We are excited to announce that the 2016 Best of White Bear Lake survey is here! Don't miss your chance to vote for your favorite shops, restaurants, people, hot spots and more. By popular demand, we'll also be printing the results of the annual readers' choice survey in a special edition of White Bear Lake Magazine, and we'll need your help to fill it with the best our community has to offer.
Take a look at this year’s voting rules and guidelines and our full list of categories. We'll be accepting surveys October 1-October 31. This year's rules are slightly different, so please read carefully. Questions can be sent to our digital editor, Caitlin Crees, at [email protected]. Be sure to read the Best of 2016 FAQs at the bottom of this page!
5 Simple Rules*
- One entry allowed per person; each survey must include a first and last name and contact information. We do check the IP addresses of submitted surveys to eliminate unacceptable surveys. Only one survey is allowed per IP address.
- Surveys must be entered by 5:00 p.m. on October 31, 2015.
- Voters must fill in at least 5 categories to have their survey counted.
- Voters may not vote for the same establishment in more than three categories.
- All nominations must be located within the White Bear Lake community.
*If any rule is not adhered to, entire survey may be thrown out. All results subject to editorial discretion.
Food & Restaurants
- Patio Dining
- New Restaurant
- Home Furnishings (flooring, furniture, décor, appliances, windows, siding, etc.)
- Interior Designer
- Landscape Designer/Architect
- Home Service (heating/cooling, plumbing, electrical, yard and landscape, etc.)
- Senior Living Residence
Health & Wellness
- Fitness/Yoga Studio
- Dental Clinic
- Orthodontic Clinic
- Chiropractic Clinic
- Pediatric Clinic
- Eye Clinic
- Dermatology Clinic
- Medspa (must have a medical director on staff)
Shops & Retail
- Apparel Boutique
- Jewelry Store
- Liquor Store
- Foodie Shop
- Gift Shop
Kids, Family & Pets
- Doggy Daycare/Kennel
- Veterinary Clinic
- Learning/Tutoring Center
- Place to Spoil Your Pet
- Place for Kids' Activities (dance, music, sports, gymnastics, martial arts, etc.)
- Hairstylist / Barber
- Salon / Spa
- Financial Advisor
- Insurance Agent
- Law Firm
+ Editor’s picks
Best of 2016: Frequently Asked Questions
How do you choose the categories?
Each year, the editorial and management teams evaluate our list of categories for the survey, usually eliminating a few of the less popular ones—where fewer people voted last year—and adding new topics to keep things fresh. We always take into account feedback from our readers; we appreciate hearing about categories you’d like to see added or nixed.
How does voting work?
Beginning on October 1 and ending October 31, we invite readers to go online to tell us their favorite local businesses, people and organizations in each category. We offer a write-in ballot with no pre-selected choices from the editorial staff. We rely solely on readers to decide on the finalists (the top three vote-getters) and winners (the top vote-getter) in each category.
Does advertising influence the contest?
The readers’ choice survey is managed by our editorial department and is completely separate from the advertising in the magazine. As usual, advertising is managed by our sales department. The readers’ choice survey has no relationship with or effect on advertising, and vice versa. In order to qualify as a finalist in the survey, the business or individual must be located in the community and/or provide services to local residents.
What are the rules for voting?
For a voter’s ballot to be valid, it must adhere to the following standards:
1. Readers cannot vote more than once from the same IP address. Each device—phone, computer, tablet—has its own IP address. We automatically eliminate any additional votes from an IP address to control any possibility of ballot-stuffing.
2. Readers must vote in a minimum of 5 categories for their ballot to be considered valid; ballots with votes in fewer than 5 categories are eliminated. Again, this is to obtain a fair representation of selections by readers.
Can my clients vote from a shared computer or tablet at my business?
No. Only one ballot is accepted per IP address. (Each device—phone, computer, tablet—has its own IP address.) We automatically eliminate any additional ballots from an IP address to control the possibility of ballot-stuffing. Instead, encourage your clients to vote from their own smartphone, tablet or home computer.
What’s a “finalist” vs. a “winner”?
The top three vote-getters in each category become finalists, and the top vote-getter is the winner. When votes have been tabulated, our editorial team fact-checks the address and contact information for each finalist. If the finalist is no longer a valid selection due to a closed business, etc., we move to the next highest vote-getter, who then becomes a finalist.
Can a business or organization be a finalist if it’s located outside of the magazine’s coverage area?
In order to qualify as a finalist in the survey, the business or organization must be located in the community and/or provide services to local residents.
I’m a business owner. How can I get on the ballot? How can I get more votes?
We offer a write-in ballot with no pre-selected choices from the editorial staff. We rely solely on readers to write in their pick for each category. We invite you to spread the word! Encourage your clients, fans and friends to fill out a ballot.
Where can I find the list of finalists?
Finalists (the top three vote-getters in each category) will be posted online on January 4, 2016.
What happens if I win?
Each winner will be notified by email and receive electronic copies of the Best of 2016 logo, perfect for marketing and promotional material. You will also be given a chance to order a free PDF version of this year’s Best of magazine cover design, which indicates the winning category and your business or organization name. In addition, you’ll also receive a print copy of the Best of magazine, along with window clings.
Why isn’t there an awards event this year?
We’ve enjoyed celebrating with our community throughout the years at the annual Best Of readers’ choice awards. Our mission is to host quality events to celebrate the achievements, success and growth of the ten local communities our magazines support. In order to successfully host these high-caliber events at a minimal cost to those who attend, an expense is inevitably acquired. Tiger Oak Media relies on the support of our esteemed sponsors to make these events possible. In recent years, many of our local readers’ choice awards have not had the much-needed support of local sponsors. As a result, Tiger Oak Media has fully absorbed the cost of these events, an expense that the company’s budget can no longer withstand. We do not aim to profit from these events, but we cannot continue to lose profit from them either.
To that end, Tiger Oak Media will no longer host the readers’ choice awards in any community that does not have the support of an event sponsor or multiple sponsors that come together to help us present the event. It is with heavy hearts that we make this decision. Our hope is for the community to see the value in these events and rally together to help us bring back the awards. Tiger Oak Media will continue to host these celebratory awards in all communities with an event sponsor. In 2016, Lake Minnetonka Magazine and Southwest Metro Magazine will host a joint awards presentation in April. With questions about the events, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].