You’ve decided to run an event to celebrate your awards. Or maybe it’s been decided for you. In any case, it’s going ahead, and it’s actually closer than you think.
But where do you start? What do you need to do? This process can easily turn into a migraine of a problem if handled haphazardly. Luckily, it doesn’t need to because we have seven tips for stress-free awards event management:
- Set clear goals
- Determine what you can spend
- Select your judges carefully
- Pick a venue with event hosting experience
- Give your awards event a theme
- Get the word out
- Use awards management software
Set clear goals
What do you want to achieve with this event? Are you aware of the main objectives? Do you want to recognise excellence in your field or raise money or awareness for a worthy cause? Are you desperate to increase employee engagement?
If you’re looking for an easy excuse for a night out, you might be in trouble. Ensuring your goals are clear will make it a cinch when you’re mapping out your event specifics. It’ll also help define what success looks like for your event.
Determine what you can spend
Knowing an estimate of what everything is likely to cost from the outset should be a fundamental part of managing your awards event. There’s no point booking Béyonce to sing at your awards ceremony if all you’re going to serve is a plate of chicken nuggets and cocktail sausages.
This list is not exhaustive, but some of the essential costs you need to determine are:
- Refreshments (beer and chicken wings or champagne and caviar)
- Venue (A motel or the Ritz)
- Décor (A few banners or fireworks)
- Entertainment (Spotify or Béyonce)
Select your judges carefully
This is crucial. Picking the wrong judges could severely impact the credibility of your awards. They might be a big name in your area but does that qualify them to pass judgement. Would your local radio’s morning DJ be in the know about SAAS startups?
Can trust them to decide fairly or will certain biases arise? Do you have a back-up plan in the result of a non-unanimous decision? If not you could be setting yourself up for a hurricane sized headache.
Pick a venue with event hosting experience
Obviously, your budget will ultimately dictate what site you should select, but, you should gear your searches towards a site that has experience hosting an awards ceremony.
The host should be able to answer all of your practicality questions without hesitation. Will everything be fine acoustically? Will any guest have an obstructed view of your stage?
As a bonus, if they have hosted awards events before they’ll also probably be able to chip in with helpful advice. Don’t forget a stress-free event also suits them.
Give your event a theme
Giving your awards event a theme can take it to the next level. Doing this can create a real buzz amongst your audience and make it really stand out. It can also simplify your choices of decoration as they all must fit within your chosen theme.
The choices are endless. You can go with a Hawaiian theme, a Gatsby-inspired 192os theme or even an outer space theme. But be careful, a theme too off the wall might alienate some of your audience. Maybe don’t go with a racing car theme for a renewable energy awards night.
Get the word out
It’s no good just having an awards ceremony. You’ve got to let people know its happening. Often the most cost-effective way to do this is through the use of organic and paid social media adverts.
Creating a dedicated hashtag for your event and ensure you’re regularly posting across your social channels will help get you noticed. On the night, you can gather your winner’s social handles and send out congratulatory posts simultaneous to their announcement.
However, don’t sleep on traditional media. Radio and print still have a part to play. Maybe your target audience would rather listen to a current affairs radio show than endlessly like pictures of Kardashians on Instagram.
Use awards management software
An awards management software like Submit will significantly reduce time spent on the uninteresting admin allowing you to focus your efforts on making your event the highlight of the year.
With Submit, you can create your application form using a multitude of different question types, collect a few or a few thousand applicants, filter to find the very best applicants and manage the entire process all in one place.
You can even send applications for judges to review entirely online. Send them a link containing only the applicants you want them to see, and they get to work on reading, commenting and scoring. You can make their life even more comfortable by adding in custom evaluation questions or building custom evaluation forms.
Not 100% sure of the features you need awards management software to have? We ran through the essentials here.
Unfortunately, we can’t help you with the first six, but we can do a hell of a job with that last one.
If you think it’s time to streamline your awards submission process, talk to one of our senior solutions specialists today who will guide you through the process to see if Submit is the right fit for you.