2021 Award Details

Remember, the Idaho’s Best™ awards (formerly Best of Treasure Valley™), are not like any other. As the biggest and most popular awards in Idaho, we’ll be giving both regional and statewide awards just like last year.

How It Works

There are three stages of the Idaho’s Best™ awards that span a couple of months.

Nominations (Stage 1)

  • Idaho residents can nominate an eligible organization/place for any Idaho’s Best™ category.
  • For our 2021 awards, the nomination period is from Oct. 19-30.
  • Nominations are subject to approval by Inbound Systems to ensure the category is relevant to the nominee.
  • Organizations/places that have the top nomination counts and reviews within a category (maximum 15 nominees) will advance to Stage 2.
  • IMPORTANT: Once your company has been nominated, be sure to claim it by Dec. 18, 2020! Companies that claim their nomination are given preference in the final results (i.e. tie breakers).

Voting (Stage 2)

  • Idaho residents with a mobile phone can vote for a nominee.
  • For our 2021 awards, the voting period is Nov. 30 – Dec. 18, 2020.
  • To retain the most reliable results, participants are restricted to one vote per category. Participants may vote for the same company more than once IF it’s in a different category.
  • The top three to six nominees with the highest score in each category (averaged, if multiple locations) move onto Stage 3 as finalists.
  • Finalists will be announced on our website as soon as we are able to verify the results.
  • To help a nominee obtain votes, share the voting page via email, social media, radio ads, etc.

Reputation (Stage 3)

  • This is where the Idaho’s Best™ awards shine! Rather than just a popularity contest of votes, we also consider online reviews as votes. Specifically, we’ll capture the previous 12 calendar months of reviews leading up to Dec. 18, 2020.
  • A finalist’s overall rating and the number of 5-star reviews (averaged, if multiple locations) on Google are included in the equation. Basically, the higher the rating and the more 5-star reviews received, the better the chances are of winning.
  • We have also partnered with the Better Business Bureau to use their data and make sure only the best Idaho businesses are crowned the winners. BBB Accreditation does not influence results.
  • Because reviews are more difficult to obtain, we give them more value in the final calculation. Our simplified formula for determining the winners of each category:

5-Star Reviews x Overall Rating + Votes

Announcing the Winners

Awards will be given on a statewide and regional basis. The regions are Treasure Valley, Panhandle, Eastern Idaho, and new this year Central Idaho.

Once the votes and reviews have been tallied, and we’ve checked the BBB ratings for each finalist, we’ll reveal who they are on our website in January 2021.

We will first announce the winners at the Idaho’s Best Business Rally. We’re holding the event across two evenings on Feb. 9-10, 2021 in the Boise area.

If you’re a finalist, be sure to get your tickets as soon as they become available! We sold out in just 70 minutes last year.

At the banquet, expect to be entertained while you enjoy a nice dinner as we announce the 2021 Idaho’s Best™ Winners. It really is a great time!

For those who are not able to attend the event, we will also announce the winners here on our website the very next day.


What is required to enter our company in the Idaho’s Best™ awards?

  • With very few exceptions, the published address for the company needs to be in Idaho.
  • A company must have a published Google My Business profile.

How do we win the Idaho’s Best™ awards?

  • If you get the word out to your friends, family, and customers, hopefully they would vote for you! We provide a great selection of free and paid marketing materials to help you with this.
  • Once you have made it as a finalist, it comes down to the combination of three numbers… votes, online rating, and 5-star reviews. If you didn’t get the most votes, but your online reviews are spectacular, then it’s possible that you can beat out the company with the most votes. Alternatively, if you don’t have the best online reviews, but you overwhelmingly win the vote, then you still have a possibility of winning. Of course, your chances of winning are guaranteed if your votes and online reviews are the best.
  • Let’s not forget your BBB rating. Although it’s not considered in the final calculation, you cannot have a grade lower than a B. No grade is okay, but a bad one is an indicator that something is awry.

Can I pay to enter or win the Idaho’s Best™ awards?

  • No, you cannot pay to win.
  • If you’ve been nominated, claiming your nomination is free.

How do I get notifications for the voting and results?

  • First, follow us on Facebook!
  • We also email notifications when there’s news and information to share. Just be sure that we have your email address! To sign up, click here.
  • If you’re a nominee, be sure to claim your nomination.

How do we get in the magazine?

  • All winners and finalists will be announced in the 2021 Idaho’s Best™ full-color magazine.
  • If you’d like to receive more prominent exposure, consider placing an ad.
  • Are you a sponsor? You get up to 20% in discounts for magazine ads.

How do we get on the website?

  • Become a nominee or finalist within a category.
  • Purchase banner ads to attract visibility, nominations, and votes.
  • Buy a Spotlight Article in the magazine and we’ll republish it to our blog on it’s own page.

How do we get 5-star reviews?

  • It should go without saying, but you first have to deserve it by providing 5-star service! Happy customers are more likely to rate you with 5-stars.
  • Make it easy for your happy customers to review you online without bribing them. We’ve partnered with RevenueJump to assist you with this step. Ask for a demo of their software.

Do we have to have BBB Accreditation to win?

  • No, your accreditation status with the Better Business Bureau is not a factor. Just be sure the grade they give you is not any worse than a B. Anything other than an A, B, or no grade is not a good sign.

Idaho's Best regions

What are the regional boundaries?

  • In addition to giving statewide awards, Idaho’s Best will give regional awards.
  • Central Idaho – includes Twin Falls, Mountain Home, McCall, Ketchum, Jerome, Burley
  • Eastern Idaho – includes Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Rexburg, Driggs, American Falls
  • Panhandle – includes Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Moscow, Lewiston, Sandpoint
  • Treasure Valley – includes Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Emmett, Payette

What if a nominee cheats or tries to game the system?

  • The integrity of the awards is of utmost importance to Inbound Systems, its affiliates, and its finalists and winners. Cheating will not be tolerated.
  • At our sole discretion, if we determine a nominee has attempted to unethically improve its standing within the awards, or hurt another nominee’s standing in the awards, we may disqualify the nominee, or strip the finalist or winner of the title.
  • If you’re not sure about the tactics you are using to get nominations, votes, or reviews, please clear it with us first!

Can our company compete in more than one category?

  • Yes, you may be nominated for multiple categories as long as they are relevant (subject to our approval).

How many nominations or votes did we receive?

  • As much as we can understand why you would be curious about the nomination and vote counts, we do not divulge these numbers. We believe that doing so offers no upside and would open us up to unnecessary conflict and disputes, something not worthwhile for providing this free public service.

Who nominated or voted for us?

  • The privacy of our voters is very important to us. As such, we do not reveal who they are (except with their permission for winning prizes) and who they nominated or voted for.

Can we trust that the results are fair and accurate?

  • Nobody can imagine the amount of hours and brainpower we put into making Idaho’s Best the most fair and accurate awards in the state! This is one of our main objectives.
  • We partnered with the BBB to validate our results.
  • We built our own proprietary software to help eliminate human error and cheaters.
  • We level the playing field by dividing votes and review counts across the number of locations a candidate has.
  • We offer regional awards so that candidates are not struggling to only compete on a state level.
  • We don’t charge a dime for candidates to participate. Even if a candidate does spend money with us (i.e. sponsorship), it does not mean they’ll win.
  • To reiterate our fairness,  know that some of our personal friends don’t make it as a finalist or win their category because of our friendship. They have to earn it too!

We won. Now what?

  • First of all, congratulations! You know how many competitors you have, so take a moment and enjoy it.
  • Next, use your newly-obtained credential to enhance your marketing. This includes your website, social media, building, advertising, printed materials, voicemail scripts, sales pitches, etc. To assist you along the way, we’ll provide you with several free resources. Just keep an eye out for our announcements.

Can I suggest a new category?

  • Of course, we’re always open to new suggestions. Feel free to contact us. However, with dozens and dozens of categories, the most of any such awards in Idaho, we probably have you covered.


NOTE: We reserve the right to update and/or clarify these guidelines at our own discretion and without notice. Check back for updates.