Virtual awards ceremony: great ideas for your event

Samantha Mikos
Rachel Harmon

The digital world is always evolving. Nowadays, it allows more and more people to work from home. Now that many companies have transitioned to remote landscapes, recognition and appreciation begin to transform as well. Online meetings are the new norm for workplaces, classes, and even award shows. Adapting to online platforms and virtual communication is essential for modern organizations. A virtual awards ceremony is a relatively new concept. However, recognition leaders have discovered why they’re important, how to make them fun, and how to organize them.

As times change, it’s important to adapt. Your organization and your people deserve to be recognized, and a virtual awards ceremony makes that possible.

School Graduation virtual award show event

Why do a virtual awards ceremony?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person award shows were postponed or cancelled. Although some events have picked back up, many of them are still stalled. To accommodate this influx, hosting a virtual awards ceremony has many benefits:

  • It is a safe alternative to in-person events.
  • Your organization has the ability to connect with people around the world.
  • Your award recipients can attend from a place of their choosing, like the comfort of one’s home.
  • It is a new and interesting experience.

How to make an award ceremony fun: 7 creative ideas for an online awards ceremony

We’ve all attended unforgettable and joyous events before, but how exactly can we replicate that fun and excitement for an online awards ceremony? You don’t need to learn any new tricks or hire professional entertainers to elevate your event. Instead, consider the following ideas to make your ceremony one to cherish.

Share a Dress Code or Theme

A common joke with virtual meetings is that you only worry about what you wear from the waist up. However, an online awards ceremony should be an occasion to dress up and have fun. Sometimes, getting fancy for a black-tie affair at home can be refreshing. If that’s not your style, you can share a unique theme with guests. For example, you can wear crazy hats or dress as if it’s the 70s.

Online Awards Ceremony on computer face to face

Incorporate Different Activities

Many video conferencing platforms allow you to use polls, slideshows, videos, chat rooms, and more. In between presenting custom awards, these small activities break up an event and prevent a ceremony from dragging on. You can even host company branded versions of popular games like Jeopardy or Family Feud.

Display Fun Backgrounds

A common tool of teleconferencing software is to display creative backgrounds. Virtual backgrounds allow you to transport yourself and your guests to unique pieces. Perhaps, you will start the event on a picturesque beach and finish on Mars!

Brainstorm Funny Award Categories

Humor encourages people to enjoy themselves and to connect with others. To elevate your program, you and your team can come up with funny awards to present. For inspiration, you can think of workplace superlatives like chatterbox, video call fashionista, and rookie of the year.

Discover 50 creative employee recognition award names.

Virtual awards ceremony attendees on screen

Invite Families and Friends

The more, the merrier. To make your event a grand occasion, you can invite nominees’ families and friends to join in the fun. Also, this is a kind gesture for nominees to feel truly special. After all, this occasion is about honoring recipients. Why not surround them with their loved ones?

Have Co-Hosts

Some virtual award ceremonies can feel like a lecture, after listening to the same voice for an hour. By having co-hosts, your guests can listen to different people and engage with diverse personalities. Also, the hosts can bounce off one another and split their responsibilities so that one doesn’t feel overwhelmed.

Establish Expectations for Fun

The most productive meetings start with establishing expectations. In the world of remote employee recognition, you can apply this same philosophy to your online event. For instance, you can start off the event by stating that the night is going to be fun and celebratory. This allows people to know what to expect and to get excited.

Holiday themed virtual award show event

How do you do an awards ceremony virtually: organizational details

For most of us, planning an event is not nearly as fun as the event itself. However, organizing logistics is necessary for a productive awards show. Follow the proceeding steps to help plan your event.

1. Choose a virtual platform

When choosing which platform to use, it’s essential to consider your priorities. Do you want to be able to show videos? Do you need to see multiple guest screens at once? Decide on what’s most important for your event and find which platform will best support your vision. Common choices include Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype.

2. Select a date and time

To decide on the best time to host your event, you can survey your attendees, especially if this event is for your employees. Also, it’s important to consider all affected time zones. Try to include as many people as you can. However, remember that not everyone will be able to make it.

3. Decide award categories and prizes

The awards you present are perhaps the biggest reason why people attend the event. People want to be recognized in a thoughtful manner, so make sure your categories and prizes are attractive to recipients. Also, if your awards require a judging panel, then you will also need to recruit experts to decide award winners.

Learn more about selecting award recipients.

Also, find out more about award shipping options if your show is canceled.

Crystal manufacturing building architecture award.

4. Plan event activities

A successful event is planned out and practiced. Your ceremony does not need to be as elaborate as a Broadway show. However, structure helps keep your attendees engaged. You may want to outline the order in which awards will be presented, who will lead each activity, and more.

5. Send invitations

Once your event details are finalized, it’s important to share invitations with your guests. Your invitations should include the most crucial information without being overwhelming. Typical invitations list the event name, date, time, meeting link, and RSVP contact details.

When drafting, it’s important to consider your virtual awards ceremony invitation wording. First and foremost, give the key details like when and where. Also, make sure to share kind words like “We hope to see you there” or “Help us celebrate our team.”

6. Host the ceremony

It’s time to shine! After you’ve rehearsed, you’re ready for the big show. However, before you let guests in, it’s crucial to test your technology. This includes speakers, microphones, videos, slideshows, and more. The greatest bummer for a virtual event is technical difficulties.

7. Contact attendees

After the event and a potential after party, you may want to contact attendees. In this message, you can congratulate honorees and provide a summary of the ceremony. Also, consider sharing this information with others who didn’t attend. You can leverage this information as marketing content, to build your brand and drive people to your business.

Discover ideas for corporate awards that feature your brand.

Recipient award winner document certificate

Why should you hold a virtual awards ceremony?

The COVID-19 pandemic has left employees feeling fatigued. Now more than ever, it’s important to honor your team members with a virtual awards ceremony. An event like this can boost morale, engagement, and loyalty. Although the idea of using a new event format may make you nervous, it’s important to try and to show your team how much you care.

Celebrate your employees with an amazing virtual awards ceremony

More and more companies are converting to a remote work structure. As a result, a virtual awards ceremony may become a standard tradition for most organizations. To be ahead of the curve, you can use these tips to make your events fun yet structured. Before competitors even start to plan their online events, your remote team will be fulfilled and happy with your new remote recognition programs.

Contact Cristaux International to begin designing your awards today.