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5 Approaches to Putting on Award-Worthy Award Shows


Your award recipients deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments. As we continue to work alongside groups to support them in putting on stand-out events, we've developed new ways to shine the light on the show's award recipients with some non-traditional pomp and circumstance. In this post, we share some of the creative approaches that have been successful in the shows we've been working on with our clients.

1. Multi-Stage Award Presentations

In one of the recent programs we worked on, the set included two side stages with custom graphic backdrops and a main stage. The highest-level awards were presented on the mainstage, which were sprinkled throughout the ceremony programming.

The other awards alternated between to two side stages. As photos ops were happening on stage one, the next recipients that were announced went to stage two. This kept the flow of the awards moving and attendees engaged. A program that normally would have taken 90 minutes was shaved down to 40 minutes instead.

2. On-Stage Interviews

Award winners can be recognized for several reasons, including for their leadership and contributions to an organization or community. In the standard award flow, an award presenter reads a description about the award and a brief bio of the recipient, followed by a photo op on stage and acceptance remarks. For this event, we recommended a new approach. We had a show participant take a moment to interview the award recipient on stage, asking them questions about their leadership styles or life lessons learned that tie back to the purpose of the award.

This provides a new way for your attendees to learn from the people being recognized and the honorees are given the opportunity to share their insights.

3. Oscar Approach

Who doesn’t love to see the live response of an award winner being announced? Especially when it is a surprise. Add a roving camera in the audience to capture these moments. This does require some pre-planning with your producer as you’ll want to place recipients at specific tables so the camera operator can walk through the crowd capturing them when they are announced. Additionally, you can do a quick 15-second interview of the winners. This approach works especially well with group awards.

4. Videos

Videos can help break up the flow of an event. One way to add some personalization to the ceremony is to ask colleagues, family members and friends of award winners to submit videos recognizing the higher-level award winners. They can send a short message of congratulations.

5. Separate Awards Reception and Photo Opportunity

We have worked with a client to design a reception before the actual ceremony. The award winners included large teams of individuals that were being recognized for their accomplishments.

During the reception the teams were able to network with one another and the organization’s leadership.To help reduce the length of each award presentation during the main ceremony, we capture individual team group photos in advance. This reduced the amount of stage time for the winners. The photographer didn’t have to stop the flow of the event to have all the winners positioned correctly on the stage. Instead, the photographer was able to capture more candid shots of the teams on stage.

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