Luke warm food, shabby or bland surroundings, balloon center pieces, Mary from HR droning on and on when presenting awards … we’ve all been to awards ceremonies like this, probably too many times. The key to creating an event that people will look forward to is thinking creatively. Even on a small budget, there are ways to jazz things up.
Create a budget
The first step to creating an event is figuring out your budget. Big or small, it’s what you have to work with, so figure it out before booking the emcee, location, caterer, stagers, music, entertainment or creating the awards. Then stick to it!
Find a unique location to host the ceremony. It’s doesn’t have to be in the meeting room at work or in a room in the local Holiday Inn. What about booking the pavilion at the zoo or botanical garden? Or finding a location at a state or local park — renting a group use area in parks can be very inexpensive. If you set aside time for your guests to explore, it’ll be that much more fun for them.
Try to find a local speaker that can not only emcee your event, but who can wow the audience with a motivating story. What about hiring a local stand-up comedian to lighten up the atmosphere? Many speakers can tailor their presentation to your industry. If your organization works in the sports industry, try hiring a local sports caster to entertain your guests.
Most employees place a great deal of value in the simple act of performance recognition. Often times, a simple plaque or certificate can show your employee how much you care about his/her’s job performance. Awards are also a great way to recognize years of faithful service to a company or organization.
Atmosphere (decorations, staging and food)
Don’t use the same old table dressings. Balloon centerpieces are boring… unless you hide gifts inside and let the guests pop the balloon to get their prizes. The typical 8 x 10 stage with podium always bores people … way to much like a school lecture. If your business is the car industry, how about using the bed of a pickup truck as your stage. Last but not least, unless you are prepared to spend a small fortune, a sit down dinner is generally bland, boring and lukewarm. Consider hosting cocktail party with tasty appetizers that appeal to any food preference (vegetarian, omnivores and meat eaters alike). What about an ice cream social as the focus of your awards ceremony? Or how about setting up a barbecue challenge where your employees can trot out their grilling skills, compete for prizes and feed the gang.