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All your questions answered

Help! I’m trying to create an account, but it says I already have one. How do I access my user name and password?
If you have a Crain’s account, your user name and password should be the same ones that you use to log on to ChicagoBusiness.com. If you’ve forgotten your user name and password, click “forgot your password?” Those who are not registered at ChicagoBusiness.com will need to create new accounts.

What sorts of offices are eligible?
An office is any place where work gets done. To qualify, your office, which should be located in the Chicago metropolitan area, must have opened or been rehabbed after July 1, 2021.

I submitted last year. Can I submit again?
Yes, but only if you didn't win. Previous winners are not eligible.

What are the criteria?
Our panel of judges will be looking for sharp design, originality and functionality. An office cannot just look cool—it must serve the functions of the company housed there. It must also be ADA-compliant if you have 15 or more full-time employees or are otherwise required to be compliant by law.

What's the deadline?
The call for submissions closes at midnight March 11, 2023. After that date, we will select a group of finalists and may ask for additional materials.

Can I fax or mail in my nomination?
No. You must use the online submission form.

What do you want to see in a photo?
We want to see what makes your office unique. Please remember that this is an office design competition, not a story about company culture. Professional photography will make your office look best, but is not required for the nomination. If your office is selected, it's possible we would arrange to take professional shots.

Is there a fee?
Yes. It costs $199 to submit an office for consideration.

Who decides who gets to be in the final Coolest Offices story?
A panel of judges that includes Crain's Contributing Editor Jan Parr, who spent 10 years as editor of Chicago Home & Garden, and Zlata Kozul Naumovski, who writes for Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Interior Design, Elle Décor, and Luxe Interiors & Design.

How many offices will be chosen to be in the final story?
It depends on the submissions, but in past years we've featured about 15.

How does the selection process work?
After we receive a nomination, Jan and her staff will evaluate it to see if it meets the basic criteria. After we vet submissions, a culled group will be presented to the judges and they'll make the final decisions.

Will I be informed if my nominee is NOT selected?
No. Only selected nominees will be informed in advance of publication of our annual Coolest Offices issue.

When will honorees be notified?
Before May 2, 2023.

When does the section appear in print?
In print June 5, 2023; online likely the morning of June 5 as well.

If I have not heard from Crain's by May 2, does that mean my nominee was not selected?
Yes, that would be a fair assumption, unless your office has been selected for a smaller award, such as an honorable mention, and we do not need more info from you.

Can I call you to make sure my nomination went through?
The nomination platform will confirm receipt of a completed submission. Please resist the urge to make follow-up calls or send emails.

May I see examples of past Coolest Office winners?
Sure. Here you go!