How to… put on an awards ceremony

Helen Bola Imuaphe. Photo: Temie Photography Helen Bola Imuaphe. Photo: Temie Photography
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1. Set your budget

Budgetary concerns play a decisive role and are best addressed at the start. The budget helps you to determine the scope of your event, set your priorities and achieve your results. This is where you have to be realistic. Be sure to know what you can and can’t get for your money – remember, all your suppliers have a business to run and have margins/targets to meet as well. Share your budget with the suppliers so they can give you the best deal they have. If you go to experts in the business, they can guide on what you can achieve comfortably with your budget. If you are seeking sponsorship, always have a backup plan, and never reject any offer from the sponsors, no matter how little.

2. Plan ahead

Planning awards can be an immense undertaking, with many individual tasks that go into making it successful overall. You want to make it a moment of grandeur for the recipients, but also make it fun and worthwhile for the rest of the spectators who may get bored listening to speech after speech. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of planning ahead. Failure to plan is a plan to fail. Choose the venue and, if need be, lock it down with a deposit. Book all artists, caterers, hosts, drinks suppliers etc well in advance. Keep checking those bookings are still valid. Schedules and commitments change, especially with actors and presenters. The last thing you want is late cancellations, although have a backup plan in case.

3. Team work

It is imperative to create a proactive and reliable team that believes in the vision and is passionate about what your organisation represents. Delegate tasks based on individual strengths and expertise. Make sure everyone understands their own role, and preferably that their reliability and consistency is assured before you get them involved.

Helen Bola Imuaphe is the founder of the International Achievement Recognition Awards, taking place on September 2 at Stratford Town Hall and celebrating achievements in theatre, music, film, TV and fashion. She was talking to John Byrne