Post written by George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce
Whether you’re planning internal company awards, large-scale industry awards or the Oscars, 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 is important to use the right tools to help you pull off something special. Technology, if used correctly, can be the saviour. I’ve outlined three ways tech can help take award ceremonies to the next level:
Systems that talk to each other
There 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.
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
Given 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.
The systems 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.