Our celebration of them begins on page 23.

Where did we reveal the 2011 MCM Award winners? At a luncheon presentation during MCM Live, a small conference we developed.

Programming and executing this startup educational and networking “micro-event” was arduous at times. I have new respect for the folks in this line of work.

But it was also extremely gratifying. There’s nothing like great speakers, fresh content and the opportunity to meet and talk with executives from merchant companies. The MCM team came away from the show energized, and I hope the attendees did as well.

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