SUCCESSFUL AWARD BANQUETS

DON'T GO OVERBOARD
Don't make the mistake of trying to make awards presentations more elaborate than they need to be. In particular, make sure that winners' remarks are kept short.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Remember to run through the award presentations at least once. Nothing takes as long as you think; you need to rehearse first. Carefully review the script for potential time-wasters.

CHECK EQUIPMENT
If the sound system doesn't work well during your rehearsal, get a new one. A screeching mike will ruin your program, no matter what else goes on.

DOUBLE UP
Two many award ceremonies are ruined by having one presenter shuffle back and forth between speaking at the podium, and presenting the award to the winner. Use one presenter to describe the award, and another to actually hand it to the speaker.

BACKUP
In addition to the presenters, you need people backstage to help the winners go on, and come off successfully. In particular, be sure you have help near any stairs that need to be used.

LIMIT YOUR AWARDS
Zzzzz... That's your audience snoring because there are simply too many award winners and too many speakers. Limit both, even if you must give some awards out at a "pre-event."

CAPTURED MEMORIES
Those hurried onstage snapshots with eyes half-closed and the head half-turned just won't do, especially if they're meant to ever end up in a newspaper or other form of publicity. Where appropriate, arrange for a professional photographer.

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