Awards Banquets

An awards banquet is a time to celebrate the contributions of those being honored. These simple tips will help make your event successful.  

1. Dress the stage. Awards presentations don’t need to be overly elaborate, but it’s nice to dress the stage with lights, columns or ficus trees.
2. You NEED a script. Having an idea of what you want to happen is not going to work. If you’re coordinating tech, lights and multiple speakers, map out how you want the event to progress and then carefully review the script for potential time-wasting moments.
3. Timing is everything. Try to run through award presentations (with stand-ins for the award winners and tech) at least once.
4. Rent mikes and speakers. If you truly want to honor your awardees, make sure everyone attending can hear what is being presented.
5. Use two presenters. Many award ceremonies are ruined by having one presenter shuffle back and forth between speaking at the podium and presenting an award to a winner. Your event will flow more smoothly if you use one presenter to describe the award, and another to actually hand it to the winner.
6. Use support help. In addition to the presenters, you need people backstage to help the winners go on, and come off successfully. In particular, be sure you have help near any stairs that need to be used.
7. Limit the number of presenters. You’ll lose the attention of your audience if there are simply too many award winners and too many speakers. Limit both, even if you must give some awards out at a "pre-event."
8. Capture professional photos. Hurried onstage snapshots with eyes half-closed and the head half-turned don’t work for newspapers or other form of publicity. Where appropriate, arrange for a professional photographer, or stage a photo area for perfect shots.

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