Whether you’re planning internal company awards, large-scale
industry awards or the Oscars, ultimately the goal is the same: honour
outstanding achievements by creating exciting, engaging experiences.
This is often true of any live event, but when it comes to awards, where
interaction between organisers, judges and delegates is essential if
the event is going to be successful, it becomes increasingly important
to use the right tools to help you pull off something special.
if used correctly, can be the saviour. Here I’ve outlined three ways
tech can help take your award ceremonies to the next level:
Systems that talk to each other
will be a number of different aspects involved in putting your awards
together. You’ll potentially be managing the award entries themselves,
the judging process, table bookings, the website and the finances, not
to mention the multi-faceted event communication. The ideal would be to
use a system that can manage all of these processes from one place, but
at the very least all systems should be integrated so that data can move
seamlessly between them. This will save time and make post-event
reporting much simpler.
The nature of
awards gives organisers some great opportunities to have fun on social
media. Something that we’ve seen growing over recent years in the
inclusion of a ‘social vote’ category, where the winner is decided by
the largest number of votes received on social media. This might not
work for all types of awards, but it can be a nice way to involve
delegates pre-event and tap into their competitive sides. They’ll
naturally want to share the voting info as much as possible, so it could
extend your reach exponentially.
There are a whole host of tools
available to make social media monitoring and posting on the day of the
event that little bit easier. Two of the most widely used are TweetDeck
(for Twitter only) and HootSuite (for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
etc.). Both tools are free, with HootSuite offering a premium option
should you need to add more accounts or functionality.
Report and learn
that award ceremonies are often annual affairs, it’s important to
review and learn from the data to ensure the following year exceeds
expectations. Technology can help here too.
mentioned in the first point of this post (registration, award entry
management etc.) will produce vast quantities of data that can be
analysed to determine what processes performed best and where there is
room for improvement. This could be as general as the effect of the time
and date of the event on ticket sales, or extremely specific, such as
the cost of entry or number of award categories.
It terms of
social media, make sure you take the time to drill down into the
analytics. Visiting analytics.twitter.com, for example, will give
you a detailed view of how each tweet has performed, meaning you can
improve and grow next time round.
The pressure is really on for
award organisers. Award ceremonies are unlike any other event, with more
parties involved and the standard event pressures in terms of
sponsorship and ROI remaining constant. We’ve only started to scratch
the surface of how technology can help organisers, but hopefully it’s
clear that the tools exist to streamline the process and take award
ceremonies to the next level.
Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor