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When the show must go on in the virtual space, why it’s more important than ever to keep your brand personality buzzing


The Recruiter Awards were the first awards in the industry, which makes them the most longstanding. And they have become iconic. The place to be seen in the world of recruitment; bringing a spirited, enthusiastic audience together into the closest they can get to being a real community without having to swear allegiance to a professional institute.

So how do you capture the spirit of such an occasion when you can’t celebrate with your audience face to face? Following the recent success of the first virtual Recruiter Awards in September this year, Recruiter magazine editor DeeDee Doke considers how best to bring your organisation/publication’s personality to life and create an afternoon to remember.

Can the canned
It would be easy to make a virtual event very stilted, but make it as ‘naturally live’ as possible so the presentation seems fresh and spontaneous – not canned! You want to keep your viewers with you throughout, so ensure your presenters seem as pleased and looking forward to what’s ahead as is possible.

Put on a performance (or two)
Is there an opportunity to introduce an entertainment segment into your virtual awards? If the entertainment budget is tight or non-existent, is there an amateur entertainer within your organisation/publication who would like to brighten the event? Or perhaps there is a local musical group that would welcome some profile by performing at your awards.

Dress to impress
Dress for the occasion and the brand. If people like to get dressed to the nines for your event when it’s live, it can be fun to ‘dress to impress’ at a virtual awards. They probably won’t have had the chance to wear their finery for a very long time. Another option, again depending on your publication or organisation, could be to do a themed fancy dress event, and ask attendees who register to send photos ahead of the event so you can incorporate them into the show when you’re putting it together. A more casual event – well, suggest everyone wear their favourite concert t-shirt and send photos beforehand. Offer prizes for the oldest concert t-shirt or the most colourful fancy dress, for instance.

Invite familiar faces
If there are industry personalities who are friendly to your publication/organisation, bring them on board to present an award or to give a little talk. Bringing familiar faces on board can make the event seem less remote – or if there is someone well-known but little seen in the industry, have them present an award, so people can see what the individual “looks like in real life”.

Incorporate your audience
If your event is primarily recorded, investigate opportunities to have one or two live segments so that you can involve the audience at home.

And bring them closer
Give your presenter/s a list of registrants and their affiliate organisation within your industry so that the presenters can do shout-outs to teams that are watching collectively to bring people closer together.

Make a difference
If your organisation/publication has a favourite charity, a virtual awards event can provide a platform for raising money. Live segments can be used to promote the cause and encourage the audience to pledge donations by text (providing proper payment details of course) – just as is done on public transport adverts. Those who donate can be entered in a raffle in which a winner is picked at the end of the evening. This can work as a donation channel from either organisations, even teams, or individuals.



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