6 Reasons Why An Awards Host Will Make It A Night To Remember
We find August brings the first bookings for the upcoming corporate awards season – from September to the end of November - for the team here at Speakers Corner. To help you organise the perfect evening, here's 6 reasons why an awards host will make it a night to remember
The perfect way to celebrate the achievements of the individuals within your business or industry, an awards ceremony doesn’t need to be Oscars-scale to provide an unforgettable experience for all your attendees. What does matter is finding someone charismatic and professional to host it, whether a comedian, TV personality, news broadcaster, sports presenter or somebody from an entirely different industry who has the right skillset to suit your event, especially if you have 300 of your top clients or 150 staff members in the room.
"A great awards host will deliver double value to a client," says Nick Gold, MD of Speakers Corner. "Firstly, a short set prior to the awards to get the audience 'on side’ and in the right spirits for the evening's celebrations. Then, the actual presentation of the scripted awards, with a continued peppering throughout of some opening set's themes in order to retain interest and avoid too much background chatter."
He continues, "Ultimately, what separates the great hosts from the good ones is the ability to control the room and keep them engaged when the majority of attendees (who perhaps haven't been nominated or have already had their award category announced) are switching off."
For a taste of who may be ideal for your upcoming event, you can check out some of our team's favourites here, including the likes of TV presenter Claudia Winkleman, Rugby legend Martin Bayfield, and comedian Russell Kane. You can also see more of our selection of our awards hosts and presenters here, or call us for further options and advice.
... and, meanwhile, here are six reasons why you should use an awards host to change your night from a flop to 'one to remember':
Take the pressure off
Your CEO may be able to talk the talk during a board meeting and lead your company through the turbulent times with their canny way with words – but that doesn’t necessarily equate to being a natural host who can successfully engage a large crowd of attendees on their fourth glass of bubbly. An external host will be able to bring in their experience and expert presenting skills to take on the responsibility of keeping the audience interested throughout a lengthy series of announcements.
"Keeping a room energised and engaged in the special moment for the nominees and winners is a much trickier task than it appears," Nick affirms. "After all, anyone thinks they can present something live, but when they actually are doing it, it's not as straight forward. The best presenters are those that make something that is not an easy skill for the majority of us, appear effortless, even though it isn't."
Plus, the less time your CEO spends on stage introducing awards in 30 categories, the more time she or he can spend mingling with their employees and clients.
Treat your attendees to something they can't get in their day jobs. If your awards host has a background stemming from a different industry - whether comedy, sport, news or else-wise - they'll be able to lift the night by interspersing it with interesting and amusing anecdotes that will bring a new element to your attendees’ everyday experience.
"Clients can use the draw of the great host to encourage anticipation and excitement"
Keep it flowing
An awards host is the glue that holds the night together. They help to ensure that the show unfolds in a way that makes sense, despite the variety of personalities in attendance awaiting all kinds of different kinds of accolades for their work. (For a case in point, see the cringe-worthy opening duet between Rob Lowe and Snow White that resulted in 1989 when the Academy made the decision to have no official host for the ceremony). With a talented awards host at the helm, you can be sure that somebody is reactive to the vibe of the audience and entirely focussed on creating synergy between all the different awards and nominees.
There's a reason why this kind of event immediately conjures up thoughts of glamour and entertainment. At the end of the day, an awards show is a reward for attendees' hard work - and a great way to help your audience let their hair down and enjoy a giggle after a challenging year is by booking a comedian to be your professional host.
Anybody who's given a speech at a wedding before will know the pressure of making people laugh without accidentally offending Uncle Boris at the back. Now try applying that to a corporate setting. Luckily, a comedian who is experienced at hosting on the corporate circuit will know how to stave off stuffiness and keep things lively, while simultaneously keeping the atmosphere tasteful and good-natured.
The 'wow' factor that lasts
It’s not just about getting bums on seats with a big name anymore. While this might have once been the case, we’ve noticed an exciting shift in perceptions over the last decade as clients seek to extract a maximum ROI from the individuals who they book with us. It's being increasingly recognised that an awards host can deliver so much more than just their celebrity status, on both the day and beyond, in order to create that long-lasting ‘wow’ factor.
"There is a greater appreciation from hosts that an awards show is a celebration of a company, industry or a sector's top talents - and that the actual hosting is only one part of the service that they should be delivering to the client," comments Nick.
"They'll have photos with attendees. They'll happily engage with the organiser to ensure everything runs smoothly. Clients can also use the draw of the great host to encourage anticipation and excitement in the lead up to the actual event – a tremendous marketing tool if used in the right way. Moreover, the longevity of the ceremony comes from the engagement of the attendees as they use social platforms to sustain the impact and this can be triggered by the excitement of being part of an event with an amazing host."
"A great awards host will deliver double value to a client"
A safe pair of hands
It might seem like awards hosts simple turn up on the day to do their bit and leave - but in reality there's a huge amount of careful preparation involved to ensure that everything looks just that easy on the night! A seasoned awards host will go to great lengths in the lead-up to your event to understand both your audience and your overarching goals.
Who are the attendees? Are you a business or an organisation looking to recognise and celebrate employees and their work internally, or are you organising an external awards ceremony that will focus on celebrating achievements within the wider industry or sector? How do you want the audience to feel when they leave? Don't be surprised if they want to know what you define as a successful awards show.
"Clients are understanding that the more information they can provide the bureau to help them select the right host will mean that on the actual night, they will be able to let the host ‘do their thing’ rather than trying to micromanage every last element of the host’s delivery. This means both the client and the host are happy with the set up allowing the host to fully deliver the awards ceremony in the manner of the client's vision."
To book, or for more info. on any of our speakers, call us on +44 (0) 20 7607 7070 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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