Staging the Perfect Awards Dinner

Twelve buyers from diverse fields such as media, construction, insurance, auto, finance and retail got together to share knowledge and experiences and to discover ways of improving their own individual events.

Their missions were to “search for inspiration,” “get some fresh ideas,” “ensure that I am keeping best practices” and chatting together with BNC peers allowed them to do that and more.

Whether they organise small events for less than a hundred or gala dinners for thousands our BNC members had many issues in common such as:

  • choosing a decent speaker within budget

  • selecting appropriate entertainment for certain audiences

  • finding the right venue and suppliers

  • capturing guests’ data and feedback.

During two hours of non-stop discussion there was an enthusiastic and positive exchange of ideas on many elements of managing the perfect awards dinner such as which running order works best; which walk-up stings to use and when; whether finalists’ photographs work on stage or away from the main area; how to manage sponsors so that mutual objectives are met; how to use branding effectively yet appropriately and whether or not to use a production company - and more!

Smart tips were passed around the group such as the best places to source up-and-coming (and on-budget) entertainment acts; creative ways to track feedback and how to use new online technologies that don’t cost a fortune.

Reminders on standard event procedures such as: ‘don’t release invites to a table booker until you have all of the names of their guests;’ ‘always share your operations plan with venue and agency staff – and ask for theirs;’ were useful when shared and agreed upon by like-minded peers.

Recommendations for top industry suppliers were given by all - from venues large and small to trophy engravers and event management software that delivers the perfect support to awards dinner managers.

“This was the first time that we focused on one specific topic at a BNC Networking Event and it was a really rewarding morning for all who took part,” comments The BNC’s Marketing Manager Melissa Paulden. “It’s healthy to balance all the online networking that takes place with a good old fashioned face-to-face networking session and much was achieved. Thanks to all those who attended.”


The BNC networkers really enjoyed the opportunity to come together for serious discussion on a common issue. They have asked for more events like this and The BNC is pleased to say that there will be more forums dedicated to one subject.

“MANY THANKS TO THE BNC FOR BRINGING US ALL TOGETHER TO DISCUSS AWARDS DINNERS,” SAID ONE ATTENDEE. “I WENT STRAIGHT BACK TO THE OFFICE AND PUT TWO THINGS IN PLACE. IT WAS A GREAT MEETING AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT ONE.”

Full BNC members can write in for a list of recommended suppliers and notes from the meeting. For copies – and to register for the next BNC Networking Forum - please get in touch

With thanks to the events team from STEP for hosting the meeting.