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The Ultimate Top 6 Tips for Staging Award Ceremonies

19 Jul 2018 Created by: Andrew Parker
Posted in: Uncategorized

Firstly, planning and staging award ceremonies is not for the faint-hearted! Fact. Ultimately, an event space needs to be aesthetically pleasing, have great AV (Audio Visual) and acoustics, and also “flow” coherently to avoid unwanted “event congestion”. Yep, it can be a logistic minefield ensuring that a ceremony runs smoothly without incident!

Thankfully our talented events team have overseen countless award ceremonies – such as The Wedding Industry Awards (see image below) – and they have kindly shared some of their expertise in this blog that will give you valuable insights and tips for staging award ceremonies.

Here are our Top 6 Tips for ensuring a successful event. And the winners are…

1. Production Budget

Be sure to know exactly how much money you’ve got to play with…and stick to it! Communication is key when working with production suppliers. It’s vital to let them know your budget ASAP, and let them know that the figure that you told them is your “ceiling limit”. You potentially risk losing the best supplier for your event (and souring future relationships) simply by not being on the same page. It’s therefore advisable to be upfront and honest with suppliers from the get-go. If you work well together as a team, and a good working relationship is established, then you’re more likely to get some discounts in the future.

2. Event Branding

Some things never change, branding is key! It’s fair to say that all events and award ceremonies occurring in 2018 have the use of company logos and prominent positioning of the event sponsor. Branding should therefore – depending on your budget – be implemented into the stage design, LED backdrop, display effects, and any bespoke lecterns or room props. Brand colours can also be used in uplighters (which are fairly cost-effective) to bring the room together in a coherent theme and style.

Of course, it goes without saying that you don’t want to lose sponsorship for future events by not making event sponsors ‘visible’ enough to the attendees, yet at the same time not wish the sponsor imagery to swamp and overpower the actual event. Event planners are masters at juggling this problem, so watch and learn!

3. The Compere/Host/MC

The compere/host/MC is the person that holds the entire event together. They’re the glue! If the host is struggling to keep the attention of the masses, then the event will fall apart at the seams, no matter how impressive the event’s swanky production is. It’s therefore imperative that the compere is a strong communicator, comfortable speaking to large crowds in a clear and audible fashion, be able to work to cues and correctly pronounce tongue-twisting names, demonstrate positive body language, and even be able to “step in” in a friendly manner if a winners’ long speech is starting to tread water. Tough gig.

4. AV Equipment

A high-quality AV System should be top of your list of priorities. Not only does it ensure that the host (and everyone who takes to the stage to speak) is clear and audible, but also allows music and video to be played to join up the event dots. There’s no avoiding collaboration when planning ceremonies such as this, as AV technicians, lighting designers, sound engineers, event planners, venue staff, and comperes all need to plan and rehearse extensively beforehand to be able to stage the perfect award ceremony.

5. The Stars

No offence to the talented host, but the attendees are the REAL stars of any awards ceremony! The event is likely to be a “thank you” to staff/members for the hard work throughout the year, so should be a celebration of all their achievements, not just a colossal back-slapping event for the brand as a whole.

Creating video snippets of the nominees is a tactic used by accomplished event planners, showcasing the work carried out by that individual/organisation that warranted their inclusion in the event. Graphic designers will be able to create animated design to really showcase the nominees’ achievements, and big screens can incorporate moving designs (or even a live roaming camera to capture reactions) to really add some additional excitement/insights when the winners are announced.

6. Food & Drink

Award ceremonies aren’t lavish stomach-stuffing banquets, but there’ll certainly be grumbles from the crowd if food and drink are not readily available! Function catering is generally an assortment of finger-foods and sandwiches that are generally prepared away from the venue, then sold/distributed at private events, or beautifully displayed as a buffet, allowing attendees to help themselves to the free grub on offer.

Venues should obviously be fully-licenced to sell alcohol, and attendees should be made aware of their responsibility to represent their companies in a positive light, i.e. don’t get plastered!

Conclusion

There’s obviously a lot more to planning award events than the 6 tips that have been listed here. However, these are key essential steps for staging an awards ceremony, thus we strongly advise that you adhere to these excellent guidelines as closely as possible.

But remember, even the most meticulously planned events can have unplanned incidents (think La La Land at the Oscars), so try to be prepared for every eventuality, right up until that very last glee-filled attendee has left the building. GOOD LUCK!

If you’d like to discuss hosting an awards ceremony at our venue, get in contact with our team on 0121 224 8486.

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