An awards ceremony is all about recognising and celebrating the achievements of people within your business who have gone above and beyond in their role. Subsequently, it is important to successfully organise and execute an event of considerable significance and grandeur for both the recipients and the spectators. There are a number of aspects of an awards ceremony you should consider and take onboard to ensure you produce a commendable and memorable event. Here are some top tips for planning an awards ceremony.

What to Consider Before Planning an Awards Ceremony

Before you book anything for the event, it is a good idea to set your budget. Initially setting the budget will allow you to determine the style and size of your event. Your set budget will have an impact on the venue, catering and entertainment you can afford.

You should also outline your objectives in an event brief. This will become a useful document to refer back to, defining the style, atmosphere and format of the ceremony you are organising. You may also need to adhere to brand guidelines which will be established in your brief. State your budget and prepare a timeline within the brief so that every aspect of the event is itemised and trackable. Produce a detailed running order outlining who is responsible for what, from setting up the event to dismantling after. Once you have written up your brief and set your budget, you can then start planning the other aspects of the awards ceremony.

black tie event

Deciding on a Theme

It is typical of an awards ceremony to be a black tie theme. However, there are a number of other themes you could bear in mind that are guaranteed to make your event even more impressive and unique. Themes such as James Bond, Arabian Nights, Casino, Wild West or 1920’s will provide a source of entertainment for guests whilst maintaining that formal and ceremonious feel.

Choosing a Venue

The venue you choose will largely depend on the style of event and your budget. Search for a notorious venue that either has historical significance or is renowned for a number of celebrity appearances. We suggest looking into London venues such as The Dorchester, The Saatchi Gallery, The Royal Albert Hall, Lords Cricket Ground or the Old Royal Naval College. This is just a limited selection of the endless number of formal and upscale London venues that would be ideal for hosting an awards ceremony. Make sure to find a venue that includes a stage and podium for your host/speakers. You will also need to be sure the configuration of the room will fit enough seated diners.

When researching various venue possibilities, make sure to ask about stage design, music and lighting. The type of lighting and music you opt for will transform your event and help to create a rich ambience. The inclusion of subtle background music is the best way to reflect the mood you wish to achieve, based on the music genre you have chosen. The stage design will also have a big impact on the atmosphere of your event. Incorporate personalised wide screens, LED backdrops and animated elements into the stage design to achieve a specific ambience. A lot of venues will have this type of stage design set up for similar events. If not, you can hire equipment specialists who can provide this for you.

Providing Entertainment

Providing entertainment for guests is the best way to break up an evening, especially between speeches and presentations. The majority of guests attending the evening will not be award recipients and are likely to lose interest quickly. Organising interesting and engaging live entertainment is the best way to avoid your guests from becoming disinterested during the event. We suggest looking into live musicians, a digital graffiti wall, stand up comedians or casino games.

You could even consider photo booth hire which promises to provide hours of entertainment for guests and allows them to take home a personal souvenir. You will often find that guests will tend to enjoy the event more if the entertainment includes activities they can involve themselves in. Bear in mind activities such as dancing and karaoke when you are looking for suitable entertainment.


Looking for A Host

Due to the nature of this event, you will require a host and possibly several speakers. The type of host you elect can make or break an awards ceremony, so it is best to designate someone who you know speaks with passion, charisma and humour. The host needs to be able to engage with the audience and capture their undivided attention effectively. The person you choose will also need to articulately highlight the award recipient’s accomplishments, the contributions he/she has made to the company and their professional background. It is advised to hire a professional speaker who is guaranteed to not only captivate the audience but also do justice to the award recipients.

event venue

Finding Food and Drink

Decide what type of catering you are going to provide attendees; this could be anything from a 3-course meal to a buffet-style spread. Take a look at event caterers such as Bubble Food, Dish, Mustard Catering and Rhubarb. If you’re searching for smaller, local event catering companies, then take a look at The Rub BBQ or The Chef’s Kitchen. Providing different types of fantastic food entertainment is also a sure way to impress your guests. Chocolate fountains, Ferrero Roche Pyramids, and French Macaron stands are all essential for satisfying your sweet-toothed attendees.

If your budget does not allow you to provide a free bar for guests, then why not give out complimentary drinks on arrival. This is a great way to immediately impress both the award recipients and the spectators and start the evening off in the best way possible.


Hopefully, if you have followed our guide and done all of the above, you can expect to plan and execute an affluent and thoroughly appreciated awards ceremony. The key is to ensure the guests who aren’t receiving awards enjoy the night just as much as the ones who do. If you have found this guide beneficial in any way, please feel free to share it with your friends on social media.