Supported by both commercial radio and the BBC, this annual award ceremony recognises the next generation of audio talent. It prides itself on offering ‘money can’t buy’ prizes to winners and nominees, who can enjoy mentorship opportunities, VIP studio tours and even host their very own show on a national radio station.
When COVID hit in early 2020, it had a devastating impact on people from all walks of life, but the events industry was perhaps one of the hardest hit.
Despite the challenges they were facing at the start of the pandemic, the organisers of the Young Audio Awards didn’t want to write off their much-anticipated event, which was scheduled for May. In the wake of furloughed staff, closed venues and cancelled events came a wave of innovation – one that Honest was proud to lead.
Our first stop was to celebrate the bold, ambitious talent of young people aspiring to work in the radio industry by designing a creative treatment that was fun, fresh, and representative of the awards’ youthful audience.
Centering around a living, energetic radio speaker, the individual elements that formed its shape also created parts of the client’s video kit, including the holders for the typography and participant images. The speaker itself featured in engaging high-end visuals for the opening titles and appeared elsewhere for continuity throughout. The overall package was decorated with playful yet rebellious geometric shapes that felt at home with the popular hosts from Radio One.
The Young Audio Awards work with lots of well-known presenters who would usually present the event and the awards in-person. But this wasn’t your average year. We scrapped the format and decided to take the event fully remote.
Scripts were rewritten to enable more than 10 presenters to contribute to the event from their homes by recording footage from their various devices.
At the time, organisers and their audiences were still getting to grips with livestreaming as a means of keeping the events industry alight.
Once the call was made to re-imagine The Young Audio Awards as a virtual event this complex project went from brief to live in about 6-weeks. From dealing with high-profile presenters to a new 3D motion identity - the sheer number of moving parts on both client and our side meant this was a fast moving, ambitious but extremely exciting project to be a part of.
The final pre-recorded event was high energy and packed full of awards, VTs, audio montages and a performance from pop sensation HRVY. All the fun and games were held together by Mollie King and Matt Edmondson.
YouTube was our live streaming platform of choice. It offered virtually no barrier to entry and made the entire event extremely accessible for 8 to 18 year olds and their families, wherever they were located and whatever devices they were using to tune in.
Our number one priority was to make sure that the Young Audio Awards ran without a hitch and delivered the same fun, celebratory vibes as the in-person event – and feedback tells us we nailed the delivery!
The organisers also experienced more viewers, better social coverage, and increased signups compared to previous years. For example, the physical awards ceremony was due to have an audience of 350, but our livestream services increased attendance by 1,000%, attracting 3,500 people.
“The event was one of the first awards done virtually. Everything looked and sounded great. It was cool, youthful and fun. Our vision was understood and really delivered.”