HOW DO I TAKE MY CORPORATE AWARDS BANQUET TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
By DJ Cam Reeve
A corporate awards banquet is a great way to recognize your employees with a well-deserved celebration but creating a memorable and engaging event isn’t always easy. When coworkers, employees, and bosses come together outside of the workplace it can be difficult to provide an atmosphere where people feel comfortable coming out of their shell. The good news is that, with the right professionals on your side (and a little bit of planning), you can take your corporate awards banquet to the next level. In this article, we’ll touch on everything you need to ensure your event’s success, from hiring a DJ and emcee to crafting a personalized and unique experience.
First Off, You Need a DJ
It practically doesn’t need explaining in this day and age; a good DJ is critical for almost any event. Of course, DJs provide the soundtrack throughout the event and keep the energy level up as the night progresses. But DJs don’t simply play music – they can control and shift the atmosphere of an awards banquet on a dime. A good DJ is constantly observing your crowd, choosing music selections tailored to the attendees’ reactions.
This ability to think on their feet and read social cues can come in very handy. Say, for example, one of your shyer employees receives an award and is handed the microphone. They may not feel comfortable speaking, especially if they are caught off guard. A good DJ is in tune with these moments and can easily bring music in or out to ease any tension or awkwardness. Sudden quiet moment due to an absent employee? A DJ can fill the void with the right track.
An Emcee is Also Valuable
Just as important as a DJ is a great host, or emcee. Whether it’s a professional public speaker or just a company member who is great with crowds, selecting someone to be in the spotlight is essential. Professional emcees spend a lot of their time in front of large audiences and are comfortable with the task. Just like DJs, they are quick on their feet and can adapt to unexpected occurrences and last-minute changes with tact. On the other hand, choosing an emcee from within your business assures you’ve got someone familiar with both the company culture and difficult-to-pronounce employee names.
DJ or Emcee? The Answer is Both
In reality, the easiest way to elevate your corporate awards banquet is to hire both a DJ and an emcee. When these two roles are filled by separate people, each can focus on their individual responsibilities and perform to their highest level. A few examples are helpful in illustrating this point.
Throughout an awards ceremony, music often accompanies certain announcements and “walk-ups” to the stage. When your DJ is also your emcee, balancing announcing and precisely starting/stopping the music can be tricky and less smooth. When the jobs are separated, however, the announcing of award winners can be perfectly coordinated with a well-curated playlist. It’s also helpful to think about where you want the audience’s attention directed to. A DJ booth is often off to the side of a stage or in the back of a room. Instead of having attendees turn their heads with each announcement, a dedicated emcee on stage can keep the focus up front.
Here is an example of the power of both. Note how I'm taking social cues from the Emcee and paying attention to what it happening in the room.
Hiring a DJ? Prep Them For Success!
Hopefully, you can see the benefits of having a team of event professionals on your side. After you’ve decided on the right DJ for your event, there are a few things you can do to help them prepare.
At the top of this list is the give your DJ the award names before the day of the event. This will help them select songs that align with the award or the person receiving it. Do you know the employee’s musical taste? This is easy to cater to, and they will be all the more excited to come to the stage with their favorite music playing. If you don’t know their favorite music, your DJ can also tailor the music to the award itself. For example, the “workaholic” award would go great with “Hustlin’” by Rick Ross, don’t you think?
Lastly, make sure you clearly explain name pronunciation and the gender of each person receiving the award to your DJ. Also consider the titles of the awards and, if you are choosing the song to accompany the award, the lyrics of the song. All of this helps to avoid uncomfortable situations, leading to a more successful awards banquet.