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Check Out These 10 Unique Award Ceremony Ideas

Awards ceremonies play a big role in boosting morale and improving public relations in a variety of industries. Whether you’re hosting an internal employee appreciation event or a major awards ceremony that’s open to the public, it can be a challenge to find original ways to entertain your audience while giving out prizes that the winners will remember for years to come. From choosing a host and finding a venue to deciding on the format of your awards show, there are a lot of moving parts to consider as you plan your event. With that in mind, we’ve come up with these 10 unique award ceremony ideas to help you put your event together. For additional inspiration, browse Peerspace to find the perfect venue for your ceremony, and ask your local host for tips on how you can make the best use of the space.

1. Choose the right host and format

The format of your award ceremony will depend on what type of awards you want to give out. A ceremony that honors artistic or creative achievements is likely to be on the theatrical side, with some suspense over who will walk away with the big prize. A ceremony to honor the recipients of a scholarship or contributions to a non-profit may take the form of a dinner or gala, with less focus on jokes and more emphasis on the recipients.

Many awards ceremonies hire comedians to MC the event, but you might also consider having a magician, local musician, or even your CEO host the ceremony. Having a big-name presenter can make your event feel more professional, but it can also distract from the awards. Make sure your host keeps the spotlight on the recipients, as well as knows enough about your company culture to come up with a script that’s relevant to your employees and in line with your values.

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2. Find an unconventional venue

For some truly unique awards ceremony ideas, take a look at the listings on Peerspace, many of which come with all of the hi-tech A/V equipment you need to host a modern event. From a multimedia digital storefront in TriBeCa with projection mapping to a black box theater in San Francisco, you’ll have hundreds of venues to choose from in your metro.

Since these venues are all available from local hosts, you’ll have plenty of room to customize your rental. Rent chairs and tables for a seated dinner, or rent lighting and A/V equipment for a hi-tech presentation. Whichever option you choose, you can count on the Concierge service to help you arrange for a professional caterer, protographer, and other event services.

3. Livestream your event

For industry award ceremonies that are open to the public or for company events that need to include a geographically distributed team, be sure to livestream your award ceremony so those who can’t attend can still be a part of the experience. Ask your Peerspace host if their venue is equipped with A/V equipment and high-speed Wi-Fi suitable for livestreaming your event.

4. Invest in creative trophies

Don’t settle for blue ribbons and cheap trophies. Invest in quality awards that your employees or award winners will be proud to put on their desk or display at home. It may cost more, but it will make the recipients feel valued and contribute to your brand recognition when it’s displayed. A sleek, engraved heirloom from Trophology is a great option for corporate awards.

5. Give out audience choice awards

How will you decide on the recipients of your awards? Will you have a panel of industry judges, or will your awards be based on performance metrics within your company? Announce how the ceremony will work in advance, including the number of categories and how to nominate people for the awards. For a special twist, include an audience choice award decided on by live polling during the show itself. Use an app like Poll Everywhere for real-time results.

6. Come up with a creative swag bag

Pass out swag bags to everyone who attends, so no one has to go home empty-handed. This is a great opportunity to come up with some unique award ceremony ideas, such as handing out a virtual swag bag that includes online subscriptions and other digital giveaways. Check out our list of 20 creative swag bag ideas for more unique options!

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7. Hire a live painter

Supplement the show with a live painting performance, in which an artist creates a unique work of art on stage while the awards are handed out. The painting can be a realistic document of the event or a more abstract piece. Let the recipient of the top award take it home with them.

8. Use projection mapping

Projection mapping can turn indoor and outdoor spaces into surreal environments that transport the audience to faraway locations, from a futuristic spaceship to a tropical rainforest. Choose a venue that supports projection mapping, such as this expansive conference space in Miami, FL, to add an extra dimension of cool to the proceedings.

9. Hide something under the seats

Audiences love surprises, and there’s nothing more fun that telling them to look under their seats for an unexpected gift. Maybe it’s a signed copy of your CEO’s latest book or tickets to a show by your event’s MC. Just make sure your venue’s seats have a hidden pocket underneath so your guests don’t discover the surprise as soon as they sit down!

10. Create a themed menu 

If your award ceremony is taking place over dinner, keep the theme consistent throughout. From creative centerpieces to themed food and drink pairings, make sure the flow of the meal fits with the flow of the award presentations. Don’t drag the event too far beyond dessert, and don’t hurry through the awards before your guests have finished their soup and salad! Coordinate with your caterer to make sure the meal is appropriately paced for the length of your ceremony.

Throwing an award ceremony is one of the most effective ways to give back to your employees or boost the profile of undiscovered artists or influencers in your industry. Hopefully, some of these award ceremony ideas have inspired you. Make sure your event is entertaining and memorable by trying out some of these unique award ceremony ideas. Don’t forget that you can call up the Concierge service for help lining up a photographer, caterer, or event staff who are familiar with the specific requirements of your Peerspace rental.

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