Awards Banquets

The following checklist is reprinted from the February, 2000 issue of Meetings & Conventions Magazine

Form a Committee
  • Consider forming an awards committee made up of members from all departments that confer awards.
  • If an event producer will be hired, include him on the committee.
  • Create a flow chart that outlines responsibilities of each committee member.
  • Include decor, audiovisual, invitations, & food and beverage.
  • Establish dates for awards committee meetings, issue reminders and agendas, distribute meeting notes.

Identify Potential Winners
  • List categories and the number of winners in each category.
  • Prioritize categories in order importance.
  • Decide what form of recognition each winner will receive (appearance onstage, photo on screen, name on-screen, stand up in audience, name printed on program, certificate, presentation of the physical award)
  • Decide whether winners should be notified in advance that they have won.
  • Establish a time line for determining winners, so awards and print materials are not last-minute.

Develop the Ceremony
  • Is the ceremony an annual event with established traditions?
  • If so, list developments that consistently have worked well, and note elements that should be changed.
  • Decide what format the ceremony will have: awards followed by dinner, dinner followed by awards or awards during dinner.
  • Will winners be brought onstage to receive awards, or will awards be brought to winners' tables? Alternatively, if winners have traveled to the ceremony, will awards be mailed to their homes?
  • Incorporate the theme into the ceremony. If the company or association did not meet its goals, the theme should be conservative. If the company is downsizing or anticipating a merger, the theme should be motivational. The theme should be original, catchy & pertinent, and should reflect the association or company's current culture.
  • Develop a short slogan and a logo that effectively communicate the theme.

Prepare for the Event
  • Get a complete list of the winners, plus biographical information and photos, if you plan to use them.
  • Send invitations to attendees.
  • Have a committee member or travel agent coordinate necessary travel arrangements.
  • Keep track of acceptances and regrets.
  • Order awards and have them engraved with each recipient' s name, the name of the specific award, and the theme and date of the banquet. Place your order as early as possible to leave enough time for errors to be corrected. Have awards shipped to the event site and make sure they arrived undamaged.
  • Determine which, if any, executives will be onstage as part of presentation.
  • Arrange rehearsal time for all personnel, including award winners, if appropriate.
  • Provide a full script and cues to all personnel prior to rehearsal, including rules on length of acceptance speeches, where to walk, protocol, etc..
  • Coordinate timing of food service with the banquet staff.
  • Mark winners tables for floor runners and spotlight operators, and designate their position on a floor chart.
  • Mark the stage for individual positions of the master of ceremonies, executives & winners.
  • Make sure the stairs to the podium are well lighted.
  • Checks awards are placed in order of presentation.

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Monday, September 17, 2012