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What Are Perpetual Awards?

A perpetual award is a single award that an organization, like the World Series of Poker’s David “Chip” Reese Trophy, would present to a new recipient year after year. Typically, the name if each year’s recipient is added to the base of the perpetual award via a plaque or engraving. So, instead of giving the winner his/her own award, the World Series of Poker adds each year’s year’s H.O.R.S.E. champion to the base where their name is counted among past winners and as one of the best overall poker players in the world. Perpetual awards are often used by organizations and businesses that want to present the same award each year but recognize a new recipient/winner each time. Perpetual awards are often displayed in a lobby or large common area for everyone to admire, although smaller versions of the award (or complimentary designs) can be presented to the winner to take home and put on display.

Perpetual awards are a great way of creating a permanent legacy of recognition and thanks in honor of your recipients and their accomplishments. Unlike commonly produced plaques or trophies, custom perpetual awards are hand-crafted works of art that reflect the integrity and class of your organization.

Here are 3 reasons why your organization might want to invest in a perpetual award versus a one-time award design:

Your organization plans on presenting this award for years to come.

The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance, a celebration of classic wooden boats, has been running since 1972 and is one of the most prestigious wooden boat shows in North America. There are usually 100+ antique and classic boat entries each year and 17 different classes are awarded with perpetual trophies. These 17 awards have been presented for over 30 years and many participants have won more than once, securing 2+ spots on the perpetual award. These perpetual awards are a great way to celebrate the history and longevity of your organization and your recipients. New perpetual awards can also be added over the years as needed, as the “Best of Show Original Preserved” perpetual award at the Concours d’Elegance shows. That award was originally presented in 2011.

Your award is part of a corporate employee recognition program.

Large perpetual awards can become the focal point of your enterprise’s lobby, cafeteria, or other large common space. These awards are a valuable component in any employee recognition program, where the whole point is to celebrate and publicly validate the work and effort your staff. It’s very easy to create multiple perpetual awards for the different ways you’d want to celebrate your staff including things like “Best in Customer Service,” “Highest Sales,” and even more intangible attributes like teamwork and perseverance.

You’re honoring a team effort.

Sports organizations in particular lend themselves to perpetual awards because the award has been won/earned based on a team effort, not just the actions of one person. For instance, the Mid-America Classic award was designed for a football rivalry between Eastern Illinois and Illinois State that spans more than a century. Each year, the victorious team will get to keep the trophy at their school for the remainder of the year, until the following year’s football game. Perpetual sports awards can stay with the winning team/organization as a point of pride until the next year’s winner is named.

As stated above, many organizations combine custom perpetual and individual awards as part of an integrated award program. A large perpetual award incorporates the names of each year’s recipient, while smaller versions of the same award are given to the recipient each year as a lasting memento or their achievement.