By Hannah Wright, Venue Sales Executive
Top tips for organising an awards dinner
It may seem like blood, sweat and tears, trophies and compliments, but awards dinners are becoming increasingly popular. Such events give you the chance to congratulate those who have performed well throughout the year and continue to motivate others within the company to follow in their footsteps. An awards dinner can take place at any time throughout the year: November seems to be a popular time but then again we are currently receiving a high volume of enquires for July.
We’re not all fantastic hosts like Ant and Dec when it comes to keeping your audience engaged, however let me give you my top ten key tips on how to have a successful awards dinner.
- You should probably firstly consider how many awards you want to give. This will determine the timings of your event. Some awards nights may only have three small awards presented after the meal, however most I find are over the course of the entire evening.
- Timing is crucial. I know we at Venue Reservations like to keep to a tight schedule, even more so when working at a live event! My advice would be to have the starters already plated so that when guests enter the room they can eat the starter and be ready for the first award to be announced between courses.
- Try and choose a simple yet tasty menu if you can. If you over complicate the menu then this can take up time in the kitchen, meaning service may be slower than usual and the awards schedule might fall behind. I have found my clients prefer to have canapés at the arrival reception just in case there is a slight delay between courses due to the awards.
- You’d be surprised that if you have a VIP presenter you will most likely receive a higher volume of RSVPs. They can also make the event a little more exciting by interacting with the audience.
- If your VIP presenter isn’t hosting the entire event then it would be good to have someone who is a natural speaker. After all you don’t want the back row falling asleep mid event!
- For me music plays a massive part in awards nights. Try and have different music played each time a winner is announced. Keep the music playing until that person has received there award and pause it during the speech but make sure it is played again as they go back to their seat. There’s nothing like an awkward silence!
- Production! Carefully look into suppliers for your stage set and design. This will help create ambience and wow factor to your event. We can point you in the right direction of our experienced AV suppliers.
- Perhaps source a venue that has built-in AV already. Some venues are made for an awards dinner and choosing one will certainly make your life easier.
- Why not theme your awards evening? Try and choose a quirky venue that will be remembered instead of that boring hotel suite which is deemed the safe option. I absolutely love Guildhall and Roundhouse for awards nights due to the built-in stage.
- Be organised! Simple things like laying out your awards on the table in order and rehearsing the run through of the entire evening so that timing is paramount. One small hiccup with the running order can backfire.
Well there you have it: my personal opinions on how to have a successful awards dinner. We at Venue Reservations are here to help guide you every step of the way, so don’t feel worried or stressed about pulling this off yourself as we would absolutely love to help give you an event to be remembered.