Who said formalities have to be boring? With a range of entertainers, characters and hosts at hand, your awards night can be given an injection of flavour. But, where to begin? Below, we’ll outline 8 ideas, tips, and themes we’ve found to help inspire your own event that will be remembered for years to come.

1. Choose a theme related to your program

A generic awards ceremony will be easily forgotten. That’s why creating a theme specific to your program is not only important, but vital. There are countless theme ideas to choose from to make your gala exciting. And if one of these basic themes can be applied to your program, you can build on it and put your own unique spin on things to make it special.

2. Choose an awesome venue

Instead of holding your awards ceremony at the classic banquet hall, hotel, or event venue, why not think outside the box and do something creative? Finding a new, unique venue can give your event a fresh feel to it.

Sure, everyone loves the classic Oscars-style awards ceremony, but try hosting one: ​

  • In an open rooftop garden
  • Amidst the wildlife of the local botanical gardens or zoo
  • Surrounded by lanterns on the beach
  • Deep underground in an abandoned subway station
  • In the “secret” backroom of a speakeasy

3. Design a unique stage

If you prefer to keep the award ceremony at your usual venue, it’s time to get creative with the stage, props, and backdrop of the stage where your winners will be going to receive their award. For example:

  • For book awards, have the backdrop image change according to the genre of novel being awarded
  • For movie awards, play clips from the movies that are competing for the awards
  • For client/customer loyalty awards, show images and video of the client receiving the award

You can also build up the stage according to your theme, incorporating thematic elements that will help to give your guests a truly unique experience when they walk up onto the stage to receive their award.

4. Make your invitations matter

You already know that every detail matters, and invitations are no exception. In fact, your invitations are incredibly important because they’re the first impression guests will have of the event to come and will set the tone.

Your invitations should reflect your organization and remain consistent with the branding you’ve used throughout your awards program. In addition, they should spark interest and excitement, so that those attending will be eagerly awaiting the ceremony.

5. Mix and mingle entertainment for awards ceremonies

When guests arrive at an awards ceremony they’re excited, they’re ready to celebrate, and they’re full of nervous energy. That’s why having meet and greet entertainment that can mix and mingle with guests, strike up conversation, pose for photos and add a sense that something special is about to happen is perfect.

Walkabout entertainment also tends to be versatile in nature meaning that it can be easily adapted to suit the event’s theme and the audience.

6. Maximize seating space with long tables

Circular tables are a common choice for any awards ceremony. And while they’re conducive to small conversations amongst guests, they take up space that could be used to seat more guests. If you’re expecting a large turnout, instead of opting for circular tables, choose long tables that allow you to seat more guests and free up space for photos or other components you want to integrate in your event.

7. Make a splash with non-traditional centerpieces

Floral centerpieces are a common choice for any ceremony. However, this makes them more of a generic option rather than something that will get people talking (or perhaps even interacting).

Make the centerpieces relevant to the event and give guests something creative to do amongst themselves throughout the ceremony. You can make your ceremony not only interesting, but highly entertaining as well!

8. Have a good MC

The Master of Ceremonies must be able to read the crowd. If they sense the crowd is restless, they’ll need to move it along. If they see the crowd is enjoying themselves, they can allow things to flow at the natural pace.

Hosting your own event may not be the best idea, especially if you’re not skilled at reading your audience and moving things along. It’s worth hiring a professional who has experience with this type of ceremony, as they’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly.

A bonus tip is instead of having the host stay only on the stage, ask them to move around the hall. This draws the attention and spotlight around the room and gives the audience more engagement in the event.

Of course, an awards ceremony is much more than just a theme, centerpiece, or budget. But when it comes down to it, creating a memorable, fun event means paying attention to each small detail and each will add up in a big way.

Are you looking for additional inspiration, tips, or budgeting assistance for your upcoming awards program ceremony? Get in touch today!

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