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 BOM24 nomination round goes live online on September 11, 2023, and runs through September 24. 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.
Final-round voting goes live November 10 and runs through December 1. In December and early January, we’ll 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 comes out.
The Best of Morgantown issue hits stands and mailboxes in mid-February, letting everyone know who’s the BOM. And finally, the best of the best get together at the BOM party to celebrate another great year in Morgantown.
In any given year, that schedule may shift to accommodate our publishing needs and opportunities. The best way to stay on top of it is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and our weekly Morgantown Lowdown eblast and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
When does the BOM ballot go live?
The BOM23 nomination round goes live September 11, 2023, and the final round on November 10. But it’s no secret. The best way to be informed is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and our weekly Morgantown Lowdown eblast and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
What categories are on the ballot?
The ballot changes every year. Check back here closer to the nomination period to preview the ballot.
Who can vote?
Anyone can vote in the nomination and final rounds, once per day per category.
Who can be nominated?
Almost anyone can be nominated. We love learning about new things going on in town through BOM nominations! The simple exception is that New South Media staff and their immediate family members are not eligible for awards to individuals; we do, however, allow organizations that employ family members of staff to compete in BOM.
If you don’t see your favorite on the ballot, simply use the field at the bottom of the category submit a nomination.
Can nominees be based outside Morgantown?
Great businesses and destinations can be found in all directions from Morgantown, so we consider nominees that are based outside Morgantown on a case-by-case basis. In categories for which there are a limited number of legitimate participants in town and for which it’s common for residents to drive to a nearby county in search of a unique item, a hard-to-find service, or a special deal, our editorial board considers nominations from nearby counties. We also allow businesses that are based outside of town but who regularly service the area. 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 is my nomination not showing up on the ballot?
Your nomination will be checked by the site’s administrators within 48 hours. After approval, your nomination will show up on the nomination ballot. Even if your nomination is not visible, the system will capture each nomination that is received and it will be counted toward the total nominations or votes.
In addition, for some categories, we don’t approve a nomination unless it includes sufficient information: for example, “Vic” for Best Bartender. We retain the nomination and, if others later nominate “Vic at The Watering Hole,” we’ll ultimately tally it with those more complete nominations. Be specific to ensure that your nomination shows up.
My name or address is showing up incorrectly on the ballot. What should I do?
If your name or address is showing up incorrectly, please email email@example.com with the correction and we will address it as quickly as possible.
I am showing up in the wrong category on the ballot. What should I do?
If you are showing up in the wrong category, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the category you should be listed in. We will make the correction as quickly as possible.
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’ve capped 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 email@example.com.
Can people cheat?
We know Best Of bragging rights are a great marketing tool, so we partner with Second Street, which offers a nomination and voting platform that is specifically designed for Best Of competitions. The platform is built around multiple levels of safeguards to detect and deter scamming. If fraudulent votes are detected, they are thrown out and not counted. Many city publications across the U.S. trust their readers’ choice ballots to Second Street, including the Charleston, South Carolina, Post and Courier’s “Charleston Choice” awards, the Chattanooga Times Free Press’s annual Best of the Best, and St. Louis Magazine’s “A-List.”
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 have questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.