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Business Award Ceremony Planning: 8 Lessons To Learn From The 2015 Award Ceremonies

17th March 2015
award ceremonies

The glitz, the glamour and the celebration of talent and achievement are what make an award ceremony the perfect event choice for businesses. The process of recognising and rewarding teams and individuals heightens employee morale, generates corporate enthusiasm and evokes a sense of appreciation within a work force.

So, with the bulk of the 2015 award ceremony season over and done with, we thought we’d look back and assess what worked for them and what didn't - and how we can apply these lessons to our own corporate award ceremonies.

Don’t be Afraid to do the Unexpected with the Entertainment

When it comes to the entertainment at your awards ceremony, don’t be afraid to do showcase something unexpected. At this years Oscar awards, Lady Gaga’s performance of ‘The Sound Of Music’ couldn’t have been further away from her normal, slightly out-there reputation, and the result was quite frankly mesmerising. When booking your entertainment, experiment with something that your audience might not expect. This will heighten their enjoyment and keep them talking about your event for weeks to come.

Gif via Giphy

Let the Newbies Win!

When hosting a corporate awards ceremony, it can be challenging to work out who should and shouldn’t be nominated for awards, let alone who should win them. However, if Eddie Redmayne’s win at the 2015 Oscars is anything to go by, it’s that you shouldn’t be afraid to let the newbies win – only, of course, if they truly deserve to. Working in a corporate environment, it can be tempting to give credit to those who’ve grafted for the longest, but sometimes a fresh face really does make a huge difference to a company or industry, and it’s only fair that fresh faces’ are rewarded, too. 

Eddie Redmayne

Image via disneyabc, Flickr

Reward your Overachievers

At the beginning of last year, Sam Smith was a modestly known British artist with a small but dedicated fan base. By the end of it, he had worked hard to become an international super-star, and was rightly recognised for his achievements with a flurry of awards. So, what we can take from this? Well, reward your high-achievers! The acknowledgement will only fuel their fire, making them more likely to continue working hard and benefit your company further.

Giff via Giphy

It’s Okay to let Winners Share a Personal/Political Message

As long as it’s not likely to cause offence, it's important to let award-winning employees demonstrate their personal or political beliefs during their moment of glory. This can add depth to the ceremony, as well as allowing your work force to see their colleagues as more inspirational, dynamic individuals. At this years Oscar awards, Patricia Arquette accepted her award, and took the opportunity to highlight her beliefs about equal pay between genders. This was not only memorable, but was also a huge talking point after the event.

Gif via Giphy

Don’t Interrupt or Cut Short Anyone’s Speech

Your potential winners have spent hours creating the perfectly formed acceptance speech, not knowing whether or not they’ll even have the opportunity to read it aloud. It’s your responsibility to let them have the audiences’ undivided attention – which means making sure no else ruins their moment (we’re looking at you, Kanye!). For someone to even attempt to ruin this moment for theme is quite simply unforgivable, crass and downright awkward.

Kanye West

Image via

Choose Your Guest Hosts Wisely

There’s nothing worse than a cringe inducing back and forth between un-natural event hosts. If you have a special someone in mind to present an award, make sure they’re comfortable with the microphone and the stage. It’s crucial to the narrative of the event that they carry their role with confidence and poise; meaning you’ll avoid a cringe-inducing Lewis Hamilton and Ellie Golding-esque scenario as seen at the Brits’ this year.

Ellie Goulding and Lewis Hamilton

Images via

Choose the Right Master of Ceremony

This is perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from the 2015 award ceremonies. Each year for the last 10, Steven Fry has guided a knowing and comfortable audience through the BAFTA Awards. Why? Because he’s good at it, and audiences are put at ease by his confident handle of the stage and microphone. He also naturally creates a sense of narrative that guides them effortlessly through the event. 

However, other award ceremonies don't maintain the same sort of consistency, and have historically encountered some slightly dull, cringe-evoking and awkward moments. A good example of this is The Brit awards. They have fluttered through various presenters over the years, with Ant & Dec re-appearing this year after nerves got the better of them back in 2001. What to take from this? Choose your hosts carefully!

Stephen Fry Baftas

Image via tascott, Flickr

Laugh off Any Mishaps

Say what you will about Madonna’s ‘cloak’ incident at this years' Brit awards, but no one can say she didn’t recover well! After the infamous fall, she not only picked herself up and carried on performing, but she also headed to social media to orchestrate a public acknowledgement of what happened – without taking herself too seriously! After all, mishaps do happen, especially at large-scale events where logistics can sometimes get the better of you. Unfortunately, when all eyes are on the stage, these mishaps are far more likely to be noticeable. The best thing to do is laugh them off and carry on.

Gif via Giphy 

Award Ceremonies at Senate House

Award Ceremonies aren’t just for actors, singers and philanthropists. If you’re looking for an event space to host your business’s awards ceremony, our London event venue could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Opulent, grand and luxurious, Senate House has a range of extra services that can help your event stand out. Our in house catering team offer exquisite menus, whilst our central location makes for easy access for your guests and speakers. If you need some guidance on how to plan your awards event, take a look at our article how to plan an awards ceremony.

To find out more about our various event rooms, get in contact today and make an enquiry.

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