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Why compete?

Lost count of how many times I’ve judged the IoPP AmeriStar competition. Love it, love it, love it!

Just finished another go around (judging was Thursday, Feb. 10). As usual there were some off-the-mark entries that had me shaking my head (”Who ever thought that would win?!”).

But the packages that won! Well, I’m sworn to secrecy (we did a pinkie swear — what happens in Naperville, stays in Naperville). But, again, I’m proud to be part of the glory and honor of the AmeriStar awards.

Competitions like this can help invigorate you — whether you win, lose or don’t even enter. It’s sort of an in-your-face throw down to the industry in general. “Oh, yeah, you think that’s good. How about this?”

Your packages are in competition with customers every day anyway. So when you’ve got what you think is a winner, there are a lot of good reasons to enter it in worthy packaging competitions:

• Fill that empty spot on the wall with a plaque if you win.
• Get well-earned acknowledgment for your hard work.
• Add it to your resume.
• Use it as collateral to fund your next great packaging idea.
• Give your mom something to brag about.
• Thrill a panel of packaging experts — your peers are some of the toughest judges on the planet.
• Provide a reason for me to spend a day doing what I love — looking at and talking about really cool packages.

Follow me on Twitter @lisajmpierce

(Hover over the images to see the caption.)

Sign in the entry way at IoPP headquarters in Naperville, IL, welcoming the judges. Can you feel the anticipation?

The judges gather to receive instructions for the day’s events.

Me, hard at work (see, Boss!).

Jane, a fellow judge in the Health & Beauty category (she’s also Captain AmeriStar, the IoPP officer charged with managing the judging process). We really put these packages through their paces. Supposed to be easy to open? Prove it.

Ronald, another fellow judge for HBA entries (this was the fun room). Ah, so that’s how it works! With different experience and knowledge, each judge brings a unique perspective to the group discussions.

At the end of the day, the judges confer to pick the 3M Sustainable Packaging and Best of Show Awards.

Judges Ronald, Jim and Wil (l to r) listen carefully to the merits of a Best of Show candidate.

My cutie-pie grandson, JJ, with his Michael Jordan tongue thing going on. No, he wasn’t at the competition in person, but I did show this photo to some of my friends there.

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