The answer to the question is, NO, definitely NOT. Back in 2007, I entered into an art competition just for the fun of it with the SAA (Society for All Artists). I did the usual and paid the entrance fee for a few paintings, took out a membership and then waited. A couple of months later I received a mail from the SAA asking me to send one of my paintings as it had been short-listed for the Abstract Experimental category. I was over the moon, I was thinking that I was on my way to bigger things, they had chosen me. I was told I had to have the painting framed but they would sort out shipping costs. I got it framed and it cost me a good few hundred but I thought it worth the investment.
Later, I received another mail telling me that I had won in this category and would be invited to exhibit at the Art Fair which took place near Oxford. I was delighted about that too. I thought that curators would be knocking my door down for invites. No, that didn’t happen. All that happened was I got the certificate above and a £100 shopping voucher to use on the SAA’s online shop and a subscription to their crap magazine, oh and a mention in it which you can’t even find online now, the link don’t work.
My advice is if you are going to enter an art competition and in the event, you win it, unless it’s for the Turner Prize or some big renowned organization, don’t expect too much. It was written that there were 36,000 entries for this competition, but the marquee at the event was big enough for about half a dozen people, so I’m not sure if all was legit.