Hosting Successful Awards Events
Awards Events and Ceremonies are designed to ensure recipients receive recognition for their hard work and contributions in a room full of peers. As an event manager its important to ensure that the awards event offers up a truly emotional and gratifying occasion for the winners. Here are the 5 tips to ensure you deliver a top-class event;
Clearly identify who is your audience, where are they based and what are their expectations. Find a venue with an atmosphere that can assist you in planning a layout that suits your event, allows you the flexibility to build an impactful stage production and can deliver the high-end food and service your guests will expect.
Additional rooms and space is always an added bonus for VIP’s, a green room for entertainment and even a media room for interviews and winners photographs.
Everyone knows award ceremonies can be long and somewhat boring, so your MC is key to ensuring your audience is kept entertained and also keeping the event running smoothly and on time.
Additional performers are always an added bonus to break up the ceremony especially before some of the major awards are handed out.
Guests should feel like they are walking into a special place, haze, lighting and special effects create an amazing atmosphere. Finalists should feel anticipation and excitement and winners should feel like this is their moment.
Music stings with popular current songs should be pumped out, up lighters and moving lights add to the feeling of celebration and large screens displaying an animated graphic of the winner’s name added to the sense of occasion. Adding live cameras showing the winner walking up to the stage and accepting their awards ensure that the audience is right there with the winner and can share in their momentous occasion. This works particularly well for a larger room.
Lighting and music create a winning atmosphere!
Running order and pace of the awards
One of the hardest things to do for any event is to stick to the running order but for an awards ceremony this is more important than ever.
Plan in advance with your venue on service times and factor their requirements into your running order, the ceremony and the venue should be working hand in hand. Ensure you allow plenty of time for a rehearsal with your AV team and also the MC. Timing of on-screen content should be in sync and between the AV operators and the MC. Keep your MC informed of how timings are going so they can operate the stage accordingly.
Have enough staff working during the night with clear distinct roles to have presenters side of stage ready to walk on as soon as the award is called, a staff member to hand the trophy to the presenter, allow a voiceover replace the need for the MC to announce why a winner was chosen and play this as the winner is walking up and have staff to direct winners off stage as efficiently as possible and direct them where to go for interviews or photographs.
As with every awards program, there are always gracious winners and not so gracious losers. Ensure you have an awards program that is credible and operates with a transparent process.
Name your judges on the website in advance of the event and proudly showcase them at the event. Ensure there is an independent head judge to oversee the process and independent judges involved in the entire judging process. Where possible include a minimum of 3 judges per category to provide a fairer result.
Communicate to potential entrants how the judging process works and the rule and regulations and enforce these strictly throughout. Give judges a clear scoring matrix to follow and ask them to provide comments on their scoring. Provide feedback to finalists from these judges’ comments to help them improve their entry for the following year.
Where possible, bring the judges together to discuss their scoring and collectively agree on winners.