The EC&M Product of the Year competition was established in 2000 to honor excellence in new product development in the electrical industry. The prestigious awards program showcases the most innovative products of the past year and recognizes the talent and commitment of the people involved in development — from concept through sales and marketing. EC&M is proud to bestow these awards on inventive products that help electrical professionals do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

When you enter your products into EC&M’s 2012 Product of the Year competition, your company will receive repeated, positive exposure in the electrical market. All entries will be featured in a special printed tabloid showcase, which will be mailed with the March issue of EC&M and April issue of Electrical Wholesaling.

More important, all product entries will be judged by a panel of electrical experts, including engineers, contractors, and plant/facility personnel, selected by the EC&M editorial staff from a pool of the magazine’s readers. The panel will review and vote on each entry. The judges will also be given an opportunity to comment on each product. If requested, EC&M will willingly share these comments with you. Results of the initial judging will produce a winner for each product category in up to 25 categories.

If your product is selected as a category winner, it will be prominently featured in the tabloid showcase and on the EC&M website. (Click here for the list of last year's category winners.) In addition, category winners receive a plaque to commemorate being selected the top product in their category. We will also send you a logo identifying your product as a category winner for use in your own marketing materials.

Finally, all category winners will be included in an online readers' poll on the EC&M website. This poll will be open to all EC&M subscribers and will determine the 2012 Product of the Year platinum, gold (1st runner-up), and silver (2nd runner-up) winners.

If your product is selected as the platinum, gold, or silver award winner, your company will receive additional recognition through a special write-up in the July issue of EC&M. You will also receive a plaque to commemorate being voted as one of the three top products. Plus, we will send a Product of the Year platinum, 1st runner-up, or 2nd runner-up logo for use in your own marketing materials.

Entries must be received by 5 p.m. CST on January 13

Official Rules
• The product must initially be available for purchase between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2011.
• The product must be available for purchase in the United States.
• There is no limit to the number of eligible products a manufacturer may submit.
• Significant modifications or redesigns during that time period must be clearly marked as such and will be entered into the competition at the editorial staff’s discretion.
• All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form. Incomplete entry forms or entries with false or misleading information will be disqualified.
• The entry form must be signed by an employee who is an authorized representative of the manufacturer.
• Each entry includes a $345 fee.
• In the event of a tie, for both category winner judging and the online readers' poll, the EC&M editorial staff will make the final decision.
• All entries must be received at the EC&M editorial office by 5 p.m. CST on Jan. 13, 2012.

How to Enter
All-digital entry:
• Complete the entry form (one per product) and save as a PDF, Word doc, or scanned digital document and include as an e-mail attachment, along with a 300-dpi color image of the product. Please include manufacturer and product name in the title of your image file.
• In the body of the email, include a description of the product and any links to product specifications, video demonstrations, or further online information. Only the judges voting on the category winners will have access to this information. Be sure to clearly describe what the product does, its benefits, and the MSRP.
• In addition, please include a brief summary of the product description, approximately 50 words. This summary, along with the color image, will be used in the tabloid showcase. (For a look at the description from last year's Platinum award winner, click here.)
• Send your e-mail entry to beck.ireland@penton.com. Manufacturers entering multiple products may send all entries in the same e-mail.
• Due to the digital judging process, samples will not be accepted.

Snail mail entries
•Don’t want to send the entry form as a digital file? You may fax the form to (913) 514-9020 or mail it to Beck Ireland, EC&M, 9800 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66212 (while still sending the image, product descriptions, and any further links by e-mail).
• You may also send the image, product descriptions, and any further links on CD by mail to the above address.
• If paying by check, make payable to Penton Media and mail to the above address.
• All entries must be received at the EC&M editorial office by 5 p.m. CST on Jan. 13, 2012.