Frequently Asked Questions
What is BOM?
Morgantown magazine started Best of Morgantown in 2011 to let our readers recognize and celebrate the excellent dining, shopping, and services that make Morgantown a great place to live. We awarded the winners for the first time in 2012, and the competition has since grown to 101 categories.
When does BOM happen?
Determining the best of the best in a way that’s thorough, fair, and fun is a six-month process.
It starts in August, when Morgantown magazine staff create the upcoming BOM ballot. We learn from experience, so each year’s ballot is slightly different as we make categories more clear, drop categories that had too few contenders, and add categories suggested in the previous year.
The nomination-round survey goes live online as the October / November print issue hits newsstands and stays online for about three weeks. Unlike past years, nominations will take place online only for BOM20. We tally the votes to determine the finalists in each category—usually three, but from two to six depending on the number of legitimate contenders and the competitiveness in the top ranks.
While we tally the nominations, the fun continues with BOM Challenge Week in mid-November. BOM Food + Drink finalists promote themselves, many with specials. Readers sample the finalists so they can vote with confidence.
Final-round voting goes live about the third week of November. We keep this round up through mid-December. In late December and early January, we contact winners to congratulate them and, except in the case of perennial winners, to learn more so we can write profiles. We ask winners to keep it to themselves until the BOM issue of the magazine is published.
The Best of Morgantown issue hits stands and mailboxes in early February, letting everyone know who’s the BOM. And finally, around the end of February, the best of the best get together at the BOM party to celebrate another great year in Morgantown.
Our schedule may shift in any year to accommodate our publishing needs and opportunities. The best way to stay on top of it is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
When do the BOM surveys go live?
The BOM nomination rounds go live in mid-October and the final round in mid- to late-November. But it’s no secret. The best way to be informed is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Who can vote?
Anyone can vote in the nomination and final rounds.
Who can be nominated?
Anyone can be nominated. We love learning about new things going on in town through BOM nominations.
Can nominees be based outside Morgantown?
We consider nominees that are based outside Morgantown on a case-by-case basis. If an out-of-town nominee that operates in town legitimately fits the category and rises to the top, we let it into the final round. We know some people don’t think our Best of Morgantown contest should include out-of-towners, but we say competition is a good thing—may the best contender win!
Can chain stores and franchises be nominated, or is it only for locals?
While we love to see our hometown businesses shine, some categories just don’t have many locally owned businesses. It’s up to the voters to say what they support: Do they like the broad selection and hard-negotiated prices that big corporations can offer? Or do they prefer the individual expertise and personalized service we get from a neighborhood business? We’re happy to say that, over time, we’ve seen more local businesses nominated in nearly every category.
Why did my category disappear?
Check carefully—sometimes we change the wordings of categories to make them more clear. But we do also omit categories to try new ones—dozens are suggested to us each year. Now that BOM has reached 101 categories, we’re capping it at that. If we hear that a former category is sorely missed, we may try to bring it back.
Why wasn’t I notified that I was a finalist or a winner?
We do our best to notify finalists before the final round and winners after the final round ends. With 101 categories and many more than 300 contenders, it’s a challenge to maintain an up-to-date list of contact information. But, hey—we make it our business to be easy to find, so why not take it into your own hands? If you’re a nominee or finalist, send us your best contact name, e-mail address, mailing address, and phone numbers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will advertising give me an edge?
We like to think advertising in our print and digital publications always gives you an edge with our readers. But it has no effect on our fair tally of the votes. BOM winners are the readers’ choice.
Still got questions? Contact us at email@example.com.