Give your awards night bling on a budget

Jayne McFahn, from live events group GMG Network, shares advice on enhancing an awards evening without piling up the costs

Not everyone has an endless budget to host an awards show, but that doesn’t mean the look and feel should suffer. Here are a few tips to consider when discussing ways to enhance an awards evening without breaking the budget.

Venues, AV, and lighting
Look for venues that include elements of AV within the room hire. Some venues include their room lighting within the hire and this can be controlled by your AV team to give colour chases around the room or across the ceiling, adding drama and movement for a minimal cost.
Good lighting can really make an awards ceremony, even just a few moving lights and some haze will give a much greater impact both on entry to the room and also as winners are announced.

Voice of God
A live VOG will not only provide announcements throughout the evening, but they can interact with the host and give a more dynamic feel to the event.
Not only that, but if you have a rowdy crowd they can help the host to keep control of the room.

Sponsors are a valuable commodity at any event, but think outside the box with an awards evening. Do you want those table centres that are out of your budget? Then consider getting a sponsor to cover that particular element of the room dressing – you can add their logo discretely to the table centre in addition to thanking them in the usual way in your programmes/website. The same goes for the drinks reception and set and stage. A highlight video could also be sponsored – just add a thank you to the closing credits – what better way to publicise the event for the following year than with a highlight video of the previous successful event?

It is important to make sure you get the basics right:
• A venue with good access, staff and catering
• A date that doesn’t clash with another event in your industry (or bank holidays/major sporting events)
• A really good sound system – if people can’t hear they will immediately disengage
• Clear on-screen content
• Concise scripting for the host and presenters

It goes without saying that working with a professional event manager will save you not only money, but also time and stress.

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