Big Moments – Make Your Award Show Shine Like The Oscars!

Oscar Statue for Article on how to organize award showsPlanners, it’s the time of the year again: The Grammys, Tony Awards, and Academy Awards are already knocking at our doors.

Take them as inspiration and use the following additions to your daily event-planning routines to have your next corporate award ceremony shine as well:

1. Clarify Expectations

It takes hundreds of helping hands to make corporate award shows spectacular. Preparations take time, and cost a good deal of money. You and your event sponsor need to be on the same page when it comes to expectations and the resources needed to make the vision come true.

2. Set The Right Tone

Take a close look at the Grammys and Oscars. The vibe and audience of the two shows—one music, one film—are distinct. Set the feel and mood for your own award ceremony by selecting the right dress code, location, entertainment, speakers, and decorations, all tailored at achieving one goal: consistency for the show.

3. Make The Actual Award Shine

The Oscar statuette reminds people of the grand star-studded festivities that surround the prestigious award. Work to create a positive connotation between your award and your memorable show. Consider collaborating with artists on designing a statuette that shines. When it comes to recognition, an image is worth a thousand words!

4. Go Beyond The Results

Most of us watch or attend award shows for reasons that are beyond celebrating the winners. We enjoy an entertaining show in the world of the chic, rich and famous. Keep that in mind as you plan out your award show. Exciting entertainment goes a long way.

5. Find The Perfect Host

No matter the protocol, do all in your power to have a professional to host your show. Steer away from allowing a senior executive to tackle that challenge. A pro will expertly keep your audience engaged with tailored stories, jokes, or sketches. They will smoothly manage the many transitions between speakers, music, entertainment, and videos. And, they will deal with any hoopla thrown their way. Not an easy feat.

6. Choreograph and Practice

Think beyond orchestrating sound, lighting, and stage design. For award shows, every word needs to be planned, all jokes tested, and every performance practiced. There are visuals, live performances, announcements, video feeds, and photo-ops that come into play. With this much going on, timing can’t be left to coincidence. Remember, practice makes perfect!

7. Keep Up The Suspense

People’s Choice Award nominees are let in on the results ahead of time. This dulls the surprise, once the winner is publicly announced. Go with the Oscars’ air of secrecy. We all know of the positive effects of building suspense, so utilize it to your full advantage. Show me an audience that’s not all ears when the time comes to opening the gold envelope, followed by “And The Oscar Goes To …”

8. Deliver What You Promise

The Golden Globes typically manage to stick to their three-hour timeline, while the Oscars are (in)famous for running over. Deliver on the promise of your timeline. Keep speeches short – and sweet! Rehearsal and strict guidelines will help you along the way. If an awardee carries on and on and on, be subtle. Fading in music and having an escort approach to guide the speaker off stage will do the trick.

9. Make Everyone Feel Special

No need to break the bank with high-valued swag bags for your nominees and attendees. Little touches go a long way. Welcome guests with a glass of champagne, provide canapés during the show, and send everyone off with a little something to brag about. At the end of the night, everyone will feel like a winner.

Find our selection of over 200 for corporate event giveaways at And here is how to go about selecting the perfect give-away for your event:

10. Get Social Media Hyping

A comprehensive social media strategy will put the ball in your court. Communicate hashtags and handles, and integrate social media into the award show’s agenda. Read tweets out loud, answer questions submitted via Facebook, or vote on the funniest Vine clip. Constant communication will help those not in the room stay in the loop.

It’s no secret that there are many things to consider when putting on a corporate award show. So planners, get your perfectionist-self ready. Award season has arrived.

- Mona


Special thanks to Martin Steger for providing a second pair of eyes to this post.

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