Official Rules


B. Sponsor: The Path to Purchase Institute, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 200, Chicago, Illinois 60631 (the “Institute”).

Who Enters?

The majority of entries come from the groups listed below; however, anyone involved with marketing or merchandising products in-store or online is eligible to enter.

  • Consumer product manufacturers
  • P-O-P design firms
  • Package design firms
  • Advertising, marketing and sales promotion agencies
  • Digital marketing practitioners including: mobile, coupons, events, sampling consumer engagement and other media operators and providers
  • Retailers

The Design of the Times Contest (the “Contest”) is open to any individual (over 18 years of age), company, agency or marketer that practices retail marketing located in the United States, except Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Jersey, Tennessee or Vermont. Employees of the Institute (including immediate family and household members of the Institute’s employees) and Judges are not eligible to enter or win. The contest is void outside the United States and where prohibited.

What is Eligible?

Entries must be for retail marketing activation tactics that appeared between July 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019 (the “Eligible Period”). Samples or prototypes are not eligible for entry. 

Contest Entry Deadline

All entries must be completed and paid in full by Friday, February 21, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT (entries received from February 14, 2020 to February 21, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT will be subject to an increased fee – see “Entry Fee” below).


No more than four (4) distinctions will be awarded in each Award Category: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum in addition to one (1) overall Best of the Times (each a “Prize”). In addition, relevant winners that were activated through specific retail channels may also be named "Progressive Grocer Activation of the Year," "Convenience Store News Activation of the Year"; or “Drug Store News Activation of the Year" in conjunction with Path to Purchase Institute’s affiliated publications.

Each prize is an industry accolade; there is no retail value for any prize. Exact details of each prize will be determined by the sole discretion of the Institute. Any additional expense incurred by a winner in accepting a prize will NOT be reimbursed by the Institute.

Number of Entries

There is no limit to the number of entries that eligible entrants may submit. Each entry must be submitted separately and include an electronically-completed entry form and photo upload. An entry is not considered complete until order summary form and payment are received by the Institute. Entries can be submitted in multiple categories, but must be entered separately in each one.

Judging & Winning Criteria

Judging will be conducted by agency executives, consumer goods manufacturers and retail industry professionals. Each entry will be reviewed for how well it achieved its objective and how well it executed the "4Cs of Effective In-Store & Digital Activation."  

Finalists will be announced in July 2020. Finalists are required to set up their entry in the Design of the Times Gallery in preparation for the final round of judging at the Path to Purchase Expo. Other outstanding examples of the best activation tactics and solutions may also be invited to be showcased in the Gallery. Finalists are responsible for all arrangements and expenses related to setup including, but not exclusive to, drayage and labor.

Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Best of the Times prize winners will be announced during a special session in November at P2PX. Entries needing more than 20 square feet of floor space require pre-approval prior to submission. This information is critical for planning space in the Gallery. Contact Kelly Doering at [email protected] for information.

EIQ reserves the right to reclassify entries. EIQ further reserves the right to disqualify any entry that does not comply with these Official Rules.

Entry Fee Information

Entries submitted and paid for on or before Friday, February 14, 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT:

  • Path to Purchase Institute Member: $499 per entry 
  • Path to Purchase Expo exhibitors: $499 per entry 
  • Non-Members: $599 per entry for all other entrants

Entries submitted between Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT and Friday February 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT: 

  • Path to Purchase Institute Member: $599 per entry 
  • Path to Purchase Expo exhibitors: $599 per entry
  • Non-Members: $699.00 per entry

Entries requiring 110-volt electricity: add an additional $100 per entry.

All fees are non-refundable, including those for disqualified or withdrawn entries. Entries received after the contest deadline will not be returned and fees will not be refunded. Entrants are responsible for all arrangements and expenses arising out of their submission, including shipping costs, set-up fees and labor.

Payment Information

All entrant payments must be received prior to the entry deadline. Entry fees can only be made via credit card. We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Entries submitted that are not paid in full by February 21, 2020 will not be included in the contest. Entrants are responsible for all arrangements and expenses arising out of their submission, including shipping costs, set-up fees and labor.

Shipment/Display of Entries – Finalists Only

Finalists will be notified by email in July after the first round of judging and will subsequently receive instructions regarding shipping, delivery dates and detailed information for ordering drayage and onsite services.

Only finalists will be required to ship their display(s) to the Design of the Times Gallery at the Path to Purchase Expo in November 2020. 

Finalists are required to set up their entries in the Design of the Times Gallery at the Path to Purchase Expo in preparation for the final round of judging. Finalists are responsible for all arrangements and expenses arising out of their submission, including shipping costs, set-up fees and labor.

Winners List

A list of winners will be available at and after the final awards are announced at Path to Purchase Expo.

Data Collection

The Institute will be collecting personal data about entrants when they enter the Contest. Please review the Institute’s privacy policy statement at By participating in the Contest, entrants hereby agree to all of the terms and conditions of the privacy statement of the Institute.

License/Third-Party Releases

Each entrant must obtain all necessary third-party releases and consents required for entrant to compete and for the entry to be published (in print and online).

All materials submitted for the Contest becomes the property of the Institute and will not be returned. The Institute reserves the publishing rights for the use of all Contest materials. Submission of an entry grants the Institute, its agents and affiliates the right to publish, use, adapt, edit and/or modify an entry in any way, in any and all media now known or to be developed, without limitation and without additional compensation to entrant. Entries must be original work by the entrant and must not infringe on any third-party’s rights.

Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for the Institute to use the entrants’ name, photograph or likeness for purposes of advertising and promoting the Institute, its affiliates and the Contest.

Entrant Acknowledgements

By entering the Contest, each entrant agrees to the terms of the Official Rules and the decisions of the Institute. Entrants are responsible for any and all taxes and/or fees and any additional costs that may be incurred in connection with participating in the Contest.

The Institute reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to amend, change, cancel or suspend the Contest (or any portion of the Contest) at any time for any reason and award the prizes among all eligible entries received at the time of such action, should malicious tampering (or other causes beyond the Institute’s control) corrupt the administration or proper execution of the Contest (as determined in the Institute’s sole discretion).

The Institute reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant found or suspected to be: (i) tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or (ii) acting in violation of these Official Rules. Any attempt by an entrant to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be in violation of criminal and civil laws, and the Institute reserves the right to seek damages from any such entrant to the fullest extent permitted by law.

The Institute reserves the right to amend or change the Official Rules at any time, in its sole discretion. By entering the Contest after the amendment of the Official Rules, the entrant consents to be bound by the amendments.

Limitation of Liability

By entering the contest, each entrant agrees to release, defend, hold harmless and indemnify the Institute and its affiliates, directors, officers, employees and agents against any and all liabilities, damages or causes of action (however named or described), with respect to or arising out of any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of entrant’s participation in the Contest or caused by the acceptance of a Prize.

In addition, each entrant participates in the Contest at their own risk. The Institute shall not be liable to any entrant for costs incurred or damages arising out of: (i) any printing or typographical errors in these Official Rules or any other materials associated with the Contest; (ii) any errors in the administration of the Contest, including, without limitation, the processing of entries; (iii) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (iv) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; or (v) lost, late, postage-due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail. The Institute is not liable for any loss arising out of or in connection with or resulting from the Contest, including, without limitation, any cost arising from any event beyond the Institute’s control that may cause the Contest to be disrupted.

Each entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than entrant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with entering this Contest), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of contestants and the Institute in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the substantive laws of the State of Illinois, without regard to Illinois’ choice of law rules. All proceedings shall take place in Cook County, Illinois.