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This is a guest post by Jo Moor. She has 15 years experience in the events industry and currently works at Vision Events (UK) who are an event production company producing top end corporate and bespoke events for prominent and influential clients throughout the UK and Europe. Submit your guest post here.
Rewarding people within industries or more specifically, internally in your organisation is incredibly important. While times are still tight, rewarding staff and team members can be the easiest way to boost morale and therefore help achieve those all important annual goals and objectives, which ultimately will see companies move forward in these tricky times.
Often, production and AV equipment hire can be left to the last minute as other elements take over, or with little budget assigned. This is the very ‘visual’ side of your event, the one element that guests tend to remember most, so make sure you have assigned enough budget to create the event you wish to have.
Even if you apply just a few of these steps whilst producing your awards ceremony, you’ll be on the right road to having one cracker of an event!
1. Know your Production Budget
Be realistic. If you know your AV and production budget is on the smaller side, be sure to know what you can and can’t get for your money. It’s all very well negotiating the best deals with your suppliers, but it can go against you if you expect too much for your money! All suppliers are business folk so have margins and targets to meet as well.
Share your event budgets as that way, your production supplier can give you the best deal they can offer. Don’t keep it from them as they will have to second guess what you have to spend and you could end up losing the best supplier for the job, if it comes down to a cost decision.
If you are new to producing events, do some research and above all, get to know your suppliers and they will guide you to what you can achieve comfortably within your budget.
2. Stage Design
If you have an idea of how you want your event to look, include that in your production brief: such as wide-screens, varying sized screens, LED display effects, bespoke props and lecterns. This will give your production supplier a great idea of your vision and can ensure you get what you want within your budget.
Alternatively, challenge your production company to come up with a unique design concept based on your event branding, budget and venue space. Using their expertise, you will receive a fantastic design idea(s) which will take into account any venue restrictions (ceiling heights, columns etc) and your production budget.
For most events, branding is key; be it the event logo or sponsor exposure. Consider this with your stage design (and other event elements) to include either static logos/images or animated elements in the LED backdrop, for instance.
3. Graphic Design + Awards Presentation
The main part of your evening is to showcase the finalists and winners. Don’t lose this notion during your preparation as the more exposure you allow each finalist, the more attractive your awards scheme will become which will result in more entries.
By filming finalists prior to the event, amazing video snippets of the entrant can be incorporated within the main awards content with overlaying graphic design, to bring this all together in an exciting, informative and stunning way.
Using your event branding as inspiration, graphic designers can create the main awards presentation template with animated design to bring the content to life. So when the winner is announced, the screens can really come into their own with moving designs, as well as live camera, as a real celebration.
Also consider your key supporters and sponsors. Taking advantage of the screens during the quieter time at dinner is a great way to showcase sponsor logos and give thanks to all those involved without intruding on the guests’ overall experience.
4. Lighting and Music = Atmosphere
The use of lighting and music can be blended to create a rich ambience in your event space. Lighting can transform a venue and can be used to make guests at the back of the room feel more included in the event by having lights all around.
Moving lights, uplighters which throw vivid colours onto walls and ceilings, and patterned effects all intensified with haze machines (enriches colour and beams of light) aren’t necessarily expensive but do produce a sensational impact – especially as guests first walk into your main room.
Subtle background music is a great way to kick start an event but make sure the chosen genre reflects the mood you wish to create – not all guests will appreciate listening to your favourite rock ballad!
Also use music throughout the awards ceremony to accompany all stage walk-ons and bring excitement into the room. The sound engineer will have a collection of music to use for host, keynote speaker and winner stage walk-ons to encourage the audience to applaud and keep the mood upbeat. If you know your music, don’t be afraid to go through these with the production team, but also have the confidence to allow them to select suitable clips.
By allowing your lighting designer free range to pre-programme all the lighting effects prior to the awards, he can tie movement and colour changes in with any music which is played so it all ties together.
5. Event Video
Why spend months and months organising, planning and implementing your event and not capture any of it?! Video has fast become the way to share information. No reason why this can’t be applied to create a vibrant highlights movie of your awards ceremony.
Roaming cameras can capture great footage throughout the event, including any interviews with sponsors/guests/winners, and create a fabulous post event highlights video for you to share on your website, or use as promotional tools to secure those all important sponsors for future years...or simply as a record of your hard work!
Obviously, there’s a lot more to planning an event than these 5 tips and when the time comes to start thinking about organising the live event itself, do consider the level of impact you want to create for your guests so you can apply these pointers.
And remember...however good your event is this time round, you’ll need to better it for next year! Ensure you have the right teams and suppliers around you to move forward. Take time to create these partnerships and the rest will slot into place.