The 42ND Annual NZ Radio Awards – A live event turned virtual


We couldn’t let what is traditionally a gala event turn into a press release, so we did something a little different.

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For the past 5 years, Because NZ has had the privilege of helping the Radio Broadcasters Association (RBA) bring their Annual NZ Radio Awards to life to an audience of 600 people. So, we were only too thrilled when they asked us to help them with their 42nd event. The challenge though, was that this ‘event’ was to take place in the midst of lockdown, at a time when many industries, including this one, had been hugely affected by the pandemic. Needless to say, this year, we were going to have to do something a little different.

We wanted to strike a (rather challenging) balance between giving the finalists and winners the acclaim they deserved, whilst being mindful and respectful of the current environment. We also needed to reimagine what was traditionally a live-gala event reserved for a high-profile, industry-based audience for several hundreds of people, to an event of a completely different kind. So, we created the 42nd Annual NZ Radio Awards Virtual Winner’s Announcement.

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As this was going to be an ‘event’ for an online audience, it needed to be punchy and exceptionally well organised to avoid any glitches. It also needed to be professional, as well as entertaining (naturally) to ensure engagement. So, we partnered with Jeremy Corbett, a well-known comedian, radio and television presenter from New Zealand. He hosted the announcement from the set of The Project, a popular, tongue-in-cheek current-affairs show. The Radio Awards Virtual Winner’s Announcement was then broadcast from the RBA website, and streamed to the nation.

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When the Radio Broadcasters Association first approached us about this project, due to lockdown, the Awards were in danger of becoming a simple press release on the RBA website. We’re so pleased to have been able to reimagined the live gala into a slick, engaging virtual ‘event’.

It may not have had all the pomp and ceremony that comes with a traditional gala event, but by combining top talent with a knack for the zeitgeist of the industry, clever scripting, and a popular pop-culture ‘backdrop’, we were able to create something a little more special for the deserving winners and finalists. Proof that where there is a will, there certainly is a virtual way.

Author bio


I'm an award-winning radio marketer and event producer having created some of the largest events and activations for the biggest brands in New Zealand. I'm passionate about brands engaging with their consumers and stakeholders through magical experiences, with seamless delivery.