Hosting an awards banquet or corporate recognition event can be a powerful tool to motivate your employees and decrease the high costs of employee turnover. It’s also challenging. Coordinating venues, catering, awards, parking, (the list goes on and on) can be a full-time job in the months leading up to the event. One piece of advice that seems to be echoed by every planner is:
“Every event presents its own challenges and rewards. The more you get used to rolling with the unexpected and reacting calmly the better off you’ll be!”
So, we’ve created a quick guide and some tips to help your event go off without a hitch.
First, get an early start
Procrastination does not mix well with event planning. Delays and issues will inevitably occur trying to ” make-do” last minute shows throughout the event. Successful event planning requires solid time management and organizational skills and depending on the size of the event, possibly a whole team of event planners.
Divide and conquer
Divide all the event tasks into smaller, bite-sized responsibilities — Location booking, catering, awards ordering, invitations, press and media, etc. Within each of these categories, make a list of to-dos and order them based on time sensitivities and priorities.
Order the awards
It’s wise to order the awards for the event three to four weeks ahead of time. If you’re placing a large order (20 or more), ask your vendor to produce a few extra awards to keep on hand for last minute changes. Also, triple check all award recipient names before sending along the engraving details — there’s nothing worse than honoring your workaholic accountant with an elegant crystal award only to have the engraving read “Michael Millspa” when his name is actually: Michael Millsap.
Do you have a backup host?
If you’ve appointed a master of ceremonies you may want to have an understudy as well, especially if it’s a formal event. Simply having someone on the planning committee “wing it” to replace an ill MC can quickly ruin an awards banquet.
Don’t cut corners with the sound system or the caterers
It’s hard to have a terrible time when you can hear the speaker well, the food is delicious, and the drinks keep coming.
Pictures and reporting
Make sure someone is in charge of snapping photos throughout the night. While this doesn’t have to be a professional photographer, it doesn’t hurt — especially if you’re planning on promoting the event on your website. Presenting photos of company events presents your business in a transparent manner and builds trust with clients. That said, a shaky iPhone pic of Janis from HR receiving her award isn’t really website material.