The Art & Craft Behind Award Shows and Recognition Events - Event Marketer

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The Art & Craft Behind Award Shows and Recognition Events

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“I’ve been thinking about the awards segment of live events recently…”

Remember a time when you were MIG Awardsawarded for something? Whether it was a grade school gold star or a cash bonus as a seasoned professional — it is a great feeling to be recognized by our peers, isn’t it? I’ll be honest, having been a part of so many awards programs it would seem as though the feeling of retrospect and honor in the company of a gleaming piece of acrylic may have been permanently shaded.

We at Multi Image Group (MIG) have literally seen it all when it comes to what we will call the awards segment. We’ve also witnessed some missed opportunities.

 

When you watch a significant awards segment it can bestow a feeling of reverence. For example, when I saw Jack Nicklaus be honored by the PGA on his final tour, it made me feel like I had somehow had a hand in golf history because I was able to witness it. At MIG, we have done awards segments and production for Presidents, Congressmen and Senators, and countless other professionals. Unfortunately, this doesn’t carry the weight of nostalgia and remembrance that you might think. But this is not due to being jaded or uninterested in any given award recipient. The people and occasion in these cases are undeniable and wonderfully deserving. Although these awards and ceremonies may be a pinnacle in the recipient’s lives, that may not be the case for everyone else — like say… the audience. Sometimes the production behind some of these ceremonies has been less than memorable in their execution – it’s a shame. Award shows should be designed for both the recipient and the audience. It’s a “show” after all. If the audience isn’t a part of the design, it can be quite deadly.

Every now and then we are part of an awards segment that is a lot of fun, but has no real social responsibility or redeeming value. These entertaining award segments might be just be the thing to refresh the coffers of inclusion, but what’s the value of them? Ok, so maybe someone ”interesting” is getting the award and there is more pomp and circumstance than deserved. Upon acceptance of this already bigger-than-life sculpture, the awarded person shrieks out a “yo” and reminds everyone to buy his product. This is less than compelling. However, there is something to be said for drawing an audience in and generally entertaining them. If that’s what this type of award is about then great. At a minimum we will enjoy it. However, by adding some substance, purpose, and meaning to an award that’s rooted in a message or some social values, it will add some significance to the entertainment.

There is a real art and craft in making an awards segment of a live event unforgettable. There’s a lot of technical razzle-dazzle we can bring to the show, but the ultimate way of making real memories in an awards segment is telling emotional stories – stories that have a foundation of substance.Lance Hall, Technical Director, Multi Image Group

There is one awards segment that is truly a bane to me: the annual award winner. The following scenarios are all real and awkwardly funny. We have seen the 20th consecutive annual award winner. “Is anyone ever going to beat this guy?” The “I have run out of people who showed up so come and get another one award,” and the “I have to give this award to stay in business with these people award.” These are the awards for nothing more than it being that time of year again. Granted, this does not make it any less impactful for the awardee. We are always sensitive to that. However, these types of awards start to appear meaningless and empty to the audience. Especially if it’s one of those, “I threw this party to give myself an award. “ If the only reason to have an awards program is to award yourself, I promise you, MIG will still make it the best awards show possible. Although you may have some explaining to do to your employees on Monday morning when you add your latest accolade to your trophy room in the office. 

There is a real art and craft in making an awards segment of a live event unforgettable. There’s a lot of technical razzle-dazzle we can bring to the show, but the ultimate way of making real memories in an awards segment is telling emotional stories – stories that have a foundation of substance. Then the audience will be caught up in the REASON for the award. This is really the secret. A great award will inspire an audience member to aspire and perspire for his or her own award. Great awards events not only publically acknowledge extraordinary efforts, they should ultimately be created to motivate the audience to reach higher and try harder . . . to be their very best and fulfill their personal potential.

American FamilyWith all the services available at Multi Image Group, it is our job to make sure that every award segment is a shining and inspirational success — no matter what the occasion. Although we can’t install a conscious in the person that wants the 10th annual “it’s all about me” award show, we can assure that the audience gets the message and meaning behind the award.

For us, amidst all of the emotion, fanfare, music, and applause . . . when the lights go down, the best award of all is our client simply saying that we made them look good. No plastic bust required, thank you.

Lance Hall
Technical Director
Multi Image Group
mig.cc

 

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