How to Throw a Virtual Awards Ceremony

So, this year you decided to do a virtual awards ceremony. While going digital for an awards ceremony has some challenges, all will be well with some planning. 

There are significant advantages to going digital for your awards ceremony. Digital ceremonies in the time of COVID-19 are more accessible than in-person events. You also don’t need to worry as much about space accessibility, catering, or how to get guests in from distant locations. 

Why Hold a Virtual Awards Ceremony? 

There are several reasons for doing your ceremony virtually: 

  • Even in the era of COVID-19 with work-at-home restrictions, recognition is still crucial. Recognizing outstanding employee work and effort is even more critical during times of low morale. Some employees could be overstressed, and everyone may feel overwhelmed by all the negative news in the world today. 
  • The ceremony will enhance team spirit. Most workers today are working remotely. It is an excellent opportunity to hold an official, remote event where people dress up and recognize and praise their peers. It gives people the chance to have some fun and to connect. 
  • Give people something to look forward to. Many in-person events are being canceled with no end in sight. Having a virtual event set up and going forward gives people something to look forward to. 
  • Virtual events are cost-effective: Virtual awards ceremonies are much less expensive than in-person events. But just because it is less expensive doesn’t mean it cannot impress and invigorate attendees. Virtual events also are the right choice if your budget for employee recognition has been reduced this year.

Keep the ideas below in mind to have a fantastic virtual work party or awards ceremony. 

Focus On Technology

The technology used to put the event online is vital for the success of your zoom awards ceremony. Early in your planning, you should think about the technology company you want to use. For a smaller event, Zoom or Google Hangouts can work well. More advanced software is also available. Whatever you choose, make sure it is user-friendly for recording, coordinating, and streaming your event. 

Adapt for Streaming

You will need to translate how you present your awards ceremony online. For instance, most of the standard rules for providing winners their awards are still in effect, even if you are all digital.

You still must pronounce the person’s name, and you need to give a substantial introduction that tells why their work is exceptional and demands recognition. Of course, you will need to do some tweaks. You’ll need to think about how the presenter is framed on video and how the award is given to the winner. 

Also, consider how you’ll give the mic to the recipient if you want the winner to speak after receiving the award. This process can be more complicated than an in-person event, but it’s doable with modern video conferencing software. 

Get The Site Ready

A website is necessary for any virtual event. Many guests and attendees will be checking your website for updates and stream links, so the site’s quality is vital. 

Ensure that the site design is of the highest quality and takes complete advantage of current design trends and technology. It’s also smart to monitor your site during the awards event. High traffic can cause bottlenecks that you can fix, but only if you have skilled staff on hand that is ready for them. 

Have a Tech Support Staff Ready

Technology is your friend when you are handing out work gifts at your virtual awards ceremony, but problems can arise. Technology doesn’t always work as we like. And you could run into technical issues during the broadcast. 

That’s why it’s smart to have tech support and an A/V team ready who is experienced with streamed live events. These team members can provide you with the help you need if there is a problem during the event. 

Ask Streaming Company for Advice

If you are teamed with a large event streaming platform, you can ask to work with a company representative. They could offer resources, advice, customer support, and more who can help you set up the technology and troubleshoot if needed.

Practice Makes Perfect

Just like an in-person awards ceremony, you need to practice your virtual awards ceremony many times. Before your ceremony, go through the entire ceremony schedule with the full team at least one or two times. For any problems, think about having more practice with small groups. 

Ask Guests and Speakers to Participate in Your Practice

If you can, try to involve guests in your practices. The practice will help them understand when it is time for them to speak. It also gives you the chance to ensure that everyone has a proper set up so that you do not have audio or video problems during the event. 

Test the Visuals

If you are featuring presentations or graphics on your streaming event, you should test these several times. Run through the graphics you want to use and see if they come through right. This will help you avoid any embarrassing technical problems during the event. 


With the correct planning and preparation, having your awards ceremony virtually can be as easy as hosting an in-person event. It could even provide you with some benefits that you would not have enjoyed otherwise. 

If the event goes off well, and you are the project leader, you will undoubtedly get plenty of recognition and praise for holding such a successful event. Having this type of event go smoothly is a project management achievement of note for your resume! 

When planning this event, being familiar with the event technology is the most critical part. If you can, practice recording and streaming the event the week before. This will avoid technical problems during the live event. And if they do happen, you and your team will be experienced in dealing with them.

At DIY Awards, our friendly customer service teams are available to assist with anything from technical help to wording inspiration. For the virtual award ceremony, you can ship any award right to the recipient for a pleasant surprise.