The annual Academy Awards ceremony is the highlight of the film industry calendar. It continues to stand head and shoulders above all other film awards and the live broadcast attracts a global audience. Since its inception in 1929, the Oscars ceremony – as the awards are more affectionately known – has become renowned for its glamour, witty hosting, tearful (and sometimes lengthy) acceptance speeches and the most impressive guest list imaginable. Running a show like this demands slick and lavish production, time management, vast amounts of organisation and attention to the most minute detail – after all, a mistake at a ceremony on such a scale would be embarrassing to say the least.

So where do you start?

Naturally, there is a huge amount to think about when planning a corporate awards ceremony. From choosing an appropriate venue to arranging sound and lighting to organising the catering, the list is endless. On top of that you’ll doubtless be juggling a budget, working out whether compromising on one element will compromise the entire event experience.


Key things to consider when planning your awards ceremony include:

Transforming the venue into an inspiring space

Theming and décor can turn even the blandest conference room into an attractive and celebratory environment. Take cues from your company’s brand colour palette to keep the decoration relevant and don’t forget to promote the brand logo itself.

High production values

You want everyone to see what’s going on, you want them to hear what’s being said, you need to keep their attention throughout. Lighting creates atmosphere but also helps to keep everyone focused on what’s happening on stage – you might want to consider hiring a lighting team to operate the equipment for maximum effect on the night. The same applies to sound, and working with an experienced sound engineer will ensure that no one misses a joke or a heartfelt thank you, even if they’re sat at the table furthest from the stage.

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Visual impact

Awards ceremonies can become very dry, boring and repetitive unless you find a way of adding a wow factor. Video adds extra interest and helps to keep the audience fully engaged. It can also be really effectively used to help move your event along – from one award to another, from one part of the evening to another, the audio visual aspect provides a dynamic element to the proceedings.

Keep your guests happy

It’s probably going to be a long night, so it’s important to keep everyone entertained throughout the event. A drinks reception on arrival will put guests in the right frame of mind, good food and wine – whether it’s a seated meal or a stand-up buffet – creates an opportunity to relax and chat, and some form of entertainment at the end of the awards is a great way to round off the celebrations.

Too much to cope with?

The success of any awards ceremony rests largely on what goes on in the background and all the preparation beforehand. It means liaising with a lot of people who are skilled in their particular field and getting them to work towards a common goal, your event. Handing this task to an award ceremony organiser is an ideal solution if you are working to a short deadline or simply don’t have enough hours in the day to organise everything and do your day-to-day work.

A good brief with clear aims and success criteria, and a budget to work to, is all it takes to start making your vision of a memorable and enjoyable awards ceremony a reality. Our experience of planning and managing all kinds of live events means that every detail is covered. We have in-house expertise in technical production and can call on a network of quality suppliers to provide all elements of your awards ceremony, from finding an exciting and unusual venue to managing the entire evening, right down to taking care of inviting and registering your guests.

Whether you need help organising and managing the entire awards ceremony or would simply like support on more technical aspects, MGN Events can help. Call us on 01932 223333 or email hello@mgnevents.co.uk and we’ll make sure yours is an award-winning event.

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