I wrote the post below on Jun 14, and as luck would have it, I had to go for gate-keeping and seat-warming duty of another award function last week. As usual, it was a pain in as many places it can be.
First of all the anchor. She was so casual about everything. There were CMs, Governors and CEOs of top companies. And she was not well-prepared, poor script and all. Then in corporate award function, she kept asking audience, any guesses in film award style. There was no link between her speech and the video being played. Throughout the programme, the award-specific tune was played intermittently in a very loud, jarring voice. There were typos in the visuals being shown. The welcome and introductory speeches were shamelessly selling the organisers products.
And to top it all, there were prizes for Director (Personnel) and Director(HR) separately for big companies and small companies. Then there was a prize for person of the year. Everyone had a good laugh. Some people suggested that they should start having a prize for men and women categories separately. And then for companies in different turnover groups- 500, 1000, 2000 and so on. You never know, that day may come too.
Award functions have become a joke these days.
From corporate angle, there are at least 100 national awards by as many organizations. Some of the interesting stuff I have noticed about these award functions, i jotted down.
-Most of the organisers are comfortable with assuring you an award, in return to your company sponsoring their event. I have seen organisers create special categories of awards to include last minute sponsors.
-Speaking of categories, some organisers go very innovative in creating special categories to award all the companies. So if there are 75 companies participating, you would find 75 award categories. So almost no company goes back without an award. I have seen categories like companies with turnover of less than Rs. 25 crore-in the business of matchbox manufacturing. Can you go more micro than that.
-Most of the award functions have laughable audience. Almost half of the people are from organisers. Rest are representatives from different companies and their PR/protocol officers.
-You will meet same set of people in most of the award functions, in same type of hotels, with same venues, same giveaways and same format.
-Some organisers host cocktail and dinner, with the purpose of having more number of participants.
-Anchors are chosen at the last minute, with hastily done up script. Wrong pronunciations, many absentees, and whole script read out looking at prompter and no eye contact with the audience are a common sight.
-Smart organisers hold their events on weekends as they know there are chances of more people coming.
-People who had nothing to do with awards are entering into award business because they see an opportunity to mint money.
-There are many people who win the same award year after year, and still they are delighted every time.
-Many CEOs don’t mind pulling strings to ensure that award comes in their lap.
-Organisers have starting bringing out compendiums, souvenirs and special supplements seeking advertisements/advertorials from companies.
-There are pre-event and post-event reports which are again used as opportunity to get advertisements.
-Decision about holding many of such events are taken at very last minute resulting in chaos and confusion till the event is over.