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8 Ideas for Inspiring Your Next Awards Ceremony Event

Awards ceremonies are a fun, unique way to recognize people who have made outstanding contributions. Whether you’re hosting a novel awards ceremony, music awards ceremony, or an awards ceremony for your most important customers, clients, and vendors, it’s vital that you make all participants (not just the winners) feel truly special. To do that, you have to get creative with your award ceremony ideas.

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After a few years, you may feel like your annual ceremony is getting a bit dull or “same-y”. Here, at Ultimate Experience we have come up with some epic ideas for award ceremonies that will help you kick things up a notch and make your event shine…

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 Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Surrounded by books in the British Library
  • Deep underground in an abandoned subway station
  • In the “secret” backroom of a speakeasy

It’s all about doing something unique and new, and an “out of the box” venue can go a long way toward delivering that fresh feel to the event.

marquee venue decorated, awards ceremony ideas, ultimate experienceoutside a marquee, awards ceremony ideas, ultimate experience

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.

Keep it Short and Sweet

There is NOTHING that will bore your guests more than hearing your winners give a long, drawn-out speech. Why do you think even the Academy Awards has insisted their winner shorten their speeches to a minute or so?

Instead of dragging the ceremony on, keep it short and sweet.​

  • List the nominees for each category, and give a short explanation of why they are nominated.
  • Make sure the nominees are situated near the stage so they can quickly reach the stage.
  • Give them less than a minute to speak.

The winners will have plenty of chances to speak to the people they are attending the event with, so don’t waste all of your guests’ time with long, droning speeches. Keep it moving along!

Know Your Audience

Who will be attending the awards ceremony?

  • If you’re playing to a younger audience, play music and use images that they will identify with.
  • If your crowd is older, stay away from the “latest” music.
  • If your guests are all professionals and executives, an informal theme may not be suitable.
  • If your attendees are expecting to relax and have a fun time, you want to avoid a formal theme.

It’s all about knowing your audience. Think about who you are inviting to the awards ceremony, and what they will want for the event. Cater to the crowd.

speaker before an audience, awards ceremony ideas, ultimate experince

Make Them Laugh

EVERYONE loves to laugh! To make the event truly awesome, give your guests something to laugh about.

One great way to kick off an awards ceremony is with a stand-up comedian, or a gentle “roast” of the nominees, attendees, or event organizers. It has to be done correctly and in good taste, but it can be a highly effective way of helping your crowd to relax. After all, if they’re laughing and having a good time, they won’t be watching the clock or waiting impatiently for the food to arrive.

Feed Guests Well

Awards ceremonies tend to be long and drawn-out, and the last thing you want is guests that are hungry. If you’re going to go for a traditional ceremony, make sure that you are giving your guests something to munch on.

catering, awards ceremony ideas

You don’t have to go full banquet dinner, but you do need to ensure that they are satisfied. Give them a drink or two (age-permitting, of course) to help them relax and loosen up. Serve snacks, appetizers, or finger food before the event, and keep the food coming during the event. No one will mind having a little something to snack on as the event takes place, and it will keep your guests happy. Our friends at Create Food are happy to help find the perfect catering solutions for your award ceremony.

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.

Bonus: Instead of having the host stay only on the stage, ask them them to move around the hall. This draws the attention and spotlight around the room, and gives the audience more engagement in the event.

Give Everyone a Voice

Not everyone will win, but you can still give everyone a chance to speak!

Set up a video station where guests can share their thoughts, and congratulate each other. Give all of your guests a chance to stand in the spotlight and say whatever they want.

After the awards ceremony, edit and compile the video, and send it out to all of the attendees. Even if there are only short clips of each person’s thoughts, it gives everyone a voice to share what they want to share.

For years, Ultimate Experience has been working to deliver high quality experiences to their clients, and we’ve learned how to make your events as unique and extraordinary as possible. Thanks to the venues provided by the Concerto Group and Venueseeker, we help you to tailor your events to your audience for a truly unforgettable experience.

What do you think of these tips? Do you think they’ll make YOUR event successful? Leave a comment below and let us hear your thoughts…