Guide for Hosting a Successful Virtual Award Ceremony

Virgil Wadhwa
• January 18, 2023

(5 min read)

Hosting virtual award ceremonies is the perfect way to show your employees you respect and appreciate their hard work. But how do you make sure the recipient doesn’t log off after their claim to virtual stage fame? The ideas in this guide will help you create a virtual award ceremony so good, you’ll be deserving of an award yourself.

What is a virtual award ceremony?

A virtual award ceremony is an awards ceremony that happens in a virtual setting. Hosted on a virtual platform, it’s an effective way to bring your employee recognition program to life in an online environment. 

It’s a win-win for the business and its employees. It gives award recipients opportunities to feel appreciated and rewarded in front of peers and colleagues. So what are the benefits of hosting a virtual award ceremony for your business?

Why hosting virtual award ceremonies is a good idea for your business

Awards ceremonies are a great way to highlight employee recognition and reward employees for their hard work. But what if you don’t have the budget or the time to organize an in-person ceremony?

Hosting virtual awards shows can be a great alternative. They are cost-effective, easy to organize, and they can be done at any time of day to suit multiple schedules. This means you can recognize your employees from anywhere in the world!

And let’s be honest. Creating a culture where you publicly and regularly acknowledge the accomplishments of your employees motivates them to keep doing their best work. When employees feel good about their work and contributions, it keeps them around for longer, which helps you retain the best talent.

Now let’s move onto the practical side of how to do an awards ceremony virtually.

How to create a virtual awards ceremony

Let’s dig into what you need to practically think about and organize when hosting a virtual awards ceremony:

Keep audience engagement at the forefront of your planning

You’re hosting an award ceremony to make award recipients feel appreciated and motivated. If your event is lifeless and not enjoyable, this can quickly negate the positive sentiment you want your audience to be feeling. 

We’ll dig into more specifics of virtual awards ceremony ideas in the next section, but here are some quick ideas to consider: 

  • Include a high-energy host 
  • Invite speakers to motivate and engage employees 
  • Line up entertaining acts to add to the atmosphere.

Find the right virtual award ceremony software

Award ceremonies can be brought to life virtually with the right virtual event technology—so a lot of the success of your virtual award ceremony hinges on finding the right software. Don’t worry, that’s what Airmeet’s Event Experience Cloud is here for. 

Airmeet’s Event Experience Cloud boasts four products designed to help you nail the important large (and small) details of a virtual awards ceremony.

    • AirStudio: Get all the tools you need to build an immersive, on-brand experience at one place. AirStudio is your in-house studio. From landing pages and emails to live stage and announcements, organizers can unleash their creativity on experiences that resonate.
    • AX360 makes your event experiences engaging, immersive, unmissable, and ultimate networking experience that your attendees deserve. Get everything from life-like networking spaces, to in-event engagement solutions like quizzes, polls, and Q&A. Call people to the stage or give other attendees the chance to show some love with emojis and reactions as recipients accept their awards.

Determine awards categories and have the sequence of awards ready 

Think about what types of awards you want to include in your ceremony. Are there particular awards categories you want to stick to? 

Here are some types of recognition awards to inspire you:

  • Living by or demonstrating the company values
  • Most enthusiastic 
  • Business tenure (i.e, reaching a 5-year milestone)
  • Best customer service support
  • Best team player (nominated by peers)
  • Best leader (again, nominated by peers)

Once you have the types of awards in mind, are there specific gifts you want to send out in advance to award winners? Or perhaps you want to keep it all online and send gift vouchers instead.

Think about a theme or dress code for your awards ceremony

Give attendees the excuse to dress up, even if it’s from the comfort of their homes. Having a dress code for your awards ceremony will make your award recipients feel like they are really attending an event and feeling good for the celebrations ahead. You could even have an award for the best dressed!

Send out email invites 

Once you’ve ticked off the main planning steps above, it’s time to get the invites out! Other than the obvious details of what time, and how to join—here are some other details you might like to consider adding in:

  • The award categories
  • Whether the attendee receiving the email is nominated or potentially up for a specific award
  • Some details of the virtual awards ceremony and what to expect (i.e, special performance, guest speakers, etc.)

Build some pre-awards ceremony hype

Think about how you want to encourage attendance and engagement. One effective way is to get active on social media to promote it amongst your employees. You can film short videos of some team members to show their gratitude for particular colleagues and start building anticipation and excitement for the main event.

Now, let’s discuss how to beat event fatigue and make your virtual awards ceremony the most engaging one yet!

Virtual awards ceremony ideas to keep your audience engaged

When you’re hosting an awards ceremony in a virtual setting, you need to consider how you’ll approach audience engagement. Here are some online award ceremony ideas to keep your audience engaged.

  • Send over a celebration box to attendees to open on the night. It might include a nice note from their leader, other team members, and a bottle of bubbles.
  • Run a virtual mixology class to kick off the event or celebratory drinks at the end.
  • Allow attendees to share video snippets or messages during the event to express gratitude for team members. Then, take those video snippets and messages and plaster them all over a social media wall.
  • Invite your CEO or founder to make a special address to the team at the start, and or end of the event.
  • Have a virtual photo booth to give award recipients the opportunity to capture fun memories of the event with their colleagues.
  • During virtual happy hour, run some pre-recorded videos like funny interviews or Q&As of team members.
  • Incorporate a virtual team-building game such as a scavenger hunt or fast-round trivia.
  • Create an element of surprise by giving mini-awards to everyone! Maybe it’s a surprise package that will be at their doorstep with some fun team swag.

Time to create your own virtual awards show

Now that you know what a virtual awards ceremony is, and some of the best ways to host one—let’s get back to the basics and recap some of the key considerations to keep in mind. 

When organizing a virtual awards ceremony, these are the main things you need to think about:

  • How long will the event run? This is important, so you don’t get bored of it, or even want to log out!
  • Who will be nominated for awards? Make sure everyone gets a chance to be recognized for their work.
  • What kinds of awards will be given out? How many awards will be given out?
  • Is there a theme or dress code?
  • What time of the year is it?
  • Would there be social media tags?
  • What kinds of activities do you want to include?
  • Who will be your guest speaker/s or host for the event?

And last but not least, what virtual event platform will you be using to create and run your awards ceremony? Let’s save you a step, get started with Airmeet.

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