Awards season is upon us! It’s that time of year when you dust off your tux, add the glitz to the glam, and turn up to your industry awards events. If you’re hosting an awards gala, make sure to have all of your print needs covered in time for your party with our one-stop event checklist.
Print really comes into its own for events: there are so many ways to use print to boost your event experience and make sure people talk about it for months afterwards (for good reasons!). Running an awards night shows your industry that you’re dedicated to innovation, networking, and recognising commitment in your sector.
Awards are also a great chance to secure some sponsorship, too, from any brands that want to be seen as leaders in their field. Gaining a sponsor will ensure that your print pays for itself, as you can cover the costs of printing within your sponsorship payments. It’s a win-win situation: your customers get to have their logo and branding associated with your high-quality event, while you don’t have to be out of pocket for superior quality print at – and after – your awards night.
So here goes: all the print you’ll need to pull off a fantastic awards dinner that’ll be the talk of the town…
1. Submission Invites
First things first: you need to tell people about your awards! Send out a call for submissions on high quality flyers, or in a letter on your branded stationery, to your best clients.
You might even want to put together some information about sponsorship packages so that people know as early on as possible so you can maximise the possibility of selling all of your opportunities. If you do choose to do this, consider creating a small booklet or brochure that includes all of the information about the event, including category submissions and sponsorship packages.
2. Save The Date Cards
A few weeks (or months) after you open your award categories for submissions, send out a reminder as a Save The Date card. You should include contact information, the date and location of the venue, and a link for people to visit for more information.
This is also a great time to let people know that the submission deadline for entries is near to closing – a nice push for those last-minute entries to roll in.
3. Presentation Folders For Judges
Your judges are your VIPs for this event – and well before the awards night, too. They’re giving up their time to read through your shortlisted submissions, so make sure they know that you appreciate their input.
Why not put all of your shortlisted entries into a presentation folder for each judge? It’ll mean they have a place to keep the paperwork as they sift through it, and can easily find all of the information they will need in one place.
You could also include a branded notebook as a small extra, so they can take notes while they read through the entries.
4. Raffle Tickets (For A Charity Donation)
Team up with a charity for your event to encourage more people to get involved. Let them have a small area for a roller banner and some charity information, but also consider running a charity raffle with them.
Print branded tickets with information about the event, that you can sell to your customers and that the charity can sell to their fundraisers and patrons. This gets your branding out there, in association with a good cause, and gives you additional marketing without being salesy.
Printing charity raffle tickets also lets people who aren’t able to attend the event in person to still be involved, which will help boost your customer relationships further.
5. Pre-Event Menu And Flyer
Make mouths water – and stay highly organised – by sending out menus to registered attendees a few weeks before the event. Include a link to an online form where they can input their menu options to make sure everyone gets what they want for their dinner on the night!
This is also a great opportunity to start your sponsorship packages: your dinner sponsor could have a logo included on these menus, for example. Or, if you don’t yet have a sponsor, you might want to include a space on the menu that says “Your logo here – sponsor our awards dinner” and watch the enquiries roll in!
6. Signage To The Event
How are people getting to your awards event? Whether you’re in a city centre hotel or a rural country retreat, it’s a great idea to put up some signs to help direct pedestrians and drivers to the right place.
Correx signage is cheap, lightweight, and weatherproof – making it perfect for creating exciting and interesting signs. Brand them well and you have the added benefit of any passer-by seeing your logo and information, too!
7. Cocktail Menus
A cocktail reception is a perfect way to start your evening. Create new names for traditional cocktails, and make sure the reception is sponsored by a leading industry name. You can print DL flyers with the new cocktail list on, and your sponsor information on the reverse.
8. A Promotional Space For Your Company
While you don’t need to get all salesy at an event like this, it’s always a good idea to have some company information to hand. This is especially true if you’re hosting your event in a mutli-room venue, as you can gain additional exposure from people passing by the entrance to your event.
Have posters or roller banners to signify the entrance to your event, and make sure to have a promotional stand or a table with company flyers and business cards on, just in case someone walks past and wants more information.
9. Table Seating Plans, Numbers, And Place Cards
You’ve got a room full of people – you’ll need to let them know where to sit! Print out your seating plans on large A1 or A0 posters to let people know where they’re supposed to go.
Table number cards are next up, so that people can easily locate the right place to sit. It’s also another sponsorship opportunity! Use table strut cards to thank your sponsors, and include any vital information people may require, such as timings of the evening.
Finally, you may want to go down to the finest detail and include some handwritten, custom place cards. Print some folded business cards, with a blank space on one side for the name to be written, and you’ve found another item to add to your sponsorship packages!
10. Awards Certificates
You’ll have the classic awards trophy for category winners, of course – but it’s nice to also print high-quality luxury certificates that can be framed and hung on their office wall. You might also want to print certificates for the runners-up in each category, too.
11. Event Programmes
Make sure everyone knows what to expect from the event by printing out a folded leaflet, or a booklet, including all of the key information about the night. Remember to list all the shortlisted companies in each category, as well as the running times of the event.
If you have sponsors for your awards night, it’s also a good idea to include a half page of business information for each one. You want to make sure that they feel like they’ve got their money’s worth from the sponsorship deal – so they’ll do it all again next year.
12. Post-Awards Information Flyers
You’ve given your guests a fantastic evening – so you know they’re going to want to know all about next year already. Goodie bags always go down well at events – and are also perfect for sponsors to include some information and promotional goodies! Use branded goodie bags as an opportunity to put in some flyers about next year’s event with a save-the-date notice. You may also want to include contact details of your key sales representatives who will be arranging the sponsorship details for the next event.
Goodie bags are also a chance for you to include some more company information – perhaps you could include a booklet or a postcard that contains key dates for future meetings, networking opportunities, or product launches.
So there you have it: all the elements of print you’re going to need to make your awards ceremony run without a hitch. Have you printed anything for your event already? Tag us @instantprint on Pinterest and we’ll share your creations!