Release Notes - Acclaim Spring '23


New look, new features and capabilities.

The first of our releases for 2023.


Acclaim has a new look.

New interface and simplification.

  • Contrast and the font for admin pages has been improved across Acclaim for improvements in accessibility.
  • Views have been re-designed for ease of use.
  • And we’re now well on the way to being 100% platform independent!
  • There is now an intentional difference between admin views and pages seen by entrants and judges to make it clearer when you are in admin views and when you are looking at what your entrants or judges see.
    • Your awards programs have their branding requirements and we’re all over that for those of you that have advanced theming packages.
    • Now only views seen by your entrants and judges are presented in your brand livery and in the style of your awards program.

Heads Up
Acclaim has grown a lot in the last 22 years with so many features available that we recognise are not as easy to find as they should be. Our Summer release (August ’23) will introduce a new navigation paradigm for awards program admins and what we’re calling smart-nav for Entrants and Judges. More on this in our next progress update.


New Features & Improvements


All new login page with simplified layout and more theme options for those of you with custom branding packages.

  • You’ll find the new Log In logo upload in Entry > Actions > Themer.
  • Yes we support SVG for super-sharp theme Images across Acclaim.
    • Say good bye to fuzzy images.
    • Remember that SVG images aren't support for email readers so best to stay with jpg or png images for these.
  • Jump into localisation to change the wording on your login page. You’re searching for the following localisation keys:
    • view__login__sub-head__md
    • view__login__header
    • view__login__sign-in__md


Program-wide messages across the top of the view that you can target at different groups of your management team and/or your entrants and judges.

Learn more about Banners



Communications has had a re-write (we listened - thank you!). It’s also now called Comms and consolidates communications activity from across all ares in Acclaim into a single place - in the navigation rail.

Firstly - data protection

  • Footers for Transactional and Marketing emails.
  • Unsubscribe option for marketing email.
  • Footers are previewed for you as you write your message - change the message type to switch to the correct footer.
  • A new User role required to send messages if you are not an admin. An added layer of protection for data compliance. While everyone can author a comms message, you need the role of “Communications Send” to actually be able to press the send button.
  • You can add roles via Account > Actions > User Roles. The Communications Send role is in the “Other” area.

Everything else that’s new and improved in Comms.

  • History of messages sent
  • Author your own footers -there’s one for informational message and one for marketing messages. There is a definition for marketing messages below.
  • There is now protection in place to stop personalisation tags accidentally being broken as you author.
  • Realtime preview of the images you are inserting from your Themer settings area.
  • Email messages can have a recipient-friendly from Mail From Name. That means that you can override what the default is for your communications email address.
  • Messages can be saved and edited then used as needed.
  • You can add Recipients after you have authored and saved the message - and they can be a dynamic list or a static list. Dynamic lists automatically keep themselves up to date (example: the current list of entrants with draft entries).

And finally(!) - you can send a test - as often as you like to anyone you need to.

There’s a lot more work going on in this area in coming releases including

  • Message Copy
  • Message Resend
  • Scheduled & Milestone Send
  • Smart Recipient Lists

What’s a Marketing email comms?

Marketing or informational messages are sent to one or more recipients generally giving information or containing a commercial message (example: you are now open for entry, the entry deadline is tomorrow). They need to have the unsubscribe option. In Acclaim these are sent from Comms.


Service Messages

Service messages are now event specific (if you want them to be).

Service messages are transactional email messages sent by Acclaim to your entrants and judges.

  • You can now create multiple different versions of these messages (with effective from dates) and they can also be different from awards program year to year.
  • You can also pull in a historical Service Message from a previous year.

Service messages are still managed from
Entry > Actions > Service Emails

You’ll notice improvements in organisation and within each area you’ll see the different types of messages that are supported.

  • Service messages can be edited
  • Copied
  • Be sent with effective from dates
  • BCC’d

And you can finally(!) send as many test messages as you need to.

User Account

Now includes gravatar images for your judges and user-authored bios.

  • Users can also upload their own profile images.
  • There's more support for "socials"


User Registration

Automatic email address validation to check email addresses are valid before they are added to an account.

  • No more bad email addresses and “I haven’t received my registration email” - well we can hope!


Judge Profile

Judge profile has been completely re-written.

The challenges you’ve presented us with as awards program managers are great fun to resolve: like the one that started with “we have 4000+ judges this year … “ so we needed to make changes to keep up with your programs.

  • Separate sections to organise information in the profiles
  • Tighter tracking of judges with bounced comms messages (aka bad email addresses)
  • Automatic Email address validation (no more bad email addresses for judges) when you add them.
  • Paid add-on option available to validate Judge Email addresses during Judge Import.


Dashboard Ribbons

Information summaries have been updated and re-designed to get us ready for analytics and alert-driven notifications.



Huge improvements in search performance

  • New organisation of areas
  • New search for localisation keys
  • New Icon

We’ve also made big improvements in localisation within entry templates.

Entry Forms - Credits

We’ve simplified the setup of Credits for your entry forms and also now support gathering additional information for a person being credited.

Just as you can with Organisation credits, you can now create a list to support grabbing all the information you want.

  • Entry > Actions > Attributes > New List > List Type > Entry
  • In the Credits question, choose the Entry List that details the information you want to collect.

In keeping with our ongoing focus on data privacy and security we’ve also given you an option to gather either Managed or Un-managed Credits.

  • With Managed Credits you require an email address. This means the credits are unique - so there can be multiple John Smith’s and you know which one is which. You’ll also want to use managed credits if you need to check accuracy of the information provided and also if the data privacy regulations in your country require you to notify individuals of information you hold about them.
  • Un-managed Credits don’t require an email address. There’s also no way to communicate with people credited in this way. So you can’t check spelling or the accuracy of the information given directly with the people credited.




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