Awards & recognitions are a huge part of any industry. They are even more important in the corporate world, as there is no better way to boost the morale of your workforce than by recognizing their hard work & presenting them with appropriate awards.
However, just because we aren’t working from the office or aren’t allowed to have huge physical gatherings to shower praises on the worthy ones, doesn’t mean we have to forgo award ceremonies completely.
Just like how almost all of our in-person gatherings have been transformed into virtual ones, award ceremonies too, can easily take the virtual route.
In fact, they have already done so. Take the 2021 Emmy Awards, or the 2020 Golden Globe Awards, or the SAMPE 2020 virtual awards ceremony.
All of them have been held in either fully virtual, or a more life-like Hybrid event format.
Virtual Award Ceremonies: Are they a new phenomenon?
Hosting Virtual Award Ceremonies isn’t really a new thing, too. Organizations have been utilizing the hybrid nature of events to include people working from a whole another part of the world to their physical award ceremonies since years.
And so, when 2020 made physical gatherings impossible, these very organizations & companies were quick to jump the gun & begin preparing for engaging & exciting virtual awards ceremonies.
But, there is still a lot to learn, & a lot to get a hang of. At this point of time, it’s extremely easy for people to lose their train of thought & divert their attention to someplace else, especially in the virtual world.
Hence, virtual award shows come with a lot of contingencies & the potential for redundancy.
In this article, we cover some of the best practices that the trailblazers of the virtual award ceremony industry follow, while hosting their own virtual award ceremonies.
1. Utilize all resources
Since Virtual Awards Ceremonies mean that you will no longer need to worry about your guests’ accommodation costs, food & travel expenses, & other stuff, you can easily pool those resources into planning an unforgettable virtual award ceremony.
Think about lowering the ticket costs, & instead, spending all the saved money on promotion & marketing of the virtual award ceremony.
You could also try investing it in hiring a charismatic, well-spoken, & engaging emcee for your virtual awards show, or try roping in some special, lucrative guests for the evening.
And no, don’t think that since you don’t have to pay for renting the place or open ground or the theatre anymore, you can pinch the money and add it to your profits.
No, instead, spend that money on hiring the services of a renowned, well-respected, & efficient virtual event platform that understands the exact needs & requirements of hosting a virtual awards show.
Working closely with them, create an engaging, immersive, life-like experience wherein your attendees & those nominated feel like they are actually walking down a red carpet in a gloriously bedecked hall.
If your budget permits, you can also invest in a realistic 3D environment where your attendees can feel the actual experience of attending a real-life awards show, rather than just browsing through various tabs on their computers.
2. Select the right virtual tools
Selecting the right virtual tools is also very important for your virtual awards show. You need people to talk to each other, exchange pleasantries, discuss their work & other stuff, talk to their choice of people one-on-one, make new friends, get to know new contacts, & rave about their awards to their colleagues.
All of these things require a smart, efficient Virtual Event Platform with effective engagement & interactive features that help your attendees live out their experiences of a real-life award ceremony.
It’s important for the virtual event platform of your choice to have:
- A virtual conferencing tool to help your attendees communicate, connect, & chat with each other face-to-face
- A one-on-one video conferencing tool that allows your attendees to chat with their chosen attendees on a one-to-one basis
- A live chat tool to help attendees chat with one another in either a group or one-on-one setting during the virtual awards show
- Breakout rooms functionality to help attendees chat with each other in small groups during the virtual awards show
- Engagement options like polling, Q&As, & real-time emoji reaction features to help attendees react timely to any of the ongoing awards categories
- A lively, branded, dynamic lobby to help your attendees get life-like awards show experience
- Gamification features to help the attendees enjoy themselves in-between or after the proceedings of the virtual awards show, & entertain themselves
Aside from these, you can also choose to have an entertainment segment in your virtual awards show, much like a real-life awards show.
Think magic shows, singing performances, virtual karaoke contests, & stand-up comedy bits to entertain & keep your audience engaged throughout the virtual awards show.
3. Include Social Media live streaming
It’s no use hosting a virtual awards show when your audience doesn’t even get to know about it.
While hosting a virtual awards show, it is of utmost importance to live stream the entire event to relevant social media & other broadcast mediums.
For example, you can live-stream your virtual awards show on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, YouTube, as well as your website, to enable a worldwide audience to see & be a part of it.
Since the majority of the audience spends their time on social media, live-streaming your awards show to social media can greatly help you in increasing your viewership & event outreach.
It also helps you get the word out about your virtual awards show by curating some attention-grabbing, exemplary social media campaigns for the same.
4. Include sponsor branding & marketing
Sponsors are one of the most important parts of virtual award shows. Sponsor marketing is thus, extremely important in the context of your virtual award show.
Design virtual award show lobby, auditoriums, stage, audience panels, & entrance rooms in sponsor logos & other types of branding to give adequate visibility to your sponsor.
You can also take this a step further & include exclusive sponsor access to your VIP attendees. This enables them to market their products/services to some specific audience & attendees that have paid the amount for VIP tickets.
They have the opportunity to try out your sponsors’ products firsthand, & give reviews in real-time. This makes the entire experience a lot more life-like & unforgettable for your attendees, as well as your sponsors.
5. Promote your virtual award show
You can easily promote & market your virtual award show through social media channels, sponsor marketing, jury marketing, & attendee marketing.
You can roll out certain short videos & posts on your social media channels explaining the virtual award show categories, nominees, & event flow to your potential audience.
If you have hosted this award show before, even in an in-person format, include certain snippets & videos from that as well in your social media promotion strategy.
This helps your potential audience get an insight into what your virtual award show will actually look like should they attend, & what all they can expect throughout the virtual event.
You can also ask your nominees & jury members to promote the virtual awards show on their own platform & to their specific audience base.
This will help you tap into an unreachable audience & let them know of your upcoming virtual award ceremony.
If you have a sponsor on board, as many award shows do, it’s also a good idea to ask your sponsors to promote your virtual award show to their audience base as well.
This ensures that the word about your virtual award shows gets out to a much wider audience base than you initially expected.