The 95th Academy Awards – celebrating excellence in motion pictures since 1929 – is around the corner. Winning the iconic Oscar statue is every entertainer’s dream.

An awards ceremony is a great platform to boost morale, create memorable moments, and reinforce values. Ever wondered what makes the Oscars so desirable and how can we recreate this magic at the workplace?

Build a stringent vetting process

What makes the Oscars more prestigious than other awards is that it is organized by the reputed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – a fraternity of more than 10,000 film industry professionals. Artists are nominated for each category by their peer group members –  writers nominate writers, directors nominate directors, etc. New members are annually invited from across countries. An in-depth rule book is crafted for every category along with stringent screening and eligibility guidelines. When instituting your own corporate awards, build a strict selection process through a jury of peers and make the selection criteria public.

Create an aura around the prize

Symbols are key to creating an aspirational platform. The Oscar statuette is simply iconic. A knight standing on a reel of film and gripping a sword represents a “crusader” of the industry. It is 3.85 kgs, 13.5 inches tall, solid bronze, and plated in 24-karat gold. It takes 3-4 months to craft 50 statues. For your next awards ceremony, instead of buying off-the-shelf trophies, thoughtfully craft one that highlights your company culture.

Evolve with time

The first Oscars gave away awards in 15 categories, in 15 mins, with small talk over dinner, one group photograph, and a two-para coverage. Now it’s a two-day global extravaganza with over 35 awards and a barrage of pre, during, and post-event buzz. From having in person attendance to radio and TV relays to live streaming and viral feeds, it creatively finds new ways to bring fans closer to the film fraternity. With elaborate sets, themes, PR blitz, glamcams, and much more, the Oscars have evolved with time, championing causes and movements. Ensure that your awards ceremony stays trendy and is an event that employees look forward to attending.

Be inclusive

The Academy has advocated for diversity and inclusion (of roles). From full length movies, to documentary, and short films, all formats are included. Going beyond the work of popular actors, scientific and technical awards recognize behind-the-scenes contributions. Details like costume, scripting, editing, etc, are equally celebrated. The ‘In Memoriam’ segment since 1993 honours those who have gone but are not forgotten. Are your awards truly inclusive?

Give air time

Very often, corporate awards turn lacklustre – an award is announced, a certificate is handed out by ‘dignitaries’, the mandatory photo is clicked, and winners are escorted off stage. In the process, chief guests, jury members, or paid entertainers get more time on stage than award winners. Take a cue from the Oscars. Acceptance speeches have become an important feature of the event. 45 secs go a long way.

Engage with all

“It’s an honour even to be nominated,” is one of the most commonly heard lines at the event. All nominees, and not just winners, are celebrated on the glittering red carpet and during the main festivities. At your next awards, make sure as many people as possible share the spotlight. Through pre-event interviews to create a buzz, or by getting people on stage to give away awards, or by featuring staff on the company’s social media feed for the event coverage, creatively engage viewers, and in the process, increase the pool of participants.

For some, the Oscars only enhance their binge-watching lists. But when the Oscars go live on 12th March 2023, we suggest you look for cues to enhance your next awards ceremony.

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