How we judge

The products are judged on many attributes, but essentially, the judges are looking for the wow factor.


Become A Judge

The products are judged based on the below criteria:

  • Design, innovation and originality
  • The WOW factor
  • Presentation and packaging
  • Quality of build and design
  • Customer appeal and value
  • Sales potential and commercial viability
  • Retail profit potential
  • Marketing and merchandise material

Meet the judges

With such an exciting range of products, we want a judging line up to reflect the diversity of our industry. Our judges are experts, and operate in the heart of the industry. Every judge lends a prestige to the competition.

Aside from being an essential part of the competition, many judges are buyers, always looking for the next best-selling product. Connecting retailers with the newest products out there is one of the most rewarding aspects of the competition.

Meet the Judges

Be a judge

So, you want to be a judge?

That’s fantastic, Gift of the Year is the largest, longest running, most highly respected awards for the home and giftware industry. We see hundreds of entries each year across twenty categories. As a judge you will be the deciding factor on which products and ranges make it through to the shortlist and become finalists

Contact us

About the competition

Gift of the Year, run by The Giftware Association, supports the home and giftware industry by giving a unique platform to giftware suppliers to showcase their products.

The awards are given to the most original and innovative products to market, products which make great gifts and are commercially viable for retailers. Now in its 43rd year the awards have grown alongside the industry and we get a huge range of products entered each year, which our judges love and sometimes choose to buy for their own stores. We will shout about the judges throughout the competition on social media and on this website as well as have a judges feature in our winner’s brochure.


Who do we choose as judges?

Our judges over the years have been made up of a range of retailers, buyers, industry press, bloggers, vloggers and influencers in the industry.

The role is to choose the most innovative, design led new products. The judges experience, knowledge and passion for the industry is key to discovering the next best gift in the home and giftware world.


How it works

The role of the judges is incredibly important with two stages of judging; one online and one live.

We don’t ask for much of your time but you need to be available during December and January for the two stages of judging. We will also ask you to complete a short bio with a headshot and ask which of the twenty categories you would prefer to judge.


Gift of the Year is really important to trade and when I was at Top Drawer you could see on various stands that it is a significant marketing tool for companies"

– Tina Goetting, The British Shop

It was an interesting event to be part of and good to see some of these new products first hand”

– Liz Hanley, Magpies Nest

It provides a forum for retailers to see products from companies they may not have seen previously. It's a great mechanic for producers to showcase their offering to the retailers”

– Michelle Mills, Windles.