2020 Best Club Website Contest Results

October 23, 2020  

It is our pleasure to announce the results of the inaugural Best Club Website and Club Facebook Page Contests.

Best Club Website Contest

Between October 1st and October 15th, 2020, a special jury evaluated 43 club websites registered in the District 49 Club Finder. The Website of Waikiki Toastmasters was removed from judging as the current Public Relations Manager, Slava Slavik, is a member of this club.

The jury consisted of five senior Toastmasters. To avoid conflicts of interest, all of the judges were members of corporate clubs that don’t have websites. All judges selected their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place choices, and the winner was determined by combining their tallies.

District Director Sepiuta Holakeituai and District Contest Chair Nelson Nakagawa oversaw the contest from the creation of contest rules and judging criteria, selection of judges, judges’ briefings, and the final count of votes.

Drum roll – here are the results:

The winning clubs receive $75, $50, and $25 gift cards, respectively, for the Toastmasters International store.

Best Club Facebook Page or Club Facebook Group Contest

Because we didn’t establish adequate judging criteria for the Best Facebook Page or Group, the jury didn’t evaluate the club Facebook pages or groups. However, the District 49 PR Manager selected one Facebook page and one Club Facebook group for the honorable mentions:

  • Honorable Mention: Club Facebook Page – Ala Moana Club – the highest number of followers.
  • Honorable Mention: Club Facebook Group – Hawaii Speakers Bureau – the most active group.

Both clubs receive $25 gift cards for the Toastmasters International store.

Congratulations to all winning clubs, their webmasters and Vice Presidents of Public Relations!

Judging Criteria for the Club Websites

First Things First (60% of the overall score)

  • Having general information about Toastmasters
  • Having updated virtual meeting information
  • Following TI branding guidelines

Taking It to the Next Level (27% of the overall score)

  • Having regular (non-virtual) meeting information
  • Site up to date with no ‘zombies’
  • Use of photographs
  • Club achievements
  • Club officers
  • More detailed info about club and its traditions
  • Onboarding information for new members
  • Site working flawlessly on mobile screens
  • Bonus features like videos, etc.

Personal Impression (13% of the overall score)

The judges scored sites based on their personal impressions, looking at them as people who don’t know much about Toastmasters.

Takeaways from the Inaugural Contest

Attractive, well organized, and updated club websites are an important component of the membership building equation. Toastmasters International and Toastmasters districts strive to advertise and spread the word about the benefits of Toastmasters, but converting interested people into regular members depends on clubs. If a club website doesn’t provide important info, looks unattractive, or it is outdated, the club may be losing an opportunity to attract potential members.

The Winners

Nu'uanu Toastmasters website (2nd place) is the highest rated website that uses Free Toast Host platform and shows what can be done using FTH. We would be remiss if we did not mention a few other websites using Free Toast Host that scored high: Laulima ToastmastersWaimea ToastmastersDBEDT for Business Toastmasters ClubNo Ka OiKauai, and the old Hawaii Kai website on Free Toast Host. Hawaii Kai now has a new website on WordPress.
Both, 1st place (Downtown Business Associates) and especially 3rd place (Prince Kuhio Toastmasters) can be considered on the border with the TI branding guidelines, but the nicely structured info for visitors outside Toastmasters (DBA) and the plethora of useful information, organization, and resources impressed the judges and augmented their scores.

Room for Improvement

Maintaining club websites is a never-ending process. There is always room for improvement. Per reports from the judges, who decided to share their scoring sheets, some club websites were losing points by being partially or completely outside the TI branding guidelines. Despite the fact that virtual meetings started in March, eight club websites didn’t have mention that their clubs were meeting online.

A few more items shared by the judges:

  • If you have a calendar on the website, populate it with events, or remove altogether.
  • Add membership application to the resources.
  • Zombies! Remove old content, for example any info including the legacy/traditional education program (projects of the CC Manual, speaking and leadership track to DTM, ...), or 5-year old newsletter, etc.
  • Add club officers.
  • Remove upside-down or sideways photos.
  • Squished photos on mobile.
  • Use spellcheck.
  • Populate “Meet Our Members” or remove the entire section.

 

Big mahalo to ALL clubs that updated and enhanced their club websites during this campaign.

Thank you District Director Sepiuta Holakeituai and District Contest Chair Nelson Nakagawa for your assistance with the contest!

Slava Slavik
2020-2021 District 49 Public Relations Manager

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