Column: Aiken Standard Readers' Choice contest gets reimagined

May 13—It is that time of year again. Our 2023 Aiken Standard Readers' Choice nomination round will begin Monday.

Every year we poll our readers on everything from the best burger to best bank and share with the community our results. This serves as a roadmap to visitors and new residents alike, and it is the greatest vote of confidence a community can give to a business.

We publish the results in the paper, online and at various participating partners. This year we are producing a glossy magazine that should be the perfect table topper for both your business and your home. We will publish the results to the public on Sept. 16.

This year we are implementing quite a few changes. One common question we receive is regarding the voting system itself, so allow me to provide some insight on this year's measures. We are limiting the number of daily votes from the same location or device, as well as having a minimum requirement of 25% completion of the ballot to be considered. These steps help us ensure that our results are accurate, fair and a reflection of the readers' choices. As in years past, we will provide a print ballot that will run July 15.

In addition to changes in the voting, we are reimagining our event as well. This year we will host an exclusive gala-style awards show at the USC Aiken Convocation Center on Sept. 15 for our top three finalists in each category complete with presenters, performers and dinner where we unveil and announce the winners of each category.

Plaques and certificates as well as window clings, banners and other Readers' Choice '23 memorabilia will be available. For 2023 we are showing up in style. Our theme is "The Roaring '20s" complete with 1920s clothing, props and an actual 1920's Model A on location for the absolute perfect photo op. We do have limited availability for this event so please call Diane Daniell at 803-644-2369 for details, as well as a list of participating vendors for clothing and accessories.

For those wanting to advertise throughout the entire process, we have put together in-depth marketing portfolios that will run from the nomination round through the entire campaign. Please contact your marketing consultant or email Diane Daniell at to inquire about how to get started.

We at the Aiken Standard are thrilled to be able to host what is sure to be a memorable event and thank you to our readers and community businesses for participating and allowing us this opportunity.

To participate, visit