[CQ-Contest] Award Plaques

David Gilbert xdavid at cis-broadband.com
Mon Mar 2 12:23:01 PST 2009

I'm sure I'm a minority of one on this, but it seems to me that hardwood 
plaques are becoming a rather inefficient way of recognizing contest 

1.  They cost a lot of money, both to make and to ship.  Contest 
sponsors repeatedly have to request donations and sponsorships for even 
the most significant ones.

2.  They take time to make and deliver.  Some, at least in the past, 
have taken years.

3.  They are limited in terms of graphic capability unless really 
expensive techniques to make them are used.

4.  They take up physical space in the winner's shack, either on the 
wall or in a drawer.

Digital certificates, on the other hand, have none of the above 
limitations.  With a bit of creativity they could become gorgeous works 
of art that could be printed and framed if desired, or added to a screen 
saver if not.  With the right file format they'd be almost impossible to 
alter, and if anyone really wanted to cheat it would be easier to do it 
with a hardwood plaque anyway (your local awards shop will make you 
anything you want).  Digital awards would be cheap to produce, and I 
have to wonder whether it wouldn't encourage more serious contest 
participation if more awards were granted, as in 1st, 2nd, 3rd place for 
each country, zone, state ... grid square ;)  ... whatever.   I don't 
think it lessens the value of a #1 award if the #2 and #3 positions are 
also recognized.  It might even be amusing to see various contests vie 
for the most creative and attractive graphics each year.

Certificates for lesser awards from major contests have already been 
distributed as attached pdf files instead of mailed paper, and it just 
seems to me that there's no great reason anymore to ship a block of wood 
even for the elite awards.

I'll bet not a single active contester agrees with me, but I thought I'd 
bring it up anyway while we're on the topic.

Dave   AB7E

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