Organising Award Ceremonies

Posted on 09/09/2013 by Chloe

With the Awards season fast approaching, we decided to take a look this week at all things Awards. The organisational process for award ceremonies is largely – if not all – the same process as with any other conference. Whether incorporated into a conference or as a standalone event – there’s still a clear format to the ceremony with a few exceptions…

Layout: At the venue finding stage, capacities need to be taken into consideration. Instead of a theatre/cabaret layout, requesting Dinner Dance-which allows space for a dance floor – may be a good option if you’re considering a production set and stage (including thoughts about the awards table). Ideally, you’ll have the numbers and size of stage in mind, so this will need to be conveyed to the production company and venue so everything fits.

Production/Set Design: The set for your awards ceremony is the main visual centrepiece and sets the aesthetic tone for the whole event. Whether your ceremony is sophisticated and complex or fun and high-impact, a good production company will create the perfect set, consulting with you about your branding and marketing objectives, how you want the set to interact with the AV, chosen venue or the decorations and the atmosphere you wish to create. Almost all production companies provide you with an event team to manage the floor.

Table Plan: When considering the table plan it is a good idea to seat award recipients and presenters in close proximity to the stage. If you’ve opted for spot followers, give the production company a floor plan of the event space, indicating where recipients will be sitting to ensure a more professional, well produced show.

Awards: As previously mentioned – thoughts about the awards table should be considered along with the production set. If you’ve spent time finalising a stunning set design with the production team only to have a last minute trestle table with a white cloth thrown over for the awards – you would be forgiven for muttering a few obscenities. It’s therefore a great idea to ensure the awards table is given as much thought as the rest of the set. There are many bespoke awards/trophy offerings but identify the size and number of awards to be displayed as soon as possible to ensure the table is large enough and stable enough to accommodate your requirements without it looking like a last minute job. Remember to incorporate someone laying out and handing out the awards into the logistics and always order your awards well in advance to allow time for engraving.

Photographer: Once the photographer has been confirmed for your event, ensure you’ve provided a call sheet for the photographer to work from (a list of all shots you’d like them to take) along with the final draft of the itinerary. Whenever the photographer is brought on board, take time out to look at the layout of the room and discuss with them where they’ll need to be located. If they have a tricky space to work in, it may be worth working closely with them and the production team to ensure the best results are achieved.

Host: Your host is one of the most important elements of the awards ceremony. Although each award ceremony is different, many consider a celebrity host as a great asset. There are many different celebrities who can appear at corporate events and as you can imagine who have varying price guidelines. First and foremost, establish who will add benefit to your event and put together a full brief. This should include background information on your company, the reason for the award ceremony and insights and relevant information on the presenters/recipients that you feel may aid the host. This will be presented to the agent for the celebrities’ consideration. It may be a good idea to have a top three or five list of celebrities to ensure your budget is met.

Music: Last but not least, the “Walk On” and “Walk Off” music for presenters and recipients will need to be chosen and conveyed to the production company. Music can be chosen in keeping with the atmosphere you wish to create, according to its relevance to each person or simply upbeat and feel good music. Ensure your selections are made well in advance and conveyed to the production team. It’s a good idea to make lists throughout the year of the songs you feel would be suitable. The production team will also make great suggestions - check out tomorrow’s Facebook post for music ideas.