If you’re one of those people who sat up half the night watching the Oscars, bravo – give yourself an award! And what a night for The Shape of Water! We managed to watch a lot of it before conking out but as ever, it was a glitzy, glamorous affair full of celebration and happy faces.
And it’s around this time each year (funnily enough) that we think about awards nights for companies.
If you were an outsider looking in on your internal event culture, would you be impressed?
The drum we’re banging loudest this year is about event content. Not just about creating dynamic, unique events – but about considering how your event content represents your company and its values.
If you were an outsider looking in on your internal event culture, would you be impressed? Would you think – wow, they look like an exciting and company to work for? Or that the event was cleverly executed, professional and truly representative of the people working there?
It doesn’t seem that long ago that it was deemed OK to have a disco in the conference room with warm Mateus Rose, sausage rolls and a snog in the stationery cupboard. But we are literally light years away from that now.
A company’s events are often illustrative of a deeper social and work ethic
A company’s events are often illustrative of a deeper social and work ethic, and in the past few years we’ve seen really exciting options arising – including everything from donning overalls to support local community initiatives, to holding mind-blowing high tech events employing AR and VR technology.
But there’s one event format that keeps coming round – and with good reason. We don’t actually think we need to tell you why corporate awards are a good idea. The feelgood factor, a chance to dress up, a reason to celebrate determination and success at work, an opportunity to have a really good, fun party… you get the picture. So on the morning as wake up checking who won what last night, here’s some tips on creating a great awards night yourselves…
1. Go for quality
Awards is all about recognising talent and effort. Don’t go half-hearted with this or it’s just rude. Go large or go with something else if you have a smaller budget (we have ideas if you’re stuck, ask us)
2. Go big on the lights, camera, action!
Make people feel special – if they’re coming on stage to collect an award, give them a spotlight, for goodness’ sake. Consider Hollywood style moving searchlights outside, a red carpet with paps taking photos, proper filming of the night for a future screening to show guests later on, and get a proper big screen (or screens if it’s a huge room with pillars) so everyone can see the action. Scrimp on AV and you’re back in that conference room/warm Mateus space.
3. Planning ahead
If you’re going to go the full Monty with awards and film the entrants to have playback before announcing the winners, and have gold envelopes and so on – can we suggest you get some help with that? It TAKES AGES to get that stuff together! And unless you’re the event planner in your company and not just someone who’s trying to put this together AND do their job at the same time – seriously, get a bit of support. Or you’re going to end up frazzled to a crisp by the time awards night rolls around.
4. Theme it up
Hand on heart the most popular theme we do is A Night at the Oscars, obvs. But there’s other themes that can make this fun – like a simple elegant colour or bling scheme (Black and Gold? Diamonds and Pearls?) or go full crazy and pick something like a Bladerunner Futuristic theme or something really techy. Our top tip here is to keep it glam/high end/right for the crowd. There’s a time and a place for having a laugh and dressing like a fool, and awards night isn’t normally it.
5. Places and faces and song and dance
Picking the right venue is important, as is getting the right compere and acts spot on. And remember that there’s going to be a room full of positive energy after the awards themselves, so give them space to dance and some decent music!
6. Get techy
Make sure you inject some 21st century in here. Hashtags for sharing results, maybe a Twitter wall so guests can live Tweet as the event happens. A live upload to Facebook with imagery as people win – make the event come alive.
7. Finally – be creative!
It doesn’t have to follow a traditional format. It could be outdoors. You could have people voting live on iPads at the event itself, so NOBODY knows the winner til the night. It could be really informal but with absolutely stunning prizes – so your budget goes on awesome incentives rather than a massive AV bill. The key is probably looking at your company staff. Are they mostly youngsters? If so, will they actually enjoy black tie and formal dinner, or would they rather chill in easier clothing but win a trip to Vegas!? Whatever your ideas, keep the pizzazz in there somewhere and make sure everyone comes away having had an amazing time.
If you’d like any help, you can of course call in the Experts! Email us here
(And sorry to Mateus Rose for being so scathing. Truth – we had some over summer last year and properly chilled, it’s really very nice!)