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How to Host a Virtual Awards Show


With the unexpected switch to virtual meetings, a lot of organizations are left feeling a little lost because they’re unable to acknowledge some of their industries key contributors without an awards program. The good news is, your awards program doesn’t have to go away, it just needs a slight pivot. Here are few ways to still recognize those extraordinary individuals and have some fun doing it!

  1.  Have an Emcee
  2.  Keep it Visual
  3. Get Personal
  4. Be Surprising!
  5. Engage the Audience

Keep reading for more ideas about taking your awards show virtual!

1. Have an Emcee

Whether live, pre-recorded, or a mix of both use an emcee! The emcee can be filmed professionally in a local studio, use a high-quality laptop camera and join live via their home/office, or be pre-recorded but aired as if it was live.

The emcee can keep the program moving by adding some humor during these trying times, engaging with the viewers via live chat, Q&A, polling and more, plus they can quickly recognize some of the award winners, or even toss to another person joining virtually.

Have an Emcee

2. Keep it Visual

Visually appealing graphics, combined with recognition videos will be key to keeping your audience tuned-in. 

As winners are being announced via Emcee or pre-recorded voice-overs, your graphics should have animated motion to reveal winners with a little extra dramatic effect. Use graphics to add in fun facts or key accomplishments for each honoree for an added, personalized element that will keep viewers tuned-in, wanted to learn more!  

  • For more information about creating specific and event enhancing graphics, check out our offerings

3. Get Personal

Being virtual doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the importance of this moment for the honoree. A livestream awards show can feature pre-recorded videos for each award, just like a live event would, but you can also crowd source videos from your would-be-attendees or those working in the trenches with your honoree each day.   

If your award winner is tech savvy, plan to go live into their virtual space and allow them to still give their thank you speech.

4. Be Surprising!

Since most award programs involve a meal, share a recommended viewing menu with your attendees! Whether red wine with a cheese and charcuterie assortment or full-on roasted chicken with vegetables, feel free to throw in some of your favorite recipes for the viewers to enjoy.

If your program serves as a fundraiser with table sales, think about doing an online silent auction fundraiser instead. A few weeks prior to your program, circulate an interactive PDF with photos or videos that promote each of the items up for bid. 

How about a live musical performance? Just like the emcee, this can be livestreamed professionally from a studio or it can be an acoustic guitarist strumming from the comfort of their home. 

5. Engage the Audience

Make an event memorable by allowing the audience to get involved in the experience. Invite attendees to the main stage, encourage them to use the chat feature, utilize polling functions, or have the audience submit pictures of themselves at the virtual event. An awards show is always more fun when the attendees feel they are part of the experience and get to participate.


You can still have the essence of your organization and its programming in a virtual experience after learning how to host an awards show. The more you try, the more your viewers will stay tuned-in and your honorees will feel extra special. So take chances and have fun. Let LAI Live help you design the perfect virtual awards program – complete with graphic design, video content, and even talent & performers! 

We are ready to listen, brainstorm, and execute for you and your organization! Reach out to our team today to start talking all things virtual event design and online meeting management.

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