BUILDING A VIRTUAL AWARDS CEREMONY
It’s a long-standing, time-honored method of rewarding top-tier talent, including in the corporate world: Awards ceremonies. These ceremonies serve two important purposes: Recognizing above-and-beyond efforts from employees, and motivating employees to reach those heights.
In order to make that recognition seem heartfelt and energize employees to earn that recognition, an in-person awards ceremony needs to be a great experience for all the employees, their guests, the presenters, the winners, and the audience members. But during a pandemic, bringing everyone together that way doesn’t happen. How can an organization make a virtual awards ceremony just like the in-person version?
Short answer: You can’t re-create an in-person event online that is exactly the same.
Long answer: But you can create a new type of awards program that will make employees feel recognized and motivated. You can engage your audience, allow them to have fun, and feel part of a team. You’ll find yourself in good company: The NFL Honors, 2020 Emmy Awards, and 2021 Golden Globes all moved their events to virtual stages.
Here are some options for developing an online awards ceremony that will be successful and memorable.
Before beginning the planning process, there are priorities to sort out. Questions to consider:
- What’s most important for your presenters?
- What’s most important for your attendees?
- What’s most important to you about your nominees and your winners?
- What’s most important to you in terms of where is your audience watching?
- Is it really important that your winners be able to give an acceptance speech? Or is it more important to focus on the content and the presenters, and having your attendees be able to watch on a really professional website?
- What type (if any) of interaction do you want for your audience?
- How many awards are there? Can the overall number be condensed to make it easier to go virtual?
Essentially, there are two types of award ceremonies to choose from.
- Graduation style. This type of event is like a high school graduation. A company has a number of employees who met their quotas and will be introduced one by one. Generally the winners know they’ve won ahead of time, because the quote was set months ago and they’re aware they achieved it. This is often used for ceremonies at sales meetings
- Oscar style. Similar to what’s seen in the non-corporate world, this style has award categories with parameters for each category. There may be nominees in each category, and they do not find out until the ceremony that they’ve won.
How the awards are achieved will determine which style of ceremony you choose.