Corporate Gala Events Reward and Inspire Innovation

Awards GalaEach year, companies around the world reward top performers and inspire innovation through corporate gala events. Best practices include announcing selection criteria at the start of the fiscal year, linking the criteria to annual goals and objectives and a cross functional multi-level selection panel.

Some of the key elements of these events include:

  • an inspiring theme
  • colorful decor
  • celebrity appearances (local or national)
  • a gourmet dinner
  • exciting entertainment
  • a dazzling awards ceremony

Corporate reward galas can be local or foreign and they can be scaled up or down to fit large or small budgets. Here are a few recent examples.


With 60 companies operating in 24 countries, Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO), one of the largest holding companies in the Middle East and North Africa, presents an annual employee awards gala. For this year's celebration, 350 top performers from across the region gathered in the Marina Hotel's Sheikha Salwa Hall.

OSN, the world's fastest growing pay-per-view company, was recognized as KIPCO Group's Best Company of the Year 2013. Other awards included Best Group Employee of the Year and KIPCO's Best Employee of the Year.


Once a year, Virgin throws a Virgin Stars of the Year to celebrate its success and provide an opportunity for employees to collaborate and generate new ideas. Sir Richard Branson just described this year's event with a Moulin Rouge theme. What was intriguing was the opportunity for the stars to pitch their ideas over afternoon tea. Here you can read about the Virgin Moulin Rouge Stars of the Year event in Sir Richard Branson's own words and see one of the pitches. Here are some highlights.

Manjeera Group of Companies

For the past 2 years, Manjeera Group, a construction, real estate and infrastructure conglomerate based in Hyderabad, India, has rewarded top performers through the Employee Excellence Awards (EXCEED). The event featured entertainment and celebrity presenters (Indian actor Nagarjuna and Jwala Gutta, 13 time winner of India's National Badminton Championship).

These corporate events are important reminders that rewarding and inspiring employee innovation can take many shapes.They are a clear example that corporate events can be tied to key strategic initiatives.

For more inspiration for corporate galas, also consult Corporate Events: 4 Great Gala Event Venues10 Tips for Designing Gala Events That SparkleHow a Celebrity Will Rock Your Event and 10 Tropical Event Themes to Beat the Winter Chill.

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