Covid pivot may become permanent feature for emergency services awards

The sixth annual NSW Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards were held recently which reinvented the ‘traditional’ awards dinner and broke it down to nine simultaneously run events, with a broadcast out of the Sydney Masonic Centre (SMC).

The first event was scheduled at NSW Parliament in March but had to be turned from a face to face event into a video release.

With optimistic hopes for what was believed to be a short-lived inconvenience, the ‘Announcement of Finalists’ event and ‘Awards Dinner’ were moved back a few months.

A second face to face event cancellation in August for the ‘Announcement of Finalists’ saw a video release to Facebook reach over 40,000 with nearly 14,000 views.

The ‘Awards Dinner’, usually with over 350 attendees would also need to take on a new format.

“I was so impressed how the Rotary Steering Committee embraced the ideas proposed to them to redesign their events,” said Alison Jack, director of organiser Admire Events.

“For the last six years, the events had run in the same format so being open minded to this new challenge was a big ask.”

Utilising the “ON AIR” industry co-op between the SMC, Audio Visual Events and Create Engage, the Admire Events team worked to bring a live broadcast to eight satellite events throughout the state.

From Casino in the North, to Mollymook in the South and out west to Dubbo, award finalists gathered in smaller events at various locations, ranging from 10 to 50 people in each location.

The broadcast was simultaneously streamed over the RESCA Facebook page to ensure that finalists were able to share in their special evening with family and friends, irrespective of their location.

“We’ve received such overwhelmingly positive feedback about the event. The client is even giving serious consideration to continuing with this format into the future, irrespective of COVID restrictions,” Jack said.