The show must go on: Awards ceremonies in the time of COVID

By Hannah Lawrence, Account Manager

As the old saying goes, ‘the show must go on’ – and in present times, this notion rings more true than ever. But in a world where many of us are being told to isolate, keep our distance, and wear a mask when we do venture outside, our focus has shifted away from celebrating personal achievements and morphed into a more ‘tunnel-vision’ outlook of ‘getting through this together’. 

Recognising our achievements is a powerful way for society to continue moving forwards, even when we feel like we’re at a stand-still. And, although a lot of awards ceremonies have put the champagne on ice for a year, many are still going ahead with the celebrations – albeit in a virtual way. 

For events and award organisers, having to cancel is the worst possible scenario. Not only does it cause disruption and lost revenue, it can also harm reputation. This year, we’ve seen everything from The Emmys to the Bafta Games Awards go online. But, is it the same without the fizz, three-course meal and comedy intervals? And how are awards ceremonies – especially in the b2b space – enticing people to attend?

One of the hardest things to translate into a virtual awards ceremony is the networking and ‘party’ feel of an event. For many, it’s an excuse to don their glad-rags and go out with colleagues for an evening. It doesn’t quite have the same feel if you can attend the awards ceremony in your pyjamas. On the flip side, though, it means there’s a huge cut back on travel expenses and time. Instead of getting a taxi or train to the ceremony, you only have to click the link and you’re there. And, it doesn’t limit who can attend. The entire team, no matter where they are based, has the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony and take part – making it a more inclusive experience. 

Some awards ceremonies are going out of their way to make sure everyone feels included. From sending Deliveroo vouchers, to ‘tuck packs’ and recipe boxes, some organisers are doing their best to ensure that attendees still get the expected perks of an awards ceremony. And just because it’s online doesn’t mean there’s no live entertainment. Comedians, bands and even DJs have been on-boarded by many virtual ceremonies to keep the enjoyment-factor high.

So will the future of awards stay virtual? Although going online has been the answer for many to keep things moving forwards, it’s likely virtual ceremonies will only be a temporary solution. Ultimately, winning an award in a specific area or category is a great accolade for any business, and we still actively encourage our clients to continue to enter them. Recently, our client Mango Solutions attended the virtual DataIQ 2020 Awards ceremony, bringing home the Gold for Best Data and Analytics Team.

If you want to know more about how we can help your business win an award in its sector, contact us at 

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