Estimated read time: 10 minutes
Venue decorated to the nines? Check. Food that is delicious and impressive? Check. Speakers and presentation lineup ready? Check.
Awards that have a “wow factor” to be given out? Gosh darn it.
So, what do you do? You have a few options, besides running around screaming that the event is only a few months away. Either way, you know there’s no awards banquet without any awards.
So, what are you going to give out? Pens or jackets? No. It’s called an awards banquet for a reason and that has a certain stigma to it. People have expectations.
16 Award Ideas for Various Budgets
Let’s be honest, depending on how much planning and consideration was put up front, as well as how much importance was put on the awards, will define the budget. It could be anything from a shoelace budget to enough that you could pay your salary a few times over. So, what are some options that could possibly fit in any budget?
1. A Simple Plaque
Alright, it might not be the most original, but it’s a solid choice. Now, what’s nice is that there are a lot of options. As you can see, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You can have the classic plaques, put a slight twist on them, or customize one with even your founder on it. This option is usually the most price-conscious and quick to turn around. Check out this website for more ideas.
2. The Drinkwell
A unique change on a desk award, Drinkwells are useful and easy to brand. These anti-spill drink holders are cost effective and easy to have customized. This is best for a less formal or a drink-related themed event. Learn more about the Drinkwell here.
3. Box Awards
From simple branding to even adding an extra element, such as a piece of your product, the box is small enough to fit on a desk or shelf without taking up too much valuable space. The boxes are sleek and allow for a bit more color and creativity. The box is typically cost effective, but allows for more flexibility with the custom possibilities. Learn more about the Box here.
4. Mission Statement Awards
Some awards are rewarding employees or stakeholders for embodying the company spirit or for years of service. Why not have the awards have the mission statement as well as the award name and the recipient? These can vary from as cost effective as the simple plaque to more expensive with fully custom pieces. With this option, you let the company inspire the awards.
5. Interactive Desktop Awards
These are for those wanting to step out of the box of the typical desk award or plaque. It’s perfect for innovation awards or showing creativity and thinking outside of the box. Due to the intricate elements and customization, these will be a bit more expensive, but allow for a truly interesting touch.
6. Glass Awards
Glass awards are the standard and often go-to after a plaque. Yes, you can do the cheap and boring chunk of glass. If that’s what you want, then go for it, but there are other glass award options for consideration, too. You can have colored glass, various shapes, add texture and layering, or even emulate a product. The more custom pieces will mean the price is higher than the typical glass, but adding character goes a long way, especially if it aligns better with the brand or event, right?
7. Relief Plaques
A plaque does not have to be a flat surface. If you are looking for some dimension and detail, then a relief plaque is perfect. These will be a little expensive if it’s completely custom, since it requires a mold, but a detailed plaque always looks good on a wall, especially in a corner office.
8. Custom Plaques
Yes, the relief plaques are custom, but these plaques are a bit broader, allowing you to have a bit for freedom of creativity. As you can see, this can be from adding a real whisk or green belt to a sleek and branded plaque. This allows for a plaque that aligns with the event theme or the company branding. These plaques can be middle of the road or higher in expense, depending on how complex your custom needs are.
9. Statue Awards
Whether contemporary with a sculptural stethoscope in the shape of “Q” for quality or the classic soaring eagle, statue awards are another typical presentation award type for events. Again, custom statues can be a bit more on the expensive side, but the “wow factor” is easier to achieve, as well as the creativity can be limitless.
10. Contemporary and Multi-media Awards
When multiple mediums are involved, such as steel and glass or seeds and acrylic, there is always a unique impression. Taking a little step outside of the traditional award box allows you to really pull together a custom piece, whether you want it speaking to the DNA of the brand or the event. The more complex the piece, the more expensive, but the custom award will certainly be the star of the event.
11. Custom and Branded Awards
A custom and branded award could mean just about anything. Technically, this whole list could go under this one phrase. However, this has been listed to show that with an awards banquet, anything is possible. If your theme is about being a rock star, then incorporate that into the award or if the mantra for the year is about going back to your hardworking Detroit roots, then let that be the inspiration. Custom awards mean that the colors of the event can even be coordinated. As long as a conversation with a blank piece of paper is had with enough time, the sky is the limit. Obviously, a completely custom piece can be most expensive, but those can provide the best alignment with the company, goals, brand, and event, so it depends how complex and in-depth you want to get.
12. Product Replicas or Miniature Awards
What embodies a brand or event better than what you are celebrating? Are you handing out awards for the top selling store in the nation? Consider giving a miniature of the store. What defines your brand? What about the shopping bags that you painstakingly designed years ago that is now iconic? There will be no question of where the award came from and what for, which also gives it that fun company-centric touch. Get more ideas here.
13. Product Awards
Consider incorporating products or tools of the trade into the award. This can be a whisk, a wrench, a piece of leather from the car, or a plated propeller. This gives a unique factor that always delights. Who wouldn’t love to see something to you deal with everyday being part of the award you earned? It’s a fun twist on awards that can make it less expensive with that custom touch or very expensive, depending on the needs.
14. Years of Service Awards
If the awards banquet is for years of service, why not have the award state that? You can go traditional or contemporary, whichever suits your event and branding. These vary on pricing, hinging on how complex it is and how many are needed. Read this article about our input on the possible legislation that might affect this category.
15. Symbolic Awards
Not everyone will get it, but your team members will. The people that matter will make the connection and smile. This could mean a hammer for building and innovating, TNT representing the motto “Today Not Tomorrow,” or a three dimensional interpretation of the quality continuum bell curve. A lot of options, right? That’s the point. These can be less expensive to more expensive, but all of these are out of the box and always are heralded as truly understanding the branding and what the company is about – the DNA of the brand.
16. Logo Awards
If it’s an iconic logo or you just want to be proud and want to put the company front and center, then a logo award might be perfect. These can be from characters, compilation of your various brands, or just your logo. These can vary from expensive to middle of the road.
So, don’t panic. If you need something in a month and if you’re on a shoestring budget, then the simple plaque with a twist might be perfect for you. However, if you still have quite a bit of time and want a truly custom piece, then check out some of the other 15 award ideas. Then, when you call us, just be able to answer a few questions.
It all starts with a blank sheet of paper, a conversation, and a handful of ideas.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our portfolio, or if you want more tips be sure to read our blog. Reach out if you want to get started on awards for your next awards banquet – we have over 75 years in this business and will be happy to help.
Kristina Hublar is the Marketing Specialist at Bruce Fox, Inc., which means she is the person behind the keyboard for the social media, emails, website, and other marketing efforts. She’s new to Bruce Fox, but is an Indiana native. In her spare time, you’ll find her plotting her next road trip, bobbing along to music while crafting, spending time outside with loved ones, or with her nose in a book.