The International Pakistan Prestige Awards (IPPA’s) have just announced their fourth edition – and while it may seem unfathomable with the coronavirus still running lose, it’s going to be a live ceremony.

The IPPA’s made their debut in 2017 in London and have been regularly taking place every year. But given how the world is in the throes of a pandemic – and how major international events have gotten postponed or gone virtual all through this year – no one would have had been surprised had the ceremony skipped out 2020.

Ali Malik, the founder and CEO of the IPPA’s, have decided to take it as a challenge.

Malik apparently isn't going to let a pandemic stand in his way
Malik apparently isn't going to let a pandemic stand in his way

“We haven’t missed a year yet so I decided to come up with a way in which we could stage a show while following SOP’s and end the year on a positive note.”

The event will be taking place on the 26 December in Istanbul – which is no big surprise since Turkey is the one of the very few countries encouraging tourism right now and has, consequently, been crowded by vacationing Pakistanis.

Also read: Were the IPPAs Pakistan's most meaningless awards show?

According to Ali, most of the major stars that have been associated with the IPPA’s in the past will be attending. In order to keep the event corona-compliant, a venue that holds 2500 people has been booked but only an audience of 600 will be permitted.

In the past, the IPPA’s have operated by selling tickets in the location where the event is taking place. This, however, does not make much sense in Istanbul, which does not have a big immigrant Pakistani population. Instead, the organizers have devised a destination vacation format which will include watching the awards show.

Ali Malik outlines, “We will be selling tickets to people who want to fly out from Pakistan to Istanbul for a few days’ vacation. They will be paying for a package which will include air fare, stay in the same hotel as the stars and attending the awards.”

It sounds like a good idea and there’s a chance that people will be interested in planning their winter vacations around the IPPA’s. Staying in the same hotel as the stars is definitely going to be a strong selling point – a lot of us would love to step into the breakfast hall with Humayun Saeed or Iqra Aziz seated on the next table!

However, with Covid-19’s second wave spiraling high, it’s still going to be risky, health-wise as well as business-wise for the IPPA’s organizers, who have already finalized the venue and the dates. “In business, it is important to take risks,” points out Ali Malik.

Let’s see if this risk works out well. It's important to add here that just maintaining a smaller audience should not be a priority - at every media event, wedding or private party, wearing masks needs to be made mandatory. While there are plenty of discussions regarding following SOP's, it is becoming quite the norm to whip off masks when attending an event.

Hopefully, the audience at the IPPA's will stay masked up The ceremony will be giving out awards in the field of film, music, TV, fashion and sports.