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How To Do Remote Award Ceremonies Via Zoom

Rewarding and recognizing your employees can be tricky and challenging even without a global pandemic to deal with on top of everything else.  It’s certainly true though, that since the pandemic has forced so many people to work from home and placed sharp restrictions on large gatherings of people, hosting an award ceremony is more challenging than ever. 

One great alternative is to host it virtually!  If you’re intrigued, but don’t know how to begin, read on.

Virtual Award Ceremonies 101

The first thing you’ll need if you’re planning to pull something like this off is some type of conferencing software that allows multiple people to chat together and view the same images in concert. 

There are lots of different options available but one of the easiest and most user friendly is Zoom, which is why we mentioned it in the title of this piece.  For this example, we’ll assume that you’ve decided to go with Zoom, though again, there are many other alternatives that are functionally similar.

Naturally, all of your participants will need to have access to the software you decide to use, and know when to log on to participate, so good communication on that front is essential.

The next thing you’ll want to do is to let your winners know in advance that they won something.  Yes, this takes a bit of the surprise out of the equation, but it’s essential for proper coordination.  In fact, once you’ve told the winners that they’ve won, if you want to make the ceremony more interactive, send them the award or gift of recognition in advance and ask them to refrain from opening the box containing the award or reward until the big event. 

That way, they can do so on camera and all of the participants can see them receiving their award.

Finally, encourage everyone to participate!  At the root, whether a user has a camera or not, software like Zoom was designed to facilitate group chat and users who don’t have access to cameras can still type text responses to whatever is going on as the ceremony unfolds.  Be sure to stay on top of this, and acknowledge and respond to users who type comments or questions as the ceremony unfolds.

You can take this concept to a whole new level by sending out a small swag box to every participant in advance with the same instructions to refrain from opening their box until the ceremony is underway, which builds a sense of excitement, anticipation and discovery. 

Best of all, there are all sorts of low-priced gift options available, so you can pull something like this off without busting your budget.

Once the big reveal has occurred, encourage attendees to continue chatting and talking for a time. 

There’s no need to be in a big hurry to end the virtual conference and close down the room.  After all, with so many employees working from home right now, this might be one of the few times they get to see each other face to face, so let them enjoy the moment and enjoy it with them.

And that, in a nutshell, is how you can turn a virtual award ceremony into a fun, interactive process!