What are Online Awards? How they are held and their advantages and disadvantages
In the past few years, “online awards” have become a popular event on the web. In addition to the difficulty of holding real events due to the Corona disaster, advances in information technology have lowered the hurdles to holding such events, and we are beginning to see articles such as “XXXX Award, Announced!” The reason for the shift to online awards is that they are now open to the public.
It is not only awards that are open to the public that have gone online. Awards for internal company events are also increasingly being presented online. In this journal, we would like to talk about the situation surrounding “online awards”, their ranges, and points to consider when hosting them.
Social background of Online Awards
Online awards have expanded rapidly in the past few years. The Covid Pandemic is the main reason behind this growth. Since for many companies, it is an absolute requirement that awards be held “on a regular basis”, it is impossible for them to say, “We will not hold one this year”, let alone postpone it.
As a result, the awards have become so well established that it is rare to find an award that has not gone online in just a few years, aided by the evolution of online conferencing tools such as zoom.
In addition, because awards include an element of celebration, they are a good match for online, where elaborate screen presentations are possible.
In any case, online awards will continue to be the most popular format for holding awards in the future.
Types of Online Awards
There are many different types of online awards. Here are some of the most common.
This is a format in which the award winners are invited to the venue and the awards ceremony can be viewed online in real time. This format is currently the mainstream. The main feature of this format is that both the award winners and viewers can share the same experience, creating a sense of unity, and it is easy to create a more exciting performance by reflecting the viewers’ reactions. However, since it is designed to be watched real time, companies with many overseas branches and other companies that have difficulty coordinating the mutual timing need to be creative.
This is a format in which videos are recorded in advance and made available for a fixed period of time. Since the videos can be edited after recording, the 3DCG and screen presentation can be more elaborate. Another major advantage is that it can be viewed at any time of the day, making it possible for employees of a company who work irregular hours, such as night shifts, to view the video. However, the drawback is that it is not real-time and it is difficult to create a sense of unity and excitement through the viewers’ live reactions.
Advantages of Online Awards
In the midst of the Covid Pandemic, there were no options other than online awards, but it is expected that both online and live awards will always be available from now on. If you’re to host your company’s Awards, you need to understand the advantages of Online Awards as this shift is occurring. Here are some of the unique advantages of online awards.
Advantage 1: Easier for award winners to attend and for viewers to participate
The greatest advantage of the Online Awards is the ease of attending and participating. Award winners can receive their awards from home and viewers can participate from home, making it possible for people who previously had difficulty participating due to travel and lodging constraints, people from overseas offices, etc., to attend the ceremony.
Another major advantage of Online Awards is that there is virtually no limit to the number of participants, allowing those who were previously unable to attend due to venue capacity to participate.
Advantage 2: Archiving the award event
Since online awards are basically ‘filmed’, it is easy to archive the data. Not only award-winning scenes, but also seminars/presentations where you hear about the award winners’ efforts, etc., can be saved for later review, as well as future resources of the company. Another key point is that this archived data can be used in various forms as an adding asset for Promotion leading to multiple layers of company growth.
Online Streaming Platforms
The most important factor to consider when organizing an online award presentation is the streaming platforms. The number of people, functions, image quality, etc. vary depending on the platform so be sure to examine this part carefully before making a decision.
Here, we will introduce two types of platforms: Online Conferencing Tools and Video Streaming Services.
Online Conferencing Tools
Online conferencing tools have become widespread and well established over the past few years, with Zoom, Teams, Webex, and many others in use. Some of these tools also come with special features for one-way distribution, such as webinars.
Btu the main advantage of online conferencing tools is that they can include interactive content. By giving viewers the right to speak, or by utilizing the chat function, they are able to directly congratulate or ask questions and communicate with the award winners. Another merit is that you can create a sense of unity by having the online viewers appear in the event by displaying their faces on the back screen. Another major advantage is that the viewing experience will be smooth and stress-free, since they are likely to be a platform that is used on a regular basis within your company.
However, the drawback is that just by simply using a platform will not create any additional excitement, and some of these platforms have limitations in the visual quality and the layout design of the screen, as well as the number of participants. When choosing an online conferencing tools, it is important to carefully examine whether it can stream the visuals under the conditions needed.
Video Streaming Services
Another commonly used tool for online awards is video distribution services such as Youtube Live and vimeo. Compared to online conferencing tools, video streaming services have the great advantage that they can easily deliver high quality images and are stable even when the number of viewers increases to tens of thousands. Another aspect is that you do not need to install a dedicated application to view the video. This type of award is suitable for companies with a large number of viewers, such as those that wish to make their presentations available to the general public as well as within the company, or companies with several thousand employees.
On the other hand, unlike online conferencing tools, it does not have the functionality for two-way audio nor live communication. Also, compared to online conferencing tools, security is lax in some areas (it is difficult to completely limit participants), so care should be taken with these characteristics in mind.
Which choice is used more often?
Online conferencing tools and video streaming services each have their own characteristics, so they are used differently depending on what the host wants to accomplish and the nature of the participants.
As a trend, online conferencing tools are often used for internal events that are not open to the public and have a limited number of participants, while video streaming services are often used for events that have no limit on the number of participants and focus on appealing to the external world.
In some cases, the presenter side uses an online conferencing tool and viewers use a video streaming service. Some online conferencing tools have functions that work with video streaming services, so combining the two is also an option.
Points to keep in mind when organizing an online award
So what should you keep in mind when actually holding an online award? Here are three points to keep in mind when planning.
1: Defining the Purpose of the Event
When holding an online award, it is important to fully define the purpose of the event. For example, the tools to be used and the content of the awards may be completely different if you want to “honor an outstanding achievement among your employees” versus “raising attention to the company through an awards event”. Especially in the case of online awards, depending on the streaming tool used, there is a clear distinction between what can be done and what cannot.
First of all, it is important to think thoroughly what the purpose of the event is, for whom the event is being held, and how to achieve the key objective.
2: Designing the event based to the key objective
One of the roles of awards is to increase motivation. Particularly in the case of internal events or awards for good performance within the company, the success or failure of an award can affect employee motivation and even influence the company’s performance in the following year. That is why it is essential to make online awards look and feel like something to aspire to.
However, it is not enough to be extravagant or flashy. The key aspect is if the event is properly designed to obtain the main goal.
For example, if you want to emphasize on generating internal connections, why not design the stage with a night sky and constellations; if you want to stir up more yearning, design the stage with a red carpet with gorgeous lighting. The basic design should alter depending on what you want the audience to experience.
3: Preparing the streaming tool
In an online event, it is just as important, if not more, to be able to stream the event properly on the day of the event. If the streaming quality is poor and the video is choppy or the visual quality is poor, viewers will lose interest in watching the event and the atmosphere of the awards celebration will be spoiled.
Especially in the case of real-time streaming where mistakes cannot be replaced, we recommend that you hire a professional agency to handle the streaming.
Online Awards Case Studies
Awards for Hair Stylists
The awards were originally scheduled to be held in a hybrid format, but were suddenly changed to online and the award winners were to participate online as well.
Therefore, the hotel venue was used as a studio. LED screens were set up at the venue, and the presenters took the stage via Zoom to give their comments.
In-house awards for a global medical and cosmetics manufacturer
The awards were held in a virtual studio utilizing 3DCG.
A greenback was set up and the award winners stood in front of the set to make it look as if they were in the virtual studio, a method called “teleportation” was used for the stage appearance.
Awards for a nation-wide tutoring school
This was an award that recognized the top-ranking classroom among other classrooms nationwide participate.
For this year’s awards, we did not invite members of the award-winning schools to the main venue, but instead had a film crew visit the award-winning schools with a surprise shoot.
The reporter visited the venue with a vigorous report, making the awards an exciting experience for both the winning classrooms and the viewers.
What did you think?
As online awards have become vastly popular, the major differentiator between online and live award events is how to incorporate what can be done online and what can be done “only” online into the event.
Live broadcasting. Interactivity. There are various online elements, but the major advantage of online is that attendees always have a front row seat to the event.
If you want to make the most of your online awards! Contact us today and find out how we can help!