FAQs on Product of the Year Awards

Product of the Year: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: 6/3/2024

Q: Who can nominate products for the 2024 Product of the Year awards program?

A: Manufacturers (or their representatives) of products released between Jan. 1, 2023, and Dec. 31, 2023, that were not previously nominated, will be eligible for the 2024 program.

Q: How do I nominate a product?

A: Products are nominated through an online form created by WTWH Media LLC. Detailed instructions and access to this form are available on the Product of the Year Awards Official Rules page at the beginning of October.

Q: What products should be nominated?

A: New or significantly modified hardware, software and combination products introduced and available in North America between January 2023 and December 2023 that were not nominated for the 2023 Product of the Year awards program. Products must fall into one of the categories shown below, which may change, depending on entries received. (Control Engineering reviews all entries and category assignments and reserves the right to change assignments/category names as needed.)

Actuators, Motors, Drives
Asset Management
Automated Processes
Building & Construction
Control Systems
Electrical & Lighting
Facility Type
I/O & Networking
Information Management
Safety & Security
Test & Measurement

Q: What is the process for nominating, selecting and awarding the Product of the Year Awards?

A: Beginning on Monday, October 2, 2023, and continuing through Friday, February 9, 2024, Control Engineering solicits entries for the 2024 competition via a combination of e-mail newsletters and direct outreach. Once all nominations are received, eligibility is then assessed, Nominees are selected and the ballot is created. Invitations to vote/submit ballots are sent to Control Engineering electronic mailing lists, based on Control Engineering print subscription demographics (see www.controleng.com/mediainfo) and include subscribers from our opt-in e-mail lists who indicated that they are responsible for or influence control/automation technology purchases. Votes are cast online via form created by WTWH Media LLC.

Q: How can I make the ballot as compelling as possible?

A: It is critical that the product description be factually convincing, clearly differentiating benefits in the voting criteria: technological advancement, service to the industry and market impact. We observe that engineers often appreciate quantified benefits more than adjectives.

Q: Should I include registration marks and trademarks with products in the description?

A: It is our magazine and website style to not include trademarks.

Q: How do I know the nomination form is complete?

A: Completing the nomination form questions in a word-processing document is recommended, in case there’s an Internet disruption while completing the form. A complete nomination form includes the form filled out truthfully and completely. A nomination is complete when all of the required information is provided, including product image, and the nomination fee is paid. You will receive an email confirmation when your nomination is complete.

Q: How should images be prepared?

A: It should be one image, high resolution, submitted via the online form.

  • 300 dpi PNG or TIF at 4 by 5 in. named “CE-Company_Name-Product_Name-print.jpg”

Recommendation: If the product is a software, often a screen shot close-up of a compelling software feature can be more convincing than image of a shrink-wrapped software box.

Q: Is there payment?

A: Yes, there is a processing fee for 2024 Product of the Year award nominations; credit card payment will be collected at the end of the submission form, or you may opt to receive an emailed invoice from WTWH Media LLC. The fee is $495.00 per product. If payment isn’t received by February 29, 2024, the entry will be void.

Q: How many products compete for awards?

A: It depends on how many products are nominated. Typically, 75 to 110 are nominated, with 3 to 10 products per category. A Gold, Silver, and Bronze winner from each category is based on subscriber votes. Submitting more than one product per category may split the vote and decrease chances. For the 2023 Product of the Year awards, 74 products from 44 companies (or major divisions) were nominated in 14 categories, resulting in one Grand winner (one company), 14 Gold winners (eight companies), 14 Silver winners (13 companies), and 13 Bronze winners (9 companies).

Q: What happens when my product is named a “Nominee”?

A: All Nominees are notified of their status via email from the Control Engineering team approximately two weeks prior to the program announcement on www.controleng.com. All Nominees get additional exposure through subscriber and reader voting. All Nominees receive a Nominee logo (EPS and JPG formats) and will be listed online at www.controleng.com. Subscribers will be encouraged to review and vote on the Nominees through the print edition, e-newsletters and online. Leading vote-receivers among subscribers are named Gold winners; runner-ups are Silver winners; third place are Bronze winners; each receive an appropriate logo (EPS and JPG formats) to use in association with the product.

Q: Who is allowed to vote in the competition?

A: Voting is strictly limited to qualified print and/or digital subscribers of Control Engineering brand products (i.e. magazine, e-newsletters, etc.). Only one vote per subscriber will be counted towards the final tally. Employees of product manufacturers with a Nominee in the 2024 program and their properties, agencies, vendors and representatives are not eligible to vote, hence any votes received from these parties will not be counted toward the final tally.

Q: How many individuals vote in the competition?

A: Again, it varies; for 2023, more than 400 ballots were received.

Q: How long has Control Engineering been awarding technologies?

A: Control Engineering has previously called this competition the “Editor’s Choice” awards and had the editorial team select the most noteworthy products since 1987. In 2006, we decided to open up the balloting to those who had the most hands-on experience with the products: subscribers, thus changing the competition name to the Engineers’ Choice Awards. In 2022, the program was renamed a second time to Product of the Year.

Q: Has numbering of the years changed?

A: Yes, the date sequence of the awards was changed in 2009 so that the award year reflects the year in which the awards are announced, rather than the year in which the products were introduced (as had been the practice). As such, there are no “2009” award recipients; those awards announced in February 2010 were the 2010 Engineers’ Choice Award winners.

Q: When will the winners be announced publicly?

A: For the 2024 Product of the Year program, once results are tallied, winning companies will be notified via e-mail mid-April 2024. We request results be embargoed until June 3, 2024, which is the same day Control Engineering will announce the winners online at www.controleng.com. After that date, the official logo for award winners can be included in advertising, newsletters, online media and other promotional items.

Q: What do winners receive?

A: Companies with winning products receive an award for display purposes, as well as a unique awards logo that can be used on advertising and promotional materials. For the 2024 program, winning-product descriptions and photographs appear in the Control Engineering 2024 Product of the Year eBook. The eBook is promoted online to the magazine’s newsletter subscribers and website visitors. Cross linking between www.controleng.com and company websites is encouraged.

Q: Is there an awards presentation?

A: The 2023 Product of the Year winners were honored during lunch at the 2023 Marketing to Engineers event in Chicago on May 3, 2023. At this time, we plan to honor the 2024 winners at the same event in Spring 2024, also in Chicago. Companies unable to send a representative to the event should contact McKenzie Burns at mburns@wtwhmedia.com to have their award shipped directly to a preferred address.

Q: Can I get an editorial quote from Control Engineering to include in a press release announcing the 2024 achievement?

A: Yes. Please contact Control Engineering’s Mark T. Hoske at mhoske@wtwhmedia.com for more information.

Q. Is there a sample press release to help draft an announcement for the 2024 Product of the Year award winners?

A: Yes. See text below.

If you have been named a Control Engineering 2024 Product of the Year Winner and choose to distribute a release about your achievement, here’s information you may want to include in your release:

<Your product name> by <your company name> named among Control Engineering 2024 Product of the Year Winners, the publication announced on June 3, 2024.

Control Engineering, part of WTWH Media LLC, awarded products in 12 categories of control, instrumentation, and automation products introduced in 2023, as chosen by print and online subscribers. This is the 37th year of product recognition for the publication, highlighted in the Control Engineering 2024 Product of the Year Winners eBook, in several newsletters, and at www.controleng.com/ProductoftheYear.

“Innovative solutions such as <your winning product name here> make manufacturing and other control engineering applications more efficient through smart applications of new technologies. Investments in the best products and software can help solve the most pressing challenges in automation, control and instrumentation,” according to Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief, Control Engineering.

“Continuous improvements among leading technology providers ensure that manufacturers, machine builders, and automation system integrators can achieve the levels of agility, efficiency, and effectiveness necessary to compete—and win—in today’s global economy,” Hoske said.

About the recognition

More than 90 product nominations from 40 companies were entered for consideration in the 2024 Product of the Year program. Control Engineering subscribers voted to identify the products they felt were the most exceptional based on technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact. Product of the Year winners were named in 12 categories.

About Control Engineering

Control Engineering (www.controleng.com) is the leader in connecting the global industrial engineering audience through the coverage of and education about automation, control and instrumentation technologies in a regionally focused, actionable manner through online and print media and in-person events. Control Engineering, Consulting-Specifying Engineer and Plant Engineering are part of WTWH Media LLC.

If you require additional information not in this document, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact McKenzie Burns, mburns@wtwhmedia.com.

Return to the Control Engineering Product of the Year program page.