Are you an athletic director or academic sponsor in charge of hosting awards banquets for your high school?
If so, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to handle any award ceremony this year. While many schools have reopened and sports have resumed, a traditional awards banquet probably isn’t possible.
After all the stress and anxiety of 2020, the last thing you want to do is cancel those ceremonies for your hard-working students. If anything, they need recognition and encouragement now more than ever before!
Like most schools, you are most likely planning a virtual awards banquet to celebrate student success. Here are five tips to ensure your virtual awards ceremony is successful.
1. Choose The Right Platform
Your school may already have an internal virtual platform for classes. Or you may have used Zoom, Google Hangouts, or a similar program for remote classes.
In order to host a virtual awards banquet, you will need a similar platform – preferably something that’s free and accessible to everyone. You can also use live-streaming services like Periscope, Twitch, or Vimeo to live-stream across multiple social media channels.
2. Send Out Invites
Even if everyone is watching from home, drum up excitement for the event with your invitation. Encourage them to dress as they would for an in-person ceremony, whether that’s formal dress attire or their letterman jacket.
If it’s appropriate for the event, pick a fun theme for the award ceremony. Invite the students to use props or display a virtual background that matches the theme.
3. Encourage Engagement
Of course the awards are the highlight of the banquet. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get everyone involved during the ceremony. Use some of the engagement tools on the conferencing platform, such as:
- Submitting questions or comments via live chat
- Socializing or playing games in breakout rooms
- Participating in quizzes or polls
- Taking requests or suggestions
- Shoutouts as attendees arrive or receive their awards
The more each person can participate, the more fun and successful the event will be.
4. Involve The Winners
If possible, notify the finalists or winners before the event. Give them guidance on how to accept their award virtually. You might even consider a pre-recorded acceptance speech you can stream during the event.
If you want to do everything live, arrange for a practice session. This is also a great chance to test your equipment and make sure the platform is suitable for your event.
5. Record The Event
When we attend a live event, the moment passes quickly and is gone forever. But with a virtual event, you have the opportunity to record it so students and parents can relive the moment for years to come.
Be sure to choose a platform that allows you to record the awards banquet as it happens. This can also be shared later with anyone who may have been unable to attend.
Awards For Your Virtual Banquet
This year there may not be the traditional award ceremony you’re used to. But, if you use these tips, there is no reason that a virtual banquet cannot be as fun and memorable as an “in person” event.
With over 70 years of experience in the industry, Awards America is your one-stop-shop for medals, plaques, certificates, and more. We’re proud to provide high-quality, American made products for your awards ceremony.
Click here to request more information or a custom awards quote for your upcoming event.