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How to select trophies for award ceremonies

Updated on August 26, 2013

To motivate, to acknowledge and to reward

We give awards trophies for a huge variety of reasons. It can be to reward someone for exceptional performance at work. Or it can be given to acknowledge great effort and dedication. Or it can be to motivate someone to push ahead to greater heights.

This is especially so at the workplace, where more and more, recognition of the employees, colleagues, project teams are critical to fostering a positive work and learning environment. So, if awards and trophies are so important, how can we select something which will be appreciated and worthy of the recipient?

The nature of the award

There are many types of trophies and awards out there. These can range from acrylic trophies to high end premium crystal awards. There are also a mind boggling array of trophy cups, medals and plaques provided by trophy shops. Some are made from plastic, metal to glass. So what is suitable and when?

Firstly, you can begin by looking at the nature of the award. Is it for the Employee of the month award? Or the winning project team competition award? Is there only one recipient? or many?

Next, the most important thing to consider is budget. How much money do you actually have to spend on the trophies? A $5 budget and a $50 budget compared to a $150 dollar budget makes a lot of difference. A more premium event would generally go for crystal or glass awards due to the perception of additional elegance.

Another consideration is how much time you have before your event. If budget is not a problem and you have plenty of time, you may also want to consider customization of your trophy award. Customization generally takes one to two months, so plan ahead carefully. If it is a rush order, you'd probably end up making your selection from a catalogue of ready made designs.

As previously said, trophies and awards serve to motivate, acknowledge and reward. It all depends on the occasion. Budget and time are 2 major considerations before you even make your selection of the design!

Acrylic Trophies

Acrylic trophies are versatile, lightweight, comes in a variety of colors and relatively cheap. They are made of quality plastic material and is highly durable. Hence, they are perfect awards to be presented at activity events. For example, a company team building retreat, or a social bowling competition. These events often involve a lot of participation, activity and crowds of people.

Due to their lightweight nature, acrylic awards generally do not have a size limitation to their trophies. Most trophies would come in at a height of about 8 inches or so forth.

Acrylic awards can be easily transported in large numbers due to their weight. Due to the material used, they don't suffer the fate of being fingerprint magnets. Hence, they are a fuss free yet beautiful award to be presented as such events.

Crystal Trophies

Crystal trophies are premium high quality awards. Crystal trophies immediately lend an air of elegance and refinement to any occasion. They are highly polished, refined works of art but are very fragile prizes and are prone to chipping at the edges.

One to to watch out for for crystal trophies is that they have a weight limitation. As crystal is a very dense material, a very large crystal trophy will weight a lot. This has certain drawback. Firstly, the recipient may not be expecting the weight of the crystal to be so heavy, hence there is the risk of dropping the award during the ceremony, which would be a huge embarrassment. Secondly, the weight causes the crystal to be prone to breakage during transportation. This is especially so for crystal designs that are not created in one piece, eg. cups or designs with globes and stars. These are actually fused together from several pieces and excessive weight would increase the risk of damage. Generally, crystals weighing over 1.5kg is considered a breakage risk.

Therefore, these awards are most suited for events where there is a lower number of recipients. Crystal trophies are perfect for ceremonies like at company dinner and dance, long service awards, top sales performer awards where the premium and spotlight is placed on a selected few.


Plaques and trophy shields are great for awards and titles that recur. For example, the annual company sales competition or the best performance division award. Plaques and shields can form part of a legacy of the company where future achievements are built upon past triumphs.

Plaques can be made from either wood, metal or acrylic. Depending on the nature of the event and award, sometimes wood based plaques would lend it the rustic old-world charm. Acrylic plaques would lend a more modern feel.


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