0 Comment

A Guide to Organizing a Virtual Employee Awards Ceremony

Watch the Video

A Guide to Organizing a Virtual Employee Awards Ceremony

With work-from-home or remote working almost becoming the new normal, it’s not surprising that the HR teams in many organizations are looking for the best ways to organize a virtual employee awards ceremony, that meets the expectations of all their employees.

Read about the Key Reasons to Digitize an Employee Recognition Program

Why Organize a Virtual Employee Awards Ceremony?

Organizations have digitized most of their HR processes from recruitment, onboarding, training, engagement, performance management, and even exit interviews over the last few years.

Employee recognition is one of the core HR processes that organizations have digitized already or are planning to digitize.  

Virtual Awards Ceremony

The annual employee awards ceremony has been an integral component of the employee recognition programs of most organizations.

It is a big opportunity for the organization to recognize and appreciate their high-achieving employees in front of the entire workforce including the senior management.

It is a hugely motivating and memorable occasion for the award winners and aspirational for all others.

Work from Home

Award ceremonies are great opportunities for business leaders to share updates on the latest developments and the roadmap of the business with the entire workforce.

These are also great for team bonding and an opportunity for senior leaders to interact informally with employees across ranks on the sidelines of the event.

5 Best Tips to Enhance Productivity of Virtual Meetings

In a hybrid work environment with a significant number of employees working remotely, it might be logistically challenging for such organizations to conduct offline awards events.

Given the importance of these events, several organizations go ahead and organize such award ceremonies virtually.

Virtual Awards Ceremony

Organizing a virtual award ceremony has other benefits as well:

– Takes care of employee health and safety concerns

– Cost savings on physical venue, infrastructure, event management, logistics, etc.

 – Shorter planning cycles and faster execution

However, replicating the experience of an offline event virtually is not an easy task.

Hence, organizations need to plan and execute such events properly to ensure that meet their objectives and expectations.

How to Organize a Virtual Employee Awards Ceremony?

Hosting a virtual awards ceremony can present some pretty significant challenges.

A Guide to Organizing a Virtual Employee Awards Ceremony

The best way for companies to overcome these challenges is by investing time and effort in planning the event in the right manner.

Here are a few tips:

1. Plan to Perfection


Organizing a live event, whether offline or online requires meticulous planning.

It is even more critical for an online event as it is likely to be shorter with no breaks.

Here are the key elements of the plan:

– Event Schedule
– Event anchors/ master of ceremony
– Speakers and presenters
– Presentations and videos
– List of awardees

2. Choose the Right Technology Platform

Why switch from In-house Employee Recognition Platforms?

One of the most critical decisions in the planning of a virtual award ceremony is to choose the right technology platform.

Many factors would determine this choice:

– Scalability: based on the number of participants
– Bandwidth requirement: given that the network speed for participants might be different
– Stability: the platform should be reliable and not prone to crashes due to peak load
– Interactivity: the extent to which participants can get involved in the event

The organization could look at various options of technology platforms for organizing a virtual awards ceremony:

– Standard Web Conference Tools including the enterprise editions of MS Teams, Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, etc.

– Virtual Event Platforms such as BigMarkerGoToWebinar,  HeySummit,  HopinSpotMevFairs, etc.

3. Modify the Ceremony for Online Streaming

Work from Home

The flow of the event should be planned in a way to makes the transitions smoother and faster as compared to offline events.

Unlike offline events, where transitions and breaks are part of the event flow, they are not possible in virtual events.

Also, slideshows and pre-recorded videos of the presenters and awardees should be combined with the actual live streaming.

To minimize the transitions, professional editors might be required to create these videos.

4. Set Up a Microsite and Promote the Event


It is a good idea to set up an event microsite for the virtual employee awards ceremony, which could be hosted on the company intranet or another internal platform.

The microsite can be given the look and feel of a virtual town hall or any other popular venue for hosting the ceremony.

Moreover, the microsite should act as the hub of information about the event for the participants with all links and updates. 

Also, the organizers should promote the virtual award ceremony to ensure maximum employee participation through email, collaboration platforms, and internal social media.

5. Engage the Virtual Audience

Stand-up Comedian

Engaging a virtual audience is quite challenging as compared to an offline audience as they can easily log off or just ignore the event if they get bored.

Hence, the event organizers need to plan and facilitate the active participation of the audience in the event.

This may include:

– Q & A sessions
– Audience chats
– Audience polls (before/ during/ after)
, Quizzes and Contests
– Entertainment (live/ pre-recorded)
– Skits, Dance/ musical performances
– Stand-up comedy acts
– Audience giveaways/ prizes (e-gift cards/ vouchers)

6. Get Tech Support


Organizing a virtual employee awards ceremony without proper professional help can become a nightmare. 

The organizers should rope in professionals with expertise and experience in digital/ streamed events, whether internal or external to manage the entire ‘backstage’ operations.

These experts can help in selecting the right platform, setting it up, and managing the platform during the actual event.

Also, they can quickly troubleshoot any technical issues that may arise.


Given the current situation, organizations need to get a grasp of how to organize a virtual employee awards ceremony effectively. It can help organizations boost the morale and motivation of their workforce without compromising their health and safety.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

To stay updated on the latest HiFives blogs follow us on Twitter (@MyHiFives)

HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.