Don’t allow the risk, fear, or cost of an in-person event prevent your company awards ceremony from happening. Knowing how to organize and run a virtual awards ceremony will enable you recognize and reward your “standout” team members, while staying safe and saving considerably.
webcastingandvirtualevents.com gathered the following ideas and planning tips to help guide you in planning and running a memorable awards ceremony.
How To Do a Virtual Awards Ceremony?
Your awards ceremony can be set up and conducted similarly, whether it is in-person, virtual, or a hybrid event. The following will help you through the planning process:
Select Award Categories – For what achievements will you be recognizing and awarding people? Create a list of departments and what accomplishments they should be rewarded for as a group and individually. These categories can include:
- Most Improved Production Awards
- Milestone Anniversary Awards
- Team Performance Awards
- Department MVP Awards
- Corporate Recognition Awards
- Employee of the year Award
Develop criteria or achievement standards for the awards you create. This generates interest, friendly competition, and keeps your employees striving for excellence.
Appoint a Selection Committee – Now that you have award categories, it’s time to select your recipients. Here are some selection methods you can employ to make these decisions:
- Gather senior staff to evaluate and select winners from a list of candidates
- Use a popular vote method in which all employees cast their votes
- Allow statistical data to determine front-runners and winners
Different selection methods can be used for different awards. You may find it beneficial to keep the winners anonymous until the “Big Reveal” at the awards ceremony. Excitement and anticipation are excellent audience drivers.
Order the Prizes – The prize for each award category should represent its significance in size and beauty. Once you have established an award, choose the item that will represent it. Consider the following:
- Gift Certificates
- Cash Awards
- Engraved Crystal
- Glass Awards
- Company Merchandise
- Commemorative Items
The physical awards to choose from are practically unlimited. If you formed a selection committee to name award recipients, that same committee could be tasked with determining appropriate prizes.
Tip: Having the current year’s awards showcased in a prominent display, months before selecting the recipients, can motivate employees to better their performance.
Decide on an Award Delivery Method – Getting the physical awards to their recipients may pose a challenge. As many companies have adopted long-term remote working policies and technology allows us to work from home efficiently, the need to be physically present in an office or at a company is quickly becoming a thing of the past. The following are practical award delivery methods:
- UPS / FedEx
- Personal delivery
- Ship direct from the manufacturer
Note: Awards may also be kept on location until recipients return to the workplace
Choose a Video Conferencing Platform and Streaming Service – Virtual events are similar to other kinds of conferences, but they take place over the internet. Virtual events let you hold meetings and engage your audience, allowing them to participate through interactive technology, all while helping you achieve your interactive goals. There are multiple free and paid platforms you can use to host and livestream the award function, including:
- YouTube Live
- Facebook Live
- Google Hangouts
Tip: When selecting a platform for your event, verify that the bandwidth will support your audience while maximizing ease-of-use for your attendees. Contact the platform’s customer service department at least a month in advance to discuss attendance limitations and feature abilities.
What Goes Into an Awards Ceremony Script – An award ceremony script consists of an introduction, climax, and ending.
- Welcoming everyone should be your first priority.
- Then, the introductory part of the event and its purpose.
- Keep your speeches and explanations brief to avoid putting your audience to sleep.
- Keep it engaging, interactive, scripted, and fun until the end.
Tip: Rehearse the ink off the paper! Repetition is key to reducing the margin of error, sharpening your timing, and becoming more comfortable with the event as a whole.
Note: The more of your event that can be scripted, the better it will flow from start to end. If everyone producing and participating in the event follows the same scripted sequence of events, you can all but eliminate potential event breakdowns.
Market Your Virtual Awards Ceremony – The last thing you want is to hold a virtual awards ceremony with no attendees! The more you promote your event, the greater level of excitement you’ll generate for it. Send multiple reminders that create a sense of urgency for your event as it approaches. Here are a few ideas to help promote your event:
- Break out your email lists – send invites and subsequent reminders
- Launch an event page that showcases your event
- Post reminders and updates across social media platforms
- Use keywords and key phrases to better your search potential
- Create a vlog and upload videos dedicated to your event
Another reliable but often forgotten marketing strategy is word-of-mouth. Get your employees, suppliers, vendors, friends, and associates to invite their friends and families.
Tip: Attract more attendees by raffling off items or randomly selecting attendees from your virtual audience for prizes or free gifts.
Sponsor Participation – Increase your event’s audience and credibility by having it backed by sponsorship. Brands sponsor events with the expectation of gaining greater visibility (brand recognition) and ultimately sales.
Acquiring sponsors for your virtual awards ceremony can not only provide more options for audience prizes but increase the event’s budget.
Virtual Event Dress Rehearsals – Practice, practice, and practice again. The more time you can devote to rehearsing the content and flow of your event, the less probability you will have of stumbling over your words or mixing up the event sequence. This time will also allow you to familiarize yourself with and test run the video conferencing platform.
Tip: It is imperative to verify that each invited guest can access the shared link that you send out and that any system glitches are resolved before the event. Rehearsals can seem tedious, but they are the best way to expose system fragilities.
How Do You Make an Awards Ceremony Fun?
Making your awards ceremony an engaging, fun, and memorable event is easier than you may think. Use the following ideas to add some entertainment to your event:
- Hire a professional comedian to emcee or host the event.
- Book a special keynote speaker.
- Offer outstanding cash prizes for “flash contests” via text or email (data collection).
- Take music requests from your virtual audience.
- Conduct Q&A sessions intermittently throughout the event, again via text or email.
Tip: Have as much fun with your audience as you like but be mindful of the time and content used to entertain your audience. For more ideas, check out our blog post – 13 Ways To Make Your Virtual Event More Engaging.
What Do You Say When Presenting an Award
Presenting an award to a guest, an employee, a business partner, or a customer should be treated as an honor. It’s exciting to celebrate someone’s accomplishments and how he/she has added value to your business’ mission. Carefully plan your award presentation, so you make it a memorable occasion for the recipient. Consider the following:
- Understand the details of the work it took to get to this point.
- Know who is receiving the award.
- Know the correct pronunciation of their name.
- Present the award within the allotted time.
- Know where the award is kept or who will bring it to you.
When presenting the award:
- Tell a brief personal or humorous story about the recipient.
- Acknowledge the recipient’s worthiness of the award.
- Keep stories about yourself out of this moment (it’s not your moment).
- Keep your speech short, call up or announce the recipient and step aside or move on.
Tip: When holding and presenting the award (be it a trophy or certificate), hold it with respect. This shows the audience and recipient the value attached to the award.
Why Hold a Virtual Awards Ceremony?
Virtual awards ceremonies help boost morale while reestablishing stamina and trust by leaving your employees, staff, clients, and vendors knowing their work and results haven’t gone unnoticed.
Virtual Awards Ceremony Production
In this article, you discovered several ideas and tips to help you plan and put on a memorable virtual awards ceremony.
By holding a virtual awards ceremony, you can energize your workforce by acknowledging their efforts, improvements, and milestones.
Failing to recognize your team’s work can result in their lack of motivation, reduced productivity, and a significant loss of revenue.