7 steps to a memorable, stand-out awards ceremony

Everyone has their own expectations of what an awards ceremony should be. For some, this kind of event can be a tedious affair, following the same formula every time. However, for more imaginative, dynamic events planners – awards ceremonies are a chance to entertain, stand out and deliver a fun, memorable experience for everyone attending.

1. Set your budget. You might have all the creative ideas in the world, but that’s no use when you don’t have the budget to back it up. Set a realistic, achievable budget and don’t forget to set aside a generous contingency fund just in case of emergencies and unexpected costs.

2. Nail down your essentials. Get your event tent or other venue booked, along with catering, bar, sound systems and other absolute essentials, before you do anything else. Make a list of must-haves – without which your event simply wouldn’t happen – and get all of these ticked off as a top priority. Then you can see how much of a budget you have left to play with.

3. Nail down your guests. Not literally of course, but you do need to plan your guest list in advance and get solid RSVPs so you can ensure that your event tent is big enough or that you’ve budgeted enough for seating and catering.

4. Market early, and brand professionally. Marketing is key to your event’s success and its attendance figures. Start early, embrace online channels and be creative in your campaigns. You also need to brand your event properly, so as to make the perfect first impression when guests walk through the door.

5. Give your guests the complete experience. A memorable event is one where all guests receive a taste of the VIP experience, having a fantastic time and really enjoying themselves. Think about what you can do to deliver this, from personalisation to gifts and VIP areas within your event tent.

6. Embrace technology! If you really want your awards ceremony to have the ‘wow’ factor, consider making use of innovative technology. Motion graphics, augmented reality, glassless 3D screens, voting key pads and live streaming video are just a handful of the techniques and technologies you can implement (budget allowing, of course) to bring your event to life.

7. Call in the professionals for lighting, décor and entertainment. To stand out from other awards ceremonies, your event needs a distinct look, theme or ‘message’ – the best way to realise this is by calling in the professionals. For the perfect finish in everything from the lighting, décor and furnishing of a unique venue like a SaddleSpan event tent to the bar, food and entertainment, seek professional help. You might think you can put everything together yourself, but the last thing you want is to run out of money (getting a quote from a professional events entertainment planner can help you budget) and have to cobble something together last minute – not very professional.

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