How to hold a virtual awards event

The global pandemic of 2020 brought with it a massive change in the way we all work, rest and play.

As we all adjusted to the new way of working, gathering in large groups became impossible for a while. Many of our clients had corporate awards events planned; all of which were cancelled or postponed until the autumn at least. I guess we all thought in the spring that there was a chance of things returning to normal within a few weeks.

As autumn returns many people are not yet returning to the office full time. While some employees are champing at the bit to get away from the home and back to work, others are enjoying the flexibility of homeworking. They certainly do not miss the commute!

While large gatherings are still not practical for many, keeping up morale has never been more important than now. In this post we’ll explain why virtual awards are important, explain how to hold an online event and offer some suggestions if you are new to ordering awards.

What is a virtual awards event, and why does it matter?

Here at Classy Glass & Awards Ltd, we have been approached by several companies wanting to still hold an awards event.

Moving their corporate awards online means they can still celebrate together and cheer each other on as they are rewarded for all their hard work. Understanding how to do so may seem a little daunting if you have not held such an event before.

How to run an online awards event

Set the time and date

Perhaps early evening when they can have a drink to hand if they want to. Give yourself (and them) plenty of time to arrange everything beforehand.

Order your awards.

If you are presenting actual awards as well, order and receive them in good time. Engraved glass awards for instance can be ordered from companies such as ours. Allow extra time for production, as many firms or their wholesalers may not yet be back to full speed.

Make your virtual awards fun!

Think about how you can recreate the whole awards atmosphere online. Perhaps everyone could dress up, prepare themselves a delicious meal, along with a drink of their choice. Could you create a fun quiz or find someone who can?

How about entertainment? With so many choirs and bands going online during lockdown, there has been some spectacular singing. Check out facebook and youtube for ideas, then ask if you can ‘share’ their video to your event.

Will there be a speaker or speeches? If so, for goodness sake make sure they are entertaining; this is meant to lift people’s spirits, not send them to sleep! Keep them short too, for the same reason.

Decide how you will present the virtual awards

One company explained to us that they intended to enact the whole event online, ‘presenting’ each winner with the award by showing it to camera and inviting applause as the winner is announced. They would follow this up by posting them out direct to the winner. Some companies have chosen to have their awards delivered to a company or private address and may then take them to the office later.

Others have asked us to take on the delivery for them, shipping out individual awards. Classy Glass are happy to take on this task for a fee, provided the recipients are all UK based.

You may be thinking to yourself “That could work out a bit expensive!” but think again. Holding a virtual awards ceremony can bring massive savings on such things as hire of the hall, decorating it, invitations, entertainment, travel, accommodation, food etc. Compare this to the cost of packing and carriage, and the benefits become clear.

Choose your virtual awards presenters

Will your meeting host be the presenter? If not, be sure to approach someone for this task and make sure they are available for your event. Perhaps you would like different people from different sections or teams presenting awards? Now is the time to bring them on board with your idea.

Invite your virtual award attendees

Using your usual online meeting software, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, invite your guests. Make sure this is described as a fun event, a celebration of their achievements.

If this is the first time you have held an online meeting of any kind, there is plenty of help and advice online.

So many people have been meeting up online in 2020, that there is bound to be someone to give you a hand.

Ask for them to confirm their attendance. You need to make sure the winners are on board, without giving the game away. If they can’t be there you can still award it in their absence, but it is useful to know so that you are not waiting online for them to make an appearance!

Tell them what to expect

If you have followed the instructions above, now is the time to bring everyone on board. They may have had months of online meetings and the thought of another one could raise a groan or two. So, tell them what to expect and how they can join in the fun.

Plan, plan, plan.

Time to sort out the finer details. Set an agenda, a timetable, then try to stick to it. Set a time limit for everything so that you do not run over. Think about using a timer for speeches to make sure they do not run over. Tell the audience what is happening and put someone in charge of the clock, then don’t be afraid to use it!

You could use the green screen to create a virtual background, perhaps a fun or inspirational slide show or two.

If you are not sure how to go about arranging a virtual awards event, there is much information to be gleaned with a simple internet search for ‘how to hold a virtual awards ceremony’.

Send out the reminders

A day or so before the event, send them another email with the link to the event. Remind them what they are meant to be doing in the way of preparation. And remember to make it fun!

It is just possible that people will be attending their first zoom meeting. If so, it would be useful to have a simple guide on virtual meeting instructions and etiquette to send them. One event I attended even emailed out a file with printable cards with messages on them such as ‘applause please’ or ‘unmute yourself please!’.

After your event

Remember the power of social media and post your success to facebook, twitter etc. Be sure to thank your participants, presenters and guests. Ask them to ‘share’ on social media…keep the vibe going.

Tips for ordering your corporate awards

If the option of presenting awards for your event appeals to you, remember that your awards company will need some extra information from you if you want them to post them out on your behalf.

  • A spreadsheet of name, delivery address, postcode is required as a minimum.
  • A mobile phone number or email address are also essential, as this allows the recipient to track their parcel delivery.
  • If the awards are all personalised, then think about sending your supplier a sheet of pre-printed labels to make identification easier.
  • Remember to allow a little extra time for production if possible.
  • If you are not sure what to order, or how, speak to your chosen provider.

Shipping out personalised awards does present challenges and take longer to pack, but this is a small price to pay for the ability to reward success.

There have been many other challenges in the last few months. A paper certificate is all very well, but how much nicer to give them something to be proud to display in the home or office. One of the benefits of having your awards delivered to a central location of course, is that the presenter can hold up the awards to camera for a virtual presentation. Once everyone has cheered the recipients and the online party is over, you can arrange collection or delivery between yourselves.

How can we help you today?

Classy Glass have an impressive selection of glass awards to choose from. One of our biggest selling budget awards is the jade glass bevelled crescent. Available in a range of sizes, the PG15cs is the most popular. Or how about the TP08 range, available in three sizes?

Mid-range options include the SY1059cs

. If you really want to push the boat out, take a look at the splendid Nik Meller awards such as the NM110cs.

With prices starting from as little as £20 to £300+, complete with engraving, Classy Glass are sure to have something to suit your budget. Head on over to www.classyglass.co.uk for some inspiration.

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