While it’s honorable to attend an awards ceremony, that doesn’t mean that all employees will be actively engaged the entire time. In fact, many employees drift off unless they are one of the persons receiving an award. Even then, they may check out after they receive their award. Here are four ways to keep them engaged during the entire award ceremony.
1. Mix it Up
No one likes monotonous speeches. Even the most studious person can lose interest after a while. That’s why awardees are encouraged to keep their acceptance speeches short if they get to give one at all. Keeping this in mind, you should make sure that the entire ceremony isn’t monotonous.
You can do this by having multiple “segments” to the ceremony. Instead of just handing out all the awards at once, break it up into parts. Think about famous celebrity awards ceremonies like the Tony’s or the Grammys. They always have entertaining acts in between the different categories of awards.
Splitting the awards ceremony up into parts gives you the opportunity to refresh everyone’s interest. Try adding musical acts, comedy acts, and public service announcements intermittently throughout the ceremony and people will be on the edge of their seats waiting for what’s next.
2. Have the Right Host
First impressions are last impressions. Think of the host of the awards ceremony as the first impression. The host can make or break the event.
Your host needs to have a great personality and should be able to handle a crowd. They need to be cool on their feet, well-liked within the company, and have a great sense of humor for those unexpected moments that will probably happen because of Murphy’s Law. Perhaps the boss is suited for this task, but more than likely, it would be someone else. The host essentially carries the entire ceremony on their back, so choosing the right one is essential to keeping people’s attention.
Make sure you don’t bog the host down with unnecessary tasks such as presenting the awardees with the award plaques or transitioning the stage between acts. You should have other people doing these tasks. The host needs to be free and clear to lead the ceremony.
3. Keep it in the Sweet Spot
The length of your ceremony should be in a sweet spot. It should be long enough to entertain the audience and give out the awards but short enough so that people don’t lose interest in what’s going on. Timing is important here, and you should consider quite a few variables when deciding how long the ceremony should be.
Studies show that an audience begins to tune out a presentation after about 10 minutes. This means that each segment of your awards ceremony shouldn’t be more than this. Even the entertainment acts should be kept short. Remember, it’s an awards ceremony, not a variety show.
You should also limit the entertainment that you offer. Guests have to get through the awards, the entertainment, dinner, and a fair share of mingling. Don’t tire them out with so much entertainment that all they can think about is going home.
4. Make Sure it’s Fun
All the tips above won’t work if the ceremony is dull. Some people simply don’t have a good sense of humor. That should not be the person who plans the ceremony. The entertainment should be of good taste and family-friendly since it’s workplace-related.
Make sure the ceremony isn’t offensive to different groups. These days that takes a lot of research, but it’s not impossible. When everyone feels welcome, everyone can relax and have fun.
Put the Tips into Practice
Setting up an engaging awards ceremony isn’t hard if you use the tips above. People have short attention spans, and you’ll be fine. Keep the proceedings fresh and interesting by breaking the ceremony into segments and mixing them up. Have a great host, non-offensive entertainment, and a good sense of humor, and your employees will not only be attentive the whole time, but they’ll enjoy themselves to the fullest.
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