2018 Traverse Awards for Excellence in Tourism Marketing

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association invites all members to enter the Traverse Awards competition, where travel professionals are honored for talent, creativity and effectiveness in marketing. Winners will be honored on November 14 during the Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference Traverse Awards Gala in Owensboro.

A panel of industry experts will judge all entries. This unbiased and impartial group is composed of marketing, public relations, and tourism professionals whose work is conducted outside of Kentucky. 

Gold, Silver, and Bronze prizes will be awarded for each category. “Best in Show” rewards the most unforgettable and impressive entry and “Most Innovative” rewards the most unique entry. Each judge will also select a “Judge’s Choice” award.

Deadline and Considerations

The deadline to submit entries is Friday, August 24, 2018. Entries provided between Saturday, August 25 - Friday, August 31 will accrue a late fee of $25. Note that all entries must be submitted by Friday, August 31 by 5:00 p.m. EST to be considered for judging.

All entries must have been published or distributed for the first time between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018.


  • Single Entry: $60
  • Campaign: $75
  • Late Fee (August 24 - 31, 2018): Additional $25 

Entry fees are payable by check, VISA, Mastercard, Discover or American Express. Make checks payable to the Kentucky Travel Industry Association.

Judging Criteria

Each judge scores individual entries based on the following criteria with a total of 100 points possible. Up to 25 points can be earned for each criterion. Entries are judged on individual merit in relation to the criteria and are not compared to other entries within a category.

Each entry is judged on:

CONCEPT: The "What" and the "Why". What is the underlying concept and the goal(s) it is intended to achieve?

CREATIVITY: Describe the project in creative termsAs applicable, include elements of originality or graphic creativity.  

RESULTS/IMPACTWas the project successful? What was the impact of your project, particularly in relation to the goal(s). Describe as specifically as possible what the project achieved and include quantified results to the extent possible. If your project does not have quantifiable results, be sure to include what impact you saw from it.

OVERALL PROJECT IMPRESSION: For the judges, what was your overall impression of this project based off the concept, creativity, and results/impact?


Each submitter must complete a Summary of Entries Form to record all entries that have been submitted by the organization. An Official Entry Form must also be completed for each individual submission. Note that "budget" on the Official Entry Form refers to the project budget. If there was not a specific or dedicated budget for your submission, please disregard.

Summary of Entries

Official Entry Form

Submission Instructions

There is no limit to the number of entries and entries may be submitted by industry organizations, advertising agencies, or by other communication firms. However, entries must be submitted in the name of the KTIA member for whom the work was produced. See below for detailed entry submission instructions.

  • All entries MUST be submitted electronically. Create a folder using either Dropbox, Google Drive, or another file sharing site that is complete with the electronic Official Entry Form for each entry and (1) Summary of Entries Form and email it to Sarah Brock and Linda Young.
  • Create separate folders for each entry to include: Entry Form, High Resolution Image(s) of your entry.
  • Label each form with your organization name, entry name, and form name (i.e. Summary of Entries or Official Entry form)
  • Your folders should follow this example: Your Organization Name - Division A > Category 1; Category 2; and so on.
  • TV spots and videos should be delivered in the highest possible format. Radio spots should be delivered as an aiff, wave, mp3 file type.
  • You will find a downloadable entry form under each category. Please download the form that correlates to your Division. Complete the Entry Form and save it in the folder with your entry image.
  • Label each photo file with the entry name; i.e. campaign name, brochure, rack card, etc.
  • Download and complete the Summary of Entries form that includes ALL Traverse Awards entries and save it in your Divisions folder.

Please contact Sarah Brock or Linda Young at 502.223.8687 with any questions regarding divisions, categories, or submissions. 

Divisions and Categories


      A. DMO with a total annual budget of $200,000 or less

      B. DMO with a total annual budget between $200,001-$499,999

      C. DMO with a total annual budget of $500,000 and above

      D. Festival, Event or Attraction

      E. Lodging or Restaurant


1. Print Advertising (Newspaper or magazine, single ad or series of ads designed around one theme) 

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

2. Radio Advertising (Commercial or public service announcement; not to exceed two minutes) 

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

3. Television Advertising (Commercial or public service announcement)

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

4. Out-of-Home Advertising (Billboards, bus shelters, truck backs, etc.)

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E 

5. Digital (advertising, promotional such as mobile apps, social media, e-blast, etc.)

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

6. Promotional Video (Video or podcast produced and distributed as a marketing tool to attract individual travel, group travel, or business meetings)

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

7. Booklet or Guide (includes rack card/brochure, annual report, group travel guide, meeting planner, visitors guide, etc.)

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

8. Event/Meeting/Conference Materials (any materials used during or prior to an event/meeting/conference)

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

9. Website (Includes both new and mobile sites)

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

10. Marketing Campaign (must encompass two or more platforms; i.e. radio with social media; tv with outdoor, etc.) 

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E 

11. PR Campaign 

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E

12. Specialty Item (Includes posters, maps, pins, buttons, hats, gift items, etc.) 

Division A, Division B, Division C, Division D, Division E


Q: What should my folders look like?

A: For example, if KTIA was your organization name and you were in Division A, your folder should look like the following:

Q:  Besides the Summary of Entries and Official Entry Form sheets, do I need to submit the actual item, a picture or the mock-up that goes with my entry?

A:  Just include a photo of your item in a Dropbox and send.  It can even be one that you take yourself. This will be the image that is shown if you win an award!

Q:  What if I need the judges to be able to feel the paper quality/texture, the fabric quality or the embossed printing of my entry? Should I send that item instead of a photo?

A:  No, we still just need a photo, but do be sure to include all those special details about the item on your Official Entry Form. 

Q:  I’m including several copies of the same picture, but they were used in different ways (bookmark, poster, car wrap, magnet, coaster, on social media, etc). Do they all need to be labeled individually?

A:  Yes, please!  We need to see just how many various ways you reached your audience.   

Q:  What if there weren't quantifiable results for my project?

A:  If there are no measurable results to show the impact of your project, simply explain the impact you saw from it.  For example, if you sent out a holiday card and you received positive feedback from it from your clients or visitors, be sure to include that.

Q: How do I submit a Social Media Campaign with multiple posts and/or platforms?

A: Screen capture all posts that are involved from the campaign. Include the date posted, the number of views, and the response rate. Please label the platform for each post and include all platforms the campaign expands

Checklist for Entry Submission

  1. Summary of Entries Form 
  2. Official Entry Form for each entry (with each judging criterion being addressed in your description)
  3. High-res digital image of each entry
  4. All necessary materials that correspond to your entry to be judged 
  5. Payment


Contact Sarah Brock or Linda Young at 502.223.8687.