The Academy Awards: 5 Take-aways for Employee Appreciation Events

The OscarsĀ®Through the Academy Awards, Hollywood gives recognition and celebrates the accomplishments of the talented artists and professionals that create the magic we see on our screens. All the stops are pulled out to create this annual star-studded event. There are a number of take-aways that organizations can use to design their own employee appreciation events.

  1. Recognize the team.
    At The Academy Awards, the achievements are recognized in 24 categories from hairstyling and make-up and costume design to visual effects and sound mixing. It takes a team to generate business results. It's important to recognize the contributions of team members throughout the organization, not just those in sales and business development.

    Here are some suggested approaches:
    • recognize top contributors from each department or functional area
    • select a top contributing team based on the degree to which team members have exceeded objectives.
    • give recognition to top contributors at various levels of the organization
    • select a top contributor for each branch location
  2. Incorporate a peer recognition component.
    It's peer recognition that makes the awards so meaningful.
  3. Vary the format. The approach doesn't have to be one size fits all. For this event, some attendees participate in the awards ceremony while VIPs are invited to the Governor's Ball.
    • Foreign Incentive Trips: Many companies recognize top sales performers with a foreign incentive trip. Some companies include top performers from other departments.
    • Local Incentive Trips: Even with a limited budget, a local incentive trip can be viable. Heritage Inns within driving distance can be a viable option.
    • Banquets, Teas, Garden Parties, or Luncheons: These ae scalable events that can include thee employees receiving recoginitions or other members of the team, depending on the budget.
    • Swag Bags: Swag can be an effective way of giving recognition to top performers. The nominees in 4 categories who weren't selected as winners received "swag bags" valued at $200,000. With enough lead time, sponsors can supply all swag so there will be no hit on the budget.
    • Award Ceremonies: Award ceremonities are effective but remember, using an Academy Awards theme and statues infringes copyright. One event planner learned this the hard way. Planner Threatened with Lawsuit Over "Oscar-style" Decor.
    Giving each employee an opportunity to invite a guest to incentive trips, banquets, or awards ceremonies is a way of recognizing the support from significant others that makes the contributions of employees possible.
  4. Pick a theme.
    As we've discussed before, with a theme, it's so much easier to come up with the other event design elements from decor and entertainment to the menu.

  1. Design a menu with traditional comfort food.
    Wolfgang Puck, who has been catering the Governor's Ball, the after-party for the Academy Awards, has demonstrated that, by sticking to traditional favourites, there's bound to be something to appeal to everyone. This year his approach was small bites with presentation inspired by Spanish tapas.

For more employee appreciation tips also consult  Corporate Gala Events Reward and Inspire Innovation Corporate Event Planning: Afternoon Tea for Luxury Team Events and  Sales Incentives to Boost the Local Economy.

Photo Credit: Alan Light

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