The 2018 Best of Southwest Metro survey is here! Don't miss your chance to vote for your favorite shops, restaurants, hot spots and more. The results of our annual readers’ choice survey will be printed in July, in our special Best of Southwest Metro edition of Southwest Metro Magazine, and we'll need your help to fill it with the best Southwest Metro has to offer. (The results will also be posted here at southwestmetromag.com on July 1).
Take a look at this year’s voting rules and guidelines and our full list of categories. Voting is open from January 1 to January 31, 2018.
Many common questions are answered on this page in the FAQs section below! Other questions can be sent to our digital editor, Caitlin Crees, at email@example.com.
4 Simple Rules*
1. One entry allowed per person; each ballot must include a first and last name and contact information.
2. One entry allowed per IP address.
3. Ballots must be completed by 5:00 p.m. on January 31, 2018.
4. Voters must vote in at least 5 categories to have their ballot counted.
*If any rule is not adhered to, entire survey may be thrown out. All results subject to editorial discretion.
Food & Restaurants
- Best Patio Dining
- Best Restaurant
- Best Tavern / Bar / Brewery
- Best Breakfast
- Best Builder
- Best Remodeler
- Best Interior Designer
- Best Landscape Designer
- Best Senior Living Residence
- Best Nursery / Garden Center
- Best Home Furnishings Store
Health & Wellness
- Best Fitness Studio / Yoga Studio / Gym
- Best Dental Practice
- Best Orthodontic Practice
- Best Chiropractic Practice
- Best Pediatric Practice
- Best Eye Practice
- Best Dermatology Practice
- Best Medspa (must have physician medical director on staff and offer injection procedures)
- Best Salon / Spa
Shops & Retail
- Best Apparel Boutique
- Best Gift Shop
- Best Florist
- Best Specialty Foods / Kitchen Store
Family & Kids & Pets
- Best Doggy Daycare / Kennel
- Best Preschool / Childcare
- Best Law Firm
- Best Veterinary Practice
- Best Learning / Tutoring Center
- Best Place for Kids’ Activities
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?
From January 1 to January 30, we invite readers to go online to tell us their favorite local businesses, people and organizations in each category.
How did these businesses get nominated/on the ballot?
The top finalists from last year’s (2017) contest are the nominees on this year’s ballot (including any write-in choices that received a significant number of votes). As always, readers and readers only decided on last year’s top finalists and on this year’s ballot.
My favorite business isn’t on the ballot. What can I do?
Each category includes a write-in field. If your choice doesn’t appear on the ballot, simply write them in. If a business isn’t included on the ballot, that business was not one of the top finalists in the 2017 contest (see previous question for more details).
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:
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.
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.
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 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 rely solely on readers to select or write in their pick for each category. We invite you to spread the word! If your business wasn’t one of the top finalists in last year’s contest, it will not appear on this year’s ballot. This year, encourage your clients, fans and friends to fill out the write-in section in your category. Note that 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. Encourage your clients to vote from their own smartphone, tablet or home computer.
Where can I find the list of finalists?
Finalists (the top three vote-getters in each category) will be posted online on March 1, 2018.
When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced in our special Best of 2018 edition of the magazine, which comes out on July 1, 2018. Winners will also be announced online on July 1, 2018.
What happens if I win?
Winners can request a free digital copy of the Best of 2018 magazine cover design, which also indicates your winning category and your business or organization name. Winners can also purchase a framed award certificate with 2 window clings. (The framed award certificate is 14 x 17 inches and features a black wood frame.) The cost is $75 per framed award certificate and includes shipping and handling. Ordering opens on July 1 and closes on October 12.