Whether this is your first time or your 100th, planning an awards ceremony has certain elements that you will want to include to be successful. A well planned night will have delicious food, moving speeches, and leave everyone feeling fulfilled. But these things don’t just happen on their own. It takes a lot of planning and preparation to accomplish. 

Great Location 

Location is everything for your awards ceremony. You want to select a venue that can accommodate all your needs. First and foremost, the site should be big enough to accommodate your guests. You also will want to consider the layout. Can people see the stage no matter where they are seated? Can they move about the venue easily? Is it accessible for those with disabilities? Is there enough parking to accommodate the number of people you are hosting at the ceremony? Oftentimes banquet halls can provide great venues for ceremonies.  


Award ceremonies are all about celebrating people and their achievements. But if the audience can’t hear the speakers then you won’t get the engagement you are seeking. When you visit the venue to see if it is a good fit for your event, ask the staff if they will set up a microphone to allow you to test the acoustics beforehand. Bring a co-worker or friend so that you can test out how sound moves through the room or rooms. 

Lighting and A/V

Do you need to show pictures, videos or presentations on a large screen? Finding a venue that provides the resources to project can be very beneficial and save you lots of time. You will also want to be thoughtful of the lighting. Does the venue have staff that can help change the lighting as your event progresses? This can help set the mood and leave you to focus your efforts elsewhere. 


Regardless of whether you decide to bring in a caterer to serve your event or use the food services of the venue, request to test the food beforehand. Part of what makes a great awards ceremony is the dinner that goes with it. You will need to decide whether guests will serve themselves via a buffet or if you will have the event serviced. Both have advantages. A buffet is typically less expensive because the vendor needs less staff. However, if you want guests to eat during the event, then it can be useful to have servers bring food and drink to the tables so all of your guests’ attention is on the stage.