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Tips for organizing an award ceremony for employees

Organizing an award ceremony for employees is one of the most fun ways to motivate and encourage them.

There are plenty of ways of motivating the employees and acknowledging their effort. But perhaps, the easiest, most versatile and fun way is organising a special award-giving ceremony. Why? Because it can go far beyond work-related aspects focusing on people’s personal qualities. It can turn the whole event into something much more intimate, emotional, and memorable. And by intimate and emotional we don’t mean typical stories of overcoming failures in the way to success. Some less serious aspects of life also deserve to be explored because, let’s be honest, we all love a good joke and laugh. But let’s move step by step through the tips for organizing an award ceremony for employees, from the idea to its implementation.   

A good idea is a win

No pun intended. But seriously, everything starts with a good idea. So, it’s essential to have the event format and concept crystal clear since the early stages. Your options are infinite, as you can seek inspiration in already existing award ceremonies from the music and film industry. However, although the Oscars and the Grammys might seem handy, honestly, they are not very original. So, you better come up with your own format seeking inspiration in the peculiarities of your company or industry it belongs to, to be able to better connect with what really matters to your employees. And remember, a good laugh is always welcome.

Plan the award ceremony well in advance

Regardless of the concept, an award-giving event, like any other corporate event, requires thorough planification well in advance. 

First of all, define the categories. In our experience, 10 to 15 is a comfortable number, so that the ceremony be dynamic and keep the attendees’ attention without becoming tedious. 

It’s fundamental to keep the attendees’ attention. So, try not to exceed the ideal number of 10 to 15 categories.

Once you have the categories, determine the way in which you pick the nominees. We recommend to leave more ‘democratic’ mechanisms, like rankings and voting, for picking the winners, and hand-pick the nominees at your convenience to save time and resources. It goes without saying that your choice must be as balanced and fair as possible, so that all the departments be represented in the shortlist.

Pickin an attractive venue is essential for organizing an award ceremony for employees.
Xataka 2017 Awards, production under way, Cibeles Palace in Madrid.

And when it comes to picking the winners, it’s quite easy. There are plenty of online voting facilities. So, it’s just the matter of encouraging people to participate by sending them a motivational email and a reminder a few days before the voting is closed.

Look for a special place for your award ceremony

One of the most important tips for organizing an award ceremony for employees is choosing a good venue. An award-giving is rarely celebrated as an independent activity. It normally is an integral part of a bigger corporate event. It can be both business-oriented (convention, training, etc.) or, more frequently, the award-giving becomes the peak moment at leisure events like teambuildings or dinners.   

That is why, take the following tip in a broader and more generic sense. According to the latest trends the corporate events have been losing their business-like ‘coldness’ and becoming authentic experiences for employees. So hence, the venue preferences have also evolved quite a bit. Today, we appreciate more special, or at least non-standard venues, and a warmer, and more intimate atmosphere with the focus on the experience and customization. Here you can find some inspiring examples of venues in Madrid and Barcelona.

A ceremony with a lot of personality

And finally, an event of this kind must be dynamic and fun. So, as we already told, try not to exceed 1 hour, but what is more important, pick a great host. A good master of ceremonies with personality and sense of humour is able to transform any experience from good into excellent.    

P.S. Chris Rock is not a good example.

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