An online awards ceremony is a great way to appreciate, recognize and retain good talent. But planning to bring all your teams together on a virtual stage can get overwhelming, here are some best practices to help you get started.
With remote working a large portion of our workdays are spent scheduling or attending meetings and webinars. Even interactions between teams and teammates have shifted to a formal set up leaving behind a key factor responsible for team building, in-person interactions at the workplace.
Within a physical setup employees get to know each other over candid conversations, shared meals and coffee breaks. In the absence of this a lot of informal conversations and verbal appreciation between coworkers is reduced often resulting in lower morale and feeling demotivated to work and go the extra mile.
Award shows are a great way to appreciate employees and effectively boost morale across teams. As a concept awards still are the same, but hosting one on a digital platform requires some attention to detail. Here’s a guide to help you navigate and plan your next virtual award show:
How do you conduct a virtual award ceremony?
1) Plan the event flow
The first step to planning an online award ceremony is to put together the flow for the show. Start by highlighting important sections like your key award categories, acceptance speeches, performances and talks by CXOs. Once you have this in place you can come up with creative ideas and piece together the flow by assigning time to each category.
2) List and detail out the award categories
Finalize on the broad categories of awards to be handed out, how many nominees you need to have per category and a panel fit to recognize the best talent. It’s always a great idea to have peers weigh in on some categories as well to make it more inclusive and fun. You can have them vote live during the award ceremony using features like polls and leaderboards. More on how you can do this!
3) Get creative with picking out the award
This is an important step in making sure your employees feel appreciated and respected. Even though it may be a virtual set up, you can still plan the actual award distribution by scheduling gift baskets, vouchers, awards, and hampers of appreciation to be delivered to the winners homes shortly after the announcements.
4) Pick the right virtual platform
This is an important decision in the planning process, the platform you choose will dictate the tone for your award show. Will it be interactive with live reactions, chats, polling options or do you want to take on a formal webinar set up with a stage and panel of judges.
Choosing a platform that has in-built interactive features, gives you a lot of flexibility to include your attendees in a few categories where they can vote for their peers. This makes the entire award show more inclusive and invites employees to chat amongst themselves, share stories and interact with each other virtually.
5) Ensure your award show is easily accessible
You should also ensure the platform is easily accessible through all devices and doesn’t require any pre-installations and sign ups. Employees should be able to join with ease and use the platform and it’s features with minimal guidance. Having the right interactive features upfront will make your teams feel comfortable to use them and engage with each other during the show.
6) Send out invites and reminders
The idea of the award show is to bring everyone together, recognize experts on subject matter and have a great time together. For this to happen, attendees need to be prepared and given sufficient notice so that they can block their calendars in advance. It’s wise to send out the invites at least 10 days in advance, followed by reminders closer to the show date.
7) Finalize a host for the show
Your host is a key person at the award ceremony, he/she will bring the show together, making everyone feel included, encouraging peers to share funny anecdotes, participate in polls and games and make everyone feel included with their trivia and jokes.
It’s important to pick the right host who will keep your audience engaged throughout the award show. You can choose a comedian, an influencer from the industry or someone from your company with the right skills.
8) Finalize performances, fillers and speakers
Apart from the award giving ceremony, you should plan and add additional performances your attendees will enjoy. Stand-up comedy, dance, vocal performances or a quiz round helps lighten the mood for attendees and encourages participation and interactions.
Intersperse award distribution with fun performances and keynote speeches by top management, your host will help bring it all together to ensure a well rounded experience for all your attendees.
9) Pre-film content, speeches if possible
Depending on the virtual platform you choose and it’s capabilities, you should consider filming a fair amount of content and editing it before the show. This ensures you stick to the show flow and keep your attendees engaged and interested.
If the winners for the awards are pre-decided by a panel you can ask them to pre-record their acceptance speeches, this gives them time to prepare and make it concise as well. Performances can also be pre-recorded to avoid any disruptions during the show.
Apart from the awards that require the audience to vote live during the show, you can pre-record most content and edit it to ensure your show runs smoothly without any hiccups.
10) Design, graphics, transition slides and branding elements
At an event, and more so at a virtual event, the visuals are what keep your audience engaged. Use transition slides, animation and all the relevant in-built interactive features on the platform you choose to ensure your employees are engaged and interacting with each other.
Subtle branding elements and colors on the visuals like the backdrop, virtual stage and transition slides help make the show your own, and your audience can identify with it better as well.
11) Have interactive features available for your audience
Use polls, leaderboards, trivia Q&A, watch parties to encourage interactions and have your host remind attendees to share, participate and stay active during the award show in order for the experience to be inclusive and fun.
Award shows are a way to bring your teams together and have an experience that brings them closer together. Keep the vibe during the event lighthearted and fun, to encourage your team members to be vocal and participate.
If you are looking to host an award show, we can help guide you through the process and give you a platform to host it smoothly. Reach out to our team and we’ll schedule a call to help plan it.
Why Paytm Insider?
The world was & is always changing; the Covid-19 pandemic just accelerated the pace. Businesses have successfully adapted to challenging circumstances and those that haven’t, are at risk of being left behind.
At Paytm Insider, we’ve been, facilitating digital experiences for employers, their employees, patrons, partners, customers and clients. We can guide you from start to finish and connect you with the right speakers, talent and resources, to ensure your event runs smoothly.
- Our web-based platform comes equipped with interactive features
- We can help source the right talent, artists and speakers to match your event format and make it a success
- Guide you with technical support to make it a seamless process
Reach out to us and let’s discuss your next company event.