Five Tips for Planning an Awards Ceremony

by Presenta Plaque | on Apr 17, 2014 | No Comments

Luke warm food, shabby or bland surroundings, balloon center pieces, Mary from HR droning on and on when presenting awards … we’ve all been to awards ceremonies like this, probably too many times. The key to creating an event that people will look forward to is thinking creatively. Even on a small budget, there are ways to jazz things up.

Create a budget

The first step to creating an event is figuring out your budget. Big or small, it’s what you have to work with, so figure it out before booking the emcee, location, caterer, stagers, music, entertainment or creating the awards. Then stick to it!

Location

Find a unique location to host the ceremony. It’s doesn’t have to be in the meeting room at work or in a room in the local Holiday Inn. What about booking the pavilion at the zoo or botanical garden? Or finding a location at a state or local park — renting a group use area in parks can be very inexpensive. If you set aside time for your guests to explore, it’ll be that much more fun for them.

Emcee

Try to find a local speaker that can not only emcee your event, but who can wow the audience with a motivating story. What about hiring a local stand-up comedian to lighten up the atmosphere? Many speakers can tailor their presentation to your industry. If your organization works in the sports industry, try hiring a local sports caster to entertain your guests.

Awards

Most employees place a great deal of value in the simple act of performance recognition.  Often times, a simple plaque or certificate can show your employee how much you care about his/her’s job performance.  Awards are also a great way to recognize years of faithful service to a company or organization.

Atmosphere (decorations, staging and food)

Don’t use the same old table dressings. Balloon centerpieces are boring… unless you hide gifts inside and let the guests pop the balloon to get their prizes. The typical 8 x 10 stage with podium always bores people … way to much like a school lecture. If your business is the car industry, how about using the bed of a pickup truck as your stage. Last but not least, unless you are prepared to spend a small fortune, a sit down dinner is generally bland, boring and lukewarm. Consider hosting cocktail party with tasty appetizers that appeal to any food preference (vegetarian, omnivores and meat eaters alike). What about an ice cream social as the focus of your awards ceremony? Or how about setting up a barbecue challenge where your employees can trot out their grilling skills, compete for prizes and feed the gang.

 

 

 

Trophies and Awards Can Boost Dids’ Self-esteem

by Presenta Plaque | on Mar 31, 2014 | No Comments

Self-esteem is extremely important for young people. It helps them understand what they are good at and not so good at. It is important for kids to understand they aren’t perfect, but to see themselves in a positive way that is realistic. A positive self-image gives kids the courage to try new things, to respect themselves even when they make mistakes, and to learn how to make healthy choices about their minds and bodies.

For children involved in sports or any competitive activity for that matter, receiving an award is a terrific way to help boost their self-esteem. Generally, there are two reasons to give trophies. The first is to recognize or mark a special achievement, like winning a championship or setting a new record. The second, and maybe the most important, is to help motivate kids. Trophies like Most Improved and Best Team Spirit can encourage kids to try even harder, while at the same time recognizing their value to the team.

Awards and trophies should be given throughout the season, not just when the last game has been played. Verbal recognition for a job well done is terrific, but stopping practice to celebrate can have even more impact. For instance, create a roving trophy and award a “Captain for a Day” for outstanding effort on a particular drill or activity. While the child doesn’t keep the trophy, it will sit in their locker or on top of it until you award it to the next child. Of course, the trick is to avoid over-use. The trophy should only be passed on when it is well and truly earned. If a child doesn’t have to do much to earn it, then it isn’t worth much to receive it.

Last but not least, in our effort to make sure every child feels good, we may have over-used awards and trophies. Making up a category to be sure every kid gets an award doesn’t impress anyone, especially kids who can be extremely critical. So awards and trophies should be used for meaningful recognition only — something that must be specifically earned.

 

 

 

Awards and The Olympic Dream

by Presenta Plaque | on Mar 18, 2014 | No Comments

Ah, the Olympics. What is it about this competition that makes Americans stop everything and watch each event with avid interest? Well, it isn’t just Americans or even this century that draws people to the games. In ancient times, wars would stop for the Olympics. Back then, it was a time for humans to honor the gods through acts of human excellence.

Our modern Olympics may hold an even greater hope — that the world will come together peacefully and enjoy the talents of athletes, not just from their own nation, but from countries all across the world. Through televised broadcasts, or personal visits, we begin to understand, just a little, about the heritage and culture of the host country, and about the countries of all the athletes competing. The hope is that during the competition, lasing bonds are formed and that countries begin to build bridges of understanding that can lead to a lasting peace.

When an athlete receives that Olympic award, voices are united around the world acknowledging and acclaiming the hard work and dedication it took to reach the pinnacle of athletic success — no matter what country he or she is from. Winning a medal in a modern Olympic event is one of the most prestigious and coveted honors in sports. Even professional athletes, who have won championships time and again, acknowledge that there is something even more special about representing their country in the Olympic Games.

There is something about seeing an athlete from our own country win a gold that brings out the highest level of patriotism in us. We take great pride in the medal count for our country, and carefully tote up the number of gold, silver and bronze medals. But in end, what fascinates us most is the Olympic Dream — the dream of being the best in the world, even if for one short blazing span of time.

Encouraging teens to develop leadership skills and rewarding them for their efforts

by Presenta Plaque | on Feb 16, 2014 | No Comments

Here in the United States, we value leadership skills greatly. Unfortunately, we don’t do as well as we could at encouraging young people to develop these skills and rewarding them for their efforts.

Colleges emphasize leadership, we read books and watch movies about leaders and job descriptions seek strong leaders, but, surprisingly, employers are still reporting gaps in leadership abilities. Of the approximately 100 skills surveyed in The Partnership for 32st Century Skills survey, leadership ranked in the top 10. But, leadership turns out to be the second largest skill deficit in recent college graduates with about 28% of graduates are described as “deficient”.

The reason leadership skills may still be lacking is likely because good leadership requires practice and there are very few opportunities for young people to practice leading. One reason it’s difficult to practice leadership is because, obviously, only one person can lead at a time, so it’s difficult to create opportunities for every young person to practice the skills. Another problem is that many people see leadership as an inherited trait rather than a set of learned skills.

But, we believe leading is more about acquiring specific skills than possessing inherent qualities. With this mindset, successful leaders are developed by honing specific skills through practice.

There are several great ways for young people develop leadership skills. Summer camp is one great place because young people can get training on leadership from camp professionals and can practice leading younger children. Success is rewarded with happy children working together and can also be rewarded at the end of the camp session with award plaques which remind young people of the progress they have made as leaders.

Other places young people can develop leadership skills include:

  • Coaching a sports team of younger children
  • Volunteering at a YMCA or Boys and Girls Club
  • Teaching or assisting younger children at a place of worship

Note that an excellent way for teens to develop leadership skills is to work with younger children while observing older leaders and how they interact with the children.

Overall, any young person who wants to can develop his/her leadership skills. S/he should seek out opportunities to practice his/ehr skills and should be rewarded with praise, success and even award certificates to recognize developed skills.

5 tips for planning a successful awards ceremony

by Presenta Plaque | on Feb 12, 2014 | No Comments

While most people understand that rewarding people for their efforts in an organization is very important, unfortunately, recognition deserved is often not given simply because of operational complexities. Managers are often trying to contain costs and they fear that rewarding team members may be too pricy or time consuming. But awards presented at award ceremonies still remain one of the easiest and best ways to boost morale in an organization.

If you are considering holding an awards ceremony to recognize those deserving, here are a few tips which should help your event be a success.

  1. Determine a budget. It’s important to be realistic about your budget. Shop around to be sure you get the most for your money. Remember, everything from your suppliers is negotiable. Also, be honest with your suppliers about your budget. This will save you time as well as preventing them from quoting products or services that are way out of your range.
  2. Event design. If you have an idea of how you want your event to look, describe that to the event producer. Be sure to list audio requirements, displays, wide-screens, LED display effects and lecterns. This will give your production team a better idea of your vision and will help them provide an accurate quote. If you haven’t developed a vision, consult with the production company to create a unique experience for your guests.
  3. 3.       Atmosphere. Consider how you can use lighting and music to create the proper ambiance. Moving lights, up-lights and patterned effects can be low cost but create a spectacular ambiance for an awards ceremony. Additionally, you can use music throughout the awards ceremony to accompany stage walk-ons and bring excitement to the room.
  4. Awards Presentation. Since the main point of your award ceremony is to showcase the award winners, be sure to keep them at the forefront, so each winner gets the proper honor. You may even consider filming the honorees prior to the event and showing video clips in an entertaining way.
  5. Video. Video is a popular way to preserve the memory of your awards ceremony. We suggest you plan for roaming video professionals to capture footage throughout the event, including speeches by winners. After the ceremony, you can create a highlights video to post on your website and Facebook, use as a promotional tool on YouTube and present as an additional gift to award winners.

Sure, planning an awards ceremony is a big undertaking, but these five tips should help you get headed in the right direction. And be sure to order your award certificates and plaques well in advance so you’re not scrambling for these at the last minute. Presenta Plaque even offers wholesale pricing, so we’re a great choice for organizations honoring a large number of people!

How to recognize men’s achievements with award plaques

by Presenta Plaque | on Jan 29, 2014 | No Comments

As girls and boys grow older, the differences between the genders become more evident. However, men are the same as women when it comes to recognition. Men, too, want to feel personal satisfaction in their daily lives for the hard work they invest; do not let their sometimes aloof, confident demeanor fool you!

When determining the kinds of recognition to give men, the main factors to consider are where the award is coming from and when is a good time to give the award. Below are some of the types of awards that can be given to men in conjunction with the various parts of their lives:

  • Awards for the workplace
  • Awards from family
  • Awards for sports participation

Awards for the workplace

In the workplace, it is important to commend employees to create a great work environment and continue to see positive results. Even if it may seem “cheesy” to give a male employee a plaque that thanks them for a job well done, it is much more effective than simply telling him “great job; keep it up.” Most men prefer having their hard work noticed rather than it going ignored. A plaque that they can put in their office can remain a constant reminder of their job well done. Plus, they might feel a sense of motivation every time they see it, which can further inspire ongoing performance.

A certificate is a simple way to maintain employee satisfaction in the workplace and can award men for a wide variety of achievements. For instance, if your business is in the sales industry, your male employees would certainly appreciate being recognized as “Top Seller.” Your business can determine if you want to base the award on different departments, regions or all around.

If you require employees to complete training courses, plaques for “Award for Completion” or “Award for Outstanding Training Results” would be a great way to reward employees for finishing the required training. Furthermore, clients would see the plaques on the office walls and know your employees have the necessary credentials to take on their work.

The type of plaques you decide to give your male employees would determine when to give them. If you are giving awards such as “Top Seller,” your business can choose if it wants to present these awards monthly, quarterly or annually. The other awards mentioned can be given at your leisure. Just remember to acknowledge men for what they are doing well, even if you always see them portraying confidence.

Awards from family

Awards are not limited to the workplace. Men appreciate their family and friends acknowledging them too, especially during special occasions. Father’s Day is an exceptional time to show appreciation for the man of the house with a certificate for “World’s Best Dad.”

As a spouse or a girlfriend, plaques can be a fun way for you to show the man in your life you appreciate him. A “Best Husband (or Boyfriend)” plaque would be a great unique gift on Valentine’s Day or for your anniversary. Men always love being recognized by the woman in their life!

Awards for sports participation

Men who are involved in sports, either as part of a team made of friends or as coaches, can also enjoy receiving awards.

An MVP award is great for the sports enthusiast who always had a dream of going pro. Men enjoy seeing plaques for best hitter, pitcher and basemen from the players or coaches on their baseball teams. Awards for any sport can be given and will always be viewed with satisfaction.

Certificates can be creative and have a vast amount of possibilities for ways to recognize men for the hard work they invest in their daily lives. Presenta Plaques offers a beautiful way to display the certificate so the man in your life can enjoy it proudly.

Common steps for buying wholesale plaques

by Presenta Plaque | on Jan 20, 2014 | No Comments

With most businesses look for every opportunity to save money, buying wholesale, including wholesale plaques, is a great opportunity to keep costs under control while still showing appreciation for those who deserve it. Just like with many products, award plaques can be cheaper when you buy them in bulk.

But buying wholesale is not always as simple as it is with Presenta Plaque. For many retailers, buying wholesale means going through the following steps.

Step 1: Obtain Required Licenses and Registration

Often, a general business license is required to buy wholesale plaques. If you plan to sell the merchandise you have bought wholesale, you will be required to get a license to collect sales tax. You should check with the city, county and state in which your business is located to find out what licenses are required. The wholesale vendor will generally request your sales tax license before they sell you merchandise at a wholesale price. They do this to make sure you’re not a retail customer trying to buy wholesale. Additionally, this ensures that the wholeseller won’t be required to pay sales tax. You will also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service which will be used instead of your social security number to set up accounts.

Step 2: Compare Retail Prices

In accounting terms, the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price is called “cost of goods sold”. Once you determine the average retail price of the merchandise you want to sell, it will set a benchmark for the wholesale price you seek.

Step 3: Select Wholesellers

You can look for wholesale vendors at tradeshows, online, through industry ads or by networking with other businesses that sell merchandise similar to what you will be selling. You should choose vendors based on the level of quality you require and the terms offered by the vendors. Terms you may want to look for include include:

  • Shipping costs
  • minimum purchase quantity
  • length of time you have to pay

Step 4: Arrange for Payment

When your first wholesale order arrives, you should be prepared to make least make a partial payment. The wholesale vendor may waive an upfront payment if your business’s credit is strong and you have excellent personal credit. You can also pay from loans, credit cards or your personal savings. With some wholesale companies, they may offer purchase-order financing, a type of loan that is short term but has higher fees than a bank loan.

 

There are many advantages to purchasing wholesale, especially wholesale plaques, so please talk to us about how you can benefit from Presenta Plaque’s wholesale pricing!

Most Impressive Awards Air Force Members Can Receive

by Presenta Plaque | on Dec 30, 2013 | No Comments

The Air Force is a symbol of American pride and accomplishment, and those who serve are distinguished heroes. The Air Force offers awards so its airmen and officers can be recognized as such. There are different Air Force awards for various accomplishments, and each award stands to represent specific achievements worth recognition. Awards range from recognizing risk of life in extreme situations to awards for involvement in very specific circumstances. The five awards covered here are the least common and most difficult to achieve.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award granted by the Air Force. It is given to officers and enlisted individuals in the name of Congress to recognize those who distinguished themselves with “gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual combat with an armed enemy of the United States.” This award is for those who managed the impossible in order to save those around them in combat. The medal displays the word “Valor” in bold above Lady Liberty.

The Air Force Cross is awarded for acts of extreme heroism during combat that don’t quite merit the Medal of Honor. It’s basically the Air Force’s version of the Distinguished Service Cross or the Navy Cross, being that it’s the second highest award and it represents gallantry and risk of life while in service, heroically in situations where the United States isn’t in direct combat with an armed enemy. The ribbon features a wide center stripe of baby blue with narrow stripes of white and red at the edges. It also features an eagle encircled by a wreath of oak leaves.

The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to high-ranking officers who offer extremely meritorious service. It is rarely awarded since it is granted to those with responsibility to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outstanding command in a Defense Agency, or for any other Joint Activities designated by the Secretary of Defense. This award features a center stripe of dark red flanked on either side by wide stripes of gold and medium blue on the ribbon and an eagle perched upon a stack of arrows on the medal.

The Silver Star is awarded by all branches of the armed forces to any person who, while serving in any capacity, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly forces against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The ribbon features a wide center stripe of red flanked on either side by a wide stripe of dark blue, a wide stripe of white, a thin stripe of white and a narrow stripe of dark blue along the edges.

The Legion of Merit is awarded to officers and enlisted men of the armed forces of the U.S. and on nationals of other countries “who shall have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services” since Sept. 8, 1939, the date of the president’s proclamation of the state of emergency that led to World War II. This crimson ribbon may be awarded for combat or noncombat services. In the case of American military personnel, if the award is for combat service, it is displayed with a combat “V.”

These five awards offered by the Air Force are only a glimpse at the full array of medals and honors granted, but they are the most impressive awards one can receive. Hopefully, the next time you meet a distinguished member of the Air Force, his or her award will not be foreign to you. Displaying such awards is a great honor, and Presenta Plaque can design the perfect plaque to help Airman, their families and friends celebrate the award to its fullest. When you create a celebratory plaque for a member of the armed forces, you’ll be a hero too!

Award Plaques to Give at the End of the Calendar Year

by Presenta Plaque | on Dec 10, 2013 | No Comments

The end of the year usually brings anticipation for a new year and a fresh start. Many people look at it as a time to reflect on ways to improve in the upcoming year. People create New Year’s resolutions for themselves and companies set goals for their employees and the business as a whole. A great attitude and positive energy is the perfect way to start any year, but let’s not forget that this is also a time to look back and appreciate all the hard work and dedication of the year that is now coming to a close.

Every day should be a time to thank those around us, whether they are family, coworkers or friends, but the end of the year and holidays bring a special kind of atmosphere that inspires most of us to say thank you. A plaque is an excellent way to tell someone, no matter who it is, that you appreciate their accomplishments, friendship, hard work or maybe that you simply want them to know you appreciate having them in your life. Here are some ideas for sharing the gift of a plaque:

If you know someone who’s had a rough year –a plaque is a great way to let them know that you admire their strength and persistence. A simple gesture of appreciation can mean a lot to someone who thinks their struggle and persistence have gone unnoticed.

New parents –New parents are an excellent reason to give a plaque. Parenthood, especially for first-timers, can be very challenging and in everyone’s admiration for the new baby, it can be easy to forget that someone is losing lots of sleep to keep that baby bouncing and happy!

That employee who always stays late –While there probably isn’t a specific award for this anywhere in the company’s handbook, the end of the year is an excellent time to reward those employees who always go the extra mile even when it isn’t expected of them. It can be incredibly satisfying – and motivating – for someone who feels their extra work isn’t recognized.

Your young student –While this may sound a bit atypical, there is a lot of hard work that goes into being a student. Between all-nighters, caffeine-fueled 20 hour days, and minor finals-induced panic attacks, it can be easy to forget that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A little pick-me-up before the big diploma can be a great way to remind your college student that, yes, you understand.

Mom and Dad –Last but certainly not least on the list are Mom and Dad. If you are lucky enough to have parents who never take a break from being supportive, whether it is a new year, end of the year or midway through May, a plaque is a perfect way to thank them for all that they do.

The end of the year is usually the time when one begins to reflect most, but it is important to never forget to appreciate those who make every year even more memorable than the last.

Happy Holidays to our Presenta Plaque family and we thank you for allowing us to be a part of celebrating those that are an important part of your life, this year and in many to come.

When is the Best Time to Give Award Certificates?

by Presenta Plaque | on Nov 21, 2013 | No Comments

When deciding to give out award certificates, the first question that must be answered is, “What’s the occasion?” Once that is established, Presenta Plaque can give you a few pointers on when is the best time to reward a student, employee, friend or family member.

When it comes to rewarding students, it really comes down to how you prefer running your class. If you would like to give your kids an incentive to work harder and go the extra mile, it is great to give quarterly award certificates for excellent behavior, maintaining great test scores, etc. This is a long enough period of time for a student to redeem themselves if they get on the wrong track, but it is short enough that students understand that if they work hard enough they have a shot at it.

The same can also apply to employees. You want to make sure you give employees time to show you what they’ve got but short enough to keep them on their toes.

Rewarding family and friends all depends on what you deem appropriate. If you have a structured award process in your home, it is truly up to you to decide when is the most appropriate time to give an award certificate to your kids. But it is important to remember that while award plaques can help motivate children significantly, the time and occasion should be chosen carefully, especially when teaching young children about responsibility.

If you are just looking to show someone that their friendship goes far from unnoticed, any day is a perfect day to give them an award plaque. Whether it is for an important achievement in their life or just a little pick-me-up, it is great to show friends that they are very much appreciated regardless of the time of year.

At Presenta Plaque, we believe that every day should be an occasion to give thanks to family, friends, caregivers or teachers. Often a simple ‘thank you’ or a kind gesture is enough to make someone feel appreciated.