Category Suggestions: June 29th - July 1st
Nominations: July 2nd at 5 p.m. - July 30th at 5 p.m.
Voting: August 6th at 5 p.m. - September 3rd at 5 p.m.
Issue: October 1st
How wasn’t I nominated? I don’t understand. But I’m the best! You must hate us.
It’s important to keep in mind that the nominations you’re able to vote on during the voting period are submitted by the PUBLIC. We held a month-long nominations period in July where we accepted more than 40,000 nominations! If you don’t see yourself for a category you *swear* you should be nominated for, it’s only because you didn’t nominate yourself or someone must have forgotten to nominate you. We promise we value your contribution to the community!
Can you please please please add me to nominations?
Unfortunately not. Once voting is live, we cannot add anyone to the ballot. There’s always next year! We will hold an open nominations period in the summer of 2021. Just come back to this site for additional information next year.
Why don’t you have a specific category? How do you choose the categories?
We hold an open category suggestions period each year and take suggestions for new categories. If you think something should be added next year, just come back to this site for additional information. Category suggestions are typically held in May.
So, the nominations are submitted by the public? Does Creative Loafing choose any awards?
Yes! Best of the Bay is split up into two sets of awards: Readers’ Picks and Critics’ Picks. The Readers’ Picks Awards (what YOU get to vote on) are submitted and voted on by the public; the person/place/business/thing/etc. with the most votes in that specific category walks away with that title for 2020. The Critics’ Pick Awards are curated awards selected by Creative Loafing staff. We do not accept nominations for these awards and, instead, are some of our staff’s favorite things about the Tampa Bay area right now.
I was nominated, but what should I do if I notice a misspelling, or I’m listed twice and want my votes combined, or (fill in the blank)?
Since all nominations for the Readers’ Poll are submitted by the public, there might be some errors we didn’t catch. We do our best to sort through nominations to make sure the most accurate information is available, but are happy to make any changes, if necessary. Please submit your inquiry here.
I really really really want to win. How can I win? What should I do to win?
Make sure you spread the word about your Best of the Bay nomination! We have some voting assets available for you to use as you please, available here. Don't forget to use the hashtag #CLBOTB! Votes will be accepted once per day until voting ends at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 3rd. This year, we’re also allowing you to stand out from the crowd with the option to enhance your nomination listing with an image, URL, social media handles, and more! Click here if you’d like more information on enhanced listings and additional BOTB marketing opportunities.
How will I know if I win? How will you contact me? I won last year and didn’t know!
After voting ends, we do our best to gather contact information for all winners. If you’re nominated and would like to make sure we have the correct and most current information on file for you, please submit your contact information here. All winners will be revealed in the Best of the Bay print and digital issue of Creative Loafing on Thursday, October 1st.
So, if I receive an e-mail that I won, that has to mean I won “Best (fill in the blank)” for the Readers’ Picks, right?!
Fingers crossed, but not necessarily! You could have won a Critics’ Pick, so get excited that you won, and you’ll have to wait until the issue is released to see WHAT you won! Readers’ Pick Winners, along with this year's Critics’ Picks, will be revealed in the Best of the Bay print and digital issue of Creative Loafing on Thursday, October 1st.
Will CL be hosting an Awards Party this year?
In light of the global COVID-19 outbreak, it is with a heavy heart that we have decided not to host our annual Best of the Bay Awards Party. While we love celebrating with all of you, the health and safety of our winners, attendees, vendors, partners and staff is our highest priority and we ask for your understanding at this time. We’re coming up with fun, creative ways we can all celebrate safely and virtually, so keep an eye out for updates!