2020: The Year of Virtual Award Ceremonies

2020: The Year of Virtual Award Ceremonies

2020: The Year of Virtual Award Ceremonies

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Usually at this time of the year we’d be donning our most glamorous black-tie outfits, and attending award ceremonies at some of the most stunning venues. But with all events cancelled we’ve had to adjust to the magical world of virtual ceremonies…

And although virtual ceremonies will never be as good as the real thing, the ones we’ve had the pleasure of attending have been pretty fantastic!

So how are award organisers ensuring attendees will still have great experience in a virtual world?

Online Presentations to the Judges

For some awards, the next step on a finalists journey to the finals is to present to the judges.

In normal times, finalists present to a panel of judges in person to get their story across and put a face to the written entry. But this year, the finalists have had to put their video call expertise to use and present online.

Vitality Health, Vitality, UK Customer Experience Awards 2020, Customer Experience Awards, Awards Finals, Awards Presentations, August Recognition, August The Awards Consultancy, Donna O'Toole

Every year August founder Donna O’Toole judges at some of the top awards and had this to say about her experience judging virtually:

I’ve been so impressed with the quality and standard of all the presentations I have judged this year. Some of the stories coming out this year in the Covid-19 categories have even brought a tear to my eye! Everyone has done so well to adapt to presenting online, and the organisers have done a great job to bring it all together.

Finalist Hampers

Award organisers know we would all rather be in a glitzy ballroom enjoying a glass of fizz, so to help us get excited they have introduced finalist hampers!

At this year’s virtual Lloyds Bank National Business Awards ceremony finalists could receive a luxurious hamper complete with prosecco, pralines and a confetti cannon to celebrate their win.

Just a little something to build the excitement of being a finalist and make the experience special.

NBA finalist hamper, The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, virtual award ceremonies, August Recognition, Donna O'Toole

A-List Guest Speakers

The promise of hearing from high-profile speakers is always hugely exciting! And with the logistics of having a guest speaker physically attend removed, some awards have gone all out to impress.

At the Great British Entrepreneur Awards Regional Finals the finalists were addressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak:

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards notoriously book incredible keynote speakers, and this year they did not disappoint with not 1, but 6 guest speakers. Including Lewis Hamilton MBE, Dame Joanna Lumley, Ruby Wax, Simon McCoy, Steph McGovern, Baroness Karen Brady and Sir Chris Hoy MBE

Lewis Hamilton MBE, The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, Pivot for Purpose Award, iNews, Virtual Ceremonies

Winners’ Speeches

With hundreds of people to seat, wine, dine and entertain at live events we rarely get to hear from the winners due to strict timings of the evening.

The beauty of virtual ceremonies means attendees get the opportunity to see and hear from the people that win, as and when they win!

Generali Insurance Serbia, South East Europe Customer Experience Awards 2020, Virtual Ceremonies, Awards, international awards, awards international, August The Awards Consultancy, August Recognition, Donna O'Toole

Awards are nothing without people. Seeing happy, smiley faces of the people behind the winning projects celebrate their win is a really great moment. Plus, winners don’t need to worry about stage fright from the comfort of their desks!

And if you screen record or screenshot the moment you win, you can share the good news with your teams, clients, shareholders and customers too.

2021: The Return of the Live Event (hopefully!)

No matter how well award organisers have done to make virtual ceremonies fun and exciting, I’m sure we are all itching to get back to live events once it’s safe to do so.

The events industry has taken a huge hit in 2020 with the majority of suppliers and events teams furloughed and out of work since March. And campaigns such as #WeAreEvents are so important to raise awareness of the struggle of the events industry and to highlight the support they need.

We’ve spoken with many awards organisers this year who have shared their experiences of working in the events industry in 2020 and how they all came to agree that the show must go on.

But for now, we’ll continue supporting the awards and events industry, attending virtual events and encouraging everyone to continue entering awards and get the recognition they deserve and reward their teams in what has been a tumultuous year!

 

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Awards for UK Entrepreneurs

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Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

Have you built a business that is driving great results?

Is yours a story about pioneering new ideas that are driving positive change?

Did you know that personal recognition can raise your profile, make you an industry leader, and help you build your business?

It’s a great time to reap the benefits of your hard work by putting your unique story forward into one of the great awards for UK entrepreneurs including the National Business Awards and the UK Business Awards, which both have categories for entrepreneurs and the best UK businesses.

And dedicated to entrepreneurs, the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Barclays Entrepreneur Awards celebrate and champion the stories of business leaders like you.

Business Accelerators

Both Natwest and Barclays run business accelerators. Entrepreneurial Spark (Espark) created by Natwest and Eagle Labs created by Barclays. Each of them support, provide guidance, and nurture start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.

Both banks have also created their own award programmes The Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Barclays Entrepreneur Awards, which have fantastic opportunities for rising and established entrepreneurs to get recognition for their dedication.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards

The awards open in March and are held in five different regions. Winners of each region then go on to compete nationally. With 14 categories to choose take a look at which category you could be entering:

Barclays Entrepreneur Awards

The awards run from April to October and are held in seven different regions. Winners are then invited to the National finals to compete. Here are the five categories open to everyone;

  • Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year – for new businesses challenging the status quo
  • Scale-up Entrepreneur of the Year – for established entrepreneurs who’ve experienced rapid growth
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year – for entrepreneurs delivering transformative, social or environmental change
  • Icon of the Year – for prominent entrepreneurs leading the way for existing and future entrepreneurs
  • International Expansion of the Year – for high-growth businesses growing beyond the UK at pace

They also have two separate categories for their partnerships, so if you are part of Eagle Labs or Rise you can also enter:

  • Eagle Labs Innovation Award – for lab residents making an impact through digital innovation
  • Rise FinTech Award – for businesses building the future of financial services

So what are you waiting for?

These are two fantastic awards for you to be entering that can provide you with fantastic opportunities and boost your profile.

You can also take a look at our top awards for entrepreneurs and business leaders here or our top awards for SMEs and Start-ups.

If you would like help creating an outstanding award entry, get in touch today. We have a range of services to fit all budgets and we offer a free consultation to everyone who contacts us.

 

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