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A Guide to Virtual Awards Ceremonies

So much of our world has changed during the past several months, and business operations of all types have become virtual — and that includes award ceremonies. Organizations and teams of all sizes and across all industries are adapting to help maintain social distance while still recognizing their employees’ hard work, and that means showing their recognition with virtual awards ceremonies.

Along with the huge advantage of keeping everyone safe, virtual awards ceremonies can offer other benefits. There’s no overhead cost of things like a venue, food, and travel expenses, and overall marketing budgets are reduced. These are all selling points for sponsors, guest speakers, and presenters as well, who may not have previously been able to attend due to schedule restrictions.

Just as was the case with traditional in-person events, virtual awards ceremonies require some prep and planning in order to go off without a hitch. These virtual events are also a great piece of content that your organization (and recipients) can share across their own digital channels, which also highlights the importance of getting it right. We’ve put together some top tips and best practices to ensure your virtual awards ceremony is a success.

Plan Accordingly

Like any other event, virtual or not, a solid plan is like a blueprint to follow for your ceremony. Choose a date and time that works for all attendees, and especially for guest presenters — a survey is a good way to get feedback from everyone involved. Once that’s established, you can create a schedule for the day of the event. These are all important details that you’ll be sharing when sending out invitations (either physical or digital) to the awards ceremony.

Choose Tech Wisely

Do your research and choose a video conferencing tool that will handle the number of attendees that you’re expecting. It may be that your organization needs to pay for the right tech, so make sure to budget accordingly. Let everyone know ahead of time which tech you chose; that way they can become familiar with the platform and avoid glitches the day of the ceremony. If you’re the host, check the network infrastructure and internet bandwidth of the workspace you’ll be hosting from.

Engage The Team

Depending on the nature of your awards ceremony, it could be a great idea to ask employees or other team members to weigh in (anonymously) on the winners instead of having a traditional panel of judges or letting managers pick recipients. Wait on announcing the results until the actual ceremony; this will go a long way towards keeping the whole team engaged and motivated.

Get In The Spirit

Just because the event is virtual, doesn’t mean you can’t dress up! Encourage attendees to wear their gala attire to help boost morale and excitement. You can even ask a band to play during your event, just like you would for an in-person awards ceremony. Additionally, skip the email invitations and opt for fancy paper invites that are sent through mail — it will make a lasting impression and give everyone a keepsake of the event. 

Make It Accessible

Record the ceremony as it happens live for those attendees who may not be able to make it. Add features like captions for speakers and large font that’s legible for those who may have visual or hearing impairments. Upload the finished product to your website or video platforms (like YouTube) in a way that everyone can share the content with their own website or social media accounts. Who doesn’t love subtly bragging about their accomplishments?

Choose The Right Award

Your event may be scaled back, but your awards shouldn’t. Invest in the same high-quality physical awards that you would if you were handing them out in-person; this goes a long way towards showing recipients you value the work they’ve been doing as part of your organization or team. Customize them with their names and have them shipped directly to their homes quickly and without any errors.

While planning your next virtual awards ceremony is up to you, providing the awards is our specialty. At the end of the day, your trophies, awards, badges, and signs should do more than simply honor someone. Our cutting-edge technology, experience, and commitment to your satisfaction make recipients feel truly respected and valued. No matter what accomplishments or talents you’re highlighting at your virtual awards ceremony, we will help you make it a success in style — get in touch with our team today.