Skip to main content
Thomas Howie, COO of Evessio

Case Study: The British Travel Awards hosts first ever online ceremony

The British Travel Awards are the only consumer voted awards in the industry. Each year, the awards see over 1,000 guests attend a gala ceremony in London to discover the results of the public vote.

With the travel industry affected by Covid-19 in 2020, the BTA were forced to consider cancelling its annual award ceremony or look to deliver it in an alternative format.

Managing director of the BTA, Lorraine Barnes Burton, said it was a "steep learning curve", as BTA has previously never held an online event. However, after an initial zoom call with the team behind the Awards Room powered by Evessio, Barnes Burton felt ready to deliver the annual event digitally. 

The Awards Room team advised on all aspects of the event. The team used the BTA database to send the invitations and advised the BTA on where to ‘seat’ the different categories of guests, in addition to ensuring that guests who wanted to be seated together could by using the same domain name for registration.

The Awards Room team also worked with the BTA production team throughout. They ensured a high-quality broadband speed was available from the venue for uploading the live film that would be required at the ceremony.

The event took place on 14 December, during the second UK Covid-29 lockdown. Registrations opened at 1pm, giving the approximately 500 attendees the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the platform, engage with the sponsors and network before the ceremony officially began at 2pm. The ceremony moved between live and pre-recorded sections, with the live sections hosted by Alex Jones of the BBC’s One Show.

The top three winners in each category sent pre-recorded acceptance videos which were patched into the live ceremony. Guests were able to engage with the ceremony throughout via a live Twitter feed.

Following the one-hour-long ceremony, the platform remained live for half an hour afterwards to give guests a further opportunity to network.

Lorraine Barnes Burton, managing director for The British Travel Awards, said: “Using the Awards Room was a revelation for us and we will definitely look to incorporate a digital element into our future events.

“As well as being able to open the event out to far more attendees, the metrics from the event have provided us with fantastic information, great for both our own and our sponsors’ business development activities.

“The Awards Room helped us create a highly enjoyable and successful celebratory event at a bewildering time. We have gained an enormous amount of valuable experience around digital events, and now really understand the opportunities available to us.”