September 01, 2017

Use this checklist of tips for making your award experience a true winner. 

Be aware that the "where" sends a message.
An interesting and appropriate venue can shape the attendee's perception of your event. Bigger doesn't always mean better, nor does the most quirky. 

Focus on the "how" - the ceremony. 
Award presentations can foster company pride and employee motivation. Ideally, the presenter should be the highest-ranking manager who personally knows the award recipients. Before the presentations, remind presenters to be specific and to relate the employee's accomplishments back to the organization's goals. By recognizing outstanding employees, you set the bar (high) for the rest of the company. 

Know your winners.
The entire event -- the theme, award, design, pace -- needs to be tailored to those you're recognizing. Their age, gender, backgrounds and culture, will have an effect on what impresses them and what they respond to.

Never underestimate the recognition factor. 
 Recognition is a basic human need that cuts across all age and cultural lines. Make sure the winners feel recognized for their achievements, so that the bestowing of the award is not just an annual, perfunctory event on the calendar.

Customization makes it personal. 
 A growing trend for incentive awards is embracing customized, interactive gifting. Selecting a unique gift that bears the recipient's identity in some way creates a lasting memory. 

Consider merchandise bars.
As a trend within a trend, merchandise bars are red hot. To begin with, it's important the awards have a high perceived value. And when winners can participate in the award - choosing it or customizing it themselves - it makes a deep and lasting impression on them. This trend supports the research that cash is not the top motivator for most people. "Canon cameras have performed well when featured in merchandise bars. Use of imagery pushes the value of the products. They are inspirational incentive rewards," says Canon's Matt Gorman, Director of Channel.  


Cameras like the Canon EOS 77D are favorites with incentive award winners.

Strive for poise at the podium.
The actual presentation should be handled efficiently and respectfully. If possible, allow the recipient(s) to say a few words; this connects the winner with the audience. You may also want to invite his/her significant others to participate, depending on the award. 

Make it an experience.
Multi-sensory experiences are becoming more popular. Adding another additional sensual element on top of sight and sound can leave a lasting impression on your audience. 

Make it sustainable.
Consider green and wellness choices as a way to improve the event experience. Your audience and your winners often respond positively to being at an event that cares about the environment or the well-being of the local community. Waste management procedures and sustainable catering are just some of the options you can take. 

Ensure that the prize matches the hoopla.
There should be a balance between all of the elements above, so the award is not anticlimactic, nor does it overpower the overall presentation and ceremony.

Add the "wow" factor. 
 Of course this is easier said than done, but the right experience, one that can't be replicated, will make the recipient's and the audience's jaws drop.

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