Tradition out. Celebration in.
That was the mantra behind the ‘22 Achievement Award Ceremony at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. For years, award ceremonies in academia have historically been events filled with similar formats of pomp and circumstance and award plaques.
With the return to in-person events at Icahn Mount Sinai in 2022, we wanted this to be a true celebration, giving a respectful nod to tradition, while making a splash to toast, honor, and showcase the graduating students and their accomplishments.
Our first step was visitng the venue to see what could be possible. We took note of the event space and media resources available to us, and from there, began brainstorming.
We ran with the concept of creating a “hallway of heroes” to showcase the awardees, because we wanted the students and their families to get excited over seeing themselves and their accomplishments.
We decided that our activation was going to be a multimedia experience—from video montages that would appear on the venues’ monitors, to display boards that would feature the awardees’ photos. The display boards—placed on a dedicated floor of the venue—would also feature a QR code that would link to the students’ own profile page on the microsite that we created for this activation.
We set-up a three-day video and photo shoot, to capture the personality video portraits of all 32 awardees, their message of gratitude to their loved ones, and environmental portraits— photographed on- and around campus.
We envisioned creating an interactive experience for the award recipients and their loved ones, and we did just that. There was a non-stop buzz of excitement throughout the event, and particularly upon reaching the floor where the display boards were located. Left and right, the awardees were excited to take selfies or group shots near their boards while of course scanning them, and encouraging their friends and families to do the same. (And, on the subject of engagement analytics, in total there were 180 scans the day of the event—nearly six times the amount of boards displayed!)
This ‘22 Achievement Award Ceremony was well-received. We have officially renamed the event to "Achievement Celebration," and are currently undergoing plans to continue a similar format and flow for years to come. In addition, this initiative has resonated with many departments throughout the Mount Sinai community, who are lookng to replicate the digital media and video portraits of this experience in their own work.