Proven Guidelines for Virtual Awards Nights

You have been charged with the task of keeping your annual awards alive during the COVID-19 crisis. How are you going to achieve this?


The one question that we’re now being asked almost daily: Is a virtual awards night viable?

The answer is yes, without doubt as long as you cater to your audience motivations and follow a few rules.

We have all attended awards where we wished the gala event was over by 8.00 pm, and the reason is because some of the typical rules of how to create a fabulous celebration need to be rewritten for award celebrations.

The major point of difference for awards is that the presentation must communicate a flood of information. This means that success primarily relies on finding engaging, exciting and entertaining ways to verbally and visually disseminate this plethora of information.

The good news is that, thanks to inexpensive technology, this can now be achieved via a virtual means easier than ever.

There’s also good evidence that taking your awards event online could open your program to nominees who otherwise would not consider entering awards. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but the simple truth is that there are two main types of people in the world: those who shy away from the spotlight and others who thrive on attention.

Our research over the past two decades shows that shy people tend not to enter self-nominating awards programs because the idea of standing on the winners’ stage fills them with anxiety. By contrast, those who flourish on attention love awards that culminate in big gala dinners where fellow guests will