Monthly Archives: March 2016

Sports Award Banquet Planning: 6 Tips to Make Your Banquet a Winner

goal post decor at sports award banquetThe end-of-year sports award banquet, and individual sports award banquets, can be the highlight of a stellar season or the long-anticipated chance to gather as a team one last time.  It doesn’t matter how your season went at the sports award banquet; this is your chance to make sure everyone celebrates a year of fun and hard work.  So how can you make the sports award banquet a day everyone remembers for years after their sports season? Use these tips to plan a sports award banquet that your athletes, parents, coaches, and school may never forget:

Don’t go at it alone.

Planning a winning sports award banquet should not be done alone.  Form a committee of volunteers and staff, and give each committee member a responsibility, budget amount, and deadline.  The deadline might be by your next meeting, or a date when the specifics of their project (estimated cost, chosen vendor, time for set-up, etc.) need to be emailed to the committee head.  Here’s a list of projects to be divided up (though this list is not exhaustive and should be customized to your sports award banquet):

  • Promotions
  • Invitations, Guest List & Welcome
  • Food
  • Decorations
  • Video
  • Program & Speakers

Set the stage with decorations.

sports award banquet at UW Field House with balloon bouquetsYou don’t always get to choose the location for your awards banquet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decorate the space like an up-scale awards ceremony.  It’s all about atmosphere, and how you make people feel when they arrive.  To that end, consider balloon columns, archways, elaborate balloon sculptures (goal post and basketball hoops), and unique balloon bouquets at the tables.  To customize decorations for your sports award banquet theme in your budget, contact a balloon decoration company for a free quote and ideas.

Create a feature wall.

27__Dean_2007_Columns_and_Arch-1200x801Draw your guests to a feature wall, or feature space if your space is wide open (in that case, consider a ceiling balloon sculpture or a huge sculpture on the table).  Your feature wall should be a space you want guests to focus on—such as the speaker’s podium—or an area with a picture board or monitors with video or pictures from the year.  You can also use this area for your food if you are hosting a buffet.

Don’t forget about the food.

A significant portion of your sports award banquet budget is most likely going to the food.  The food at your sports award banquet is also a very memorable part of your event, so make sure you contact caterers or your food service for menus and information as soon as you start planning your sports award banquet.  Be very specific about what you need, your budget, and your timeline.  Ask about set-up and clean-up time so you can make sure that your venue is open for preparation and take down.

Do a run through.

Schedule a run through with your head of ceremony and any speakers.  Another bonus of a run through is that you can ensure that your audio visual equipment is set and ready to go (and you know how to use it).  Don’t leave your event to chance; a good run through is an important part of a planning a memorable sports award banquet.

4 Tips to Make Your Next 5K a Success

runners in 5K ready to get to finish line with race balloon decorationsPlanning a 5K, 10K, half marathon, walk or marathon is a complicated event planning process. From getting permission from local officials, taking steps to ensure runner safety, decorating on the day of the run, and actually recruiting volunteers and runners to participate, planning a walk or run is all about the details. How you plan those details, and execute them can mean the difference between a successful run or a mediocre one.

Set a finish line.

This is both physical and metaphorical. Set a goal for your run/marathon, just as you would if you were a runner: number of participants, amount of dollars raised, etc. Be realistic with your goal, especially if this is your first event.

Don’t be remiss about your event finish line either; your runners’ goal is to get to the finish line so make sure your finish line is memorable with a warm reception and memorable run décor. Recruit volunteers to cheer your runners in, and create a memorable finish line with fun decoration, water sprays, or other creative touches.

Recruit groups of people.

Set up your run registration so you can register teams, or groups of people, easily. This simple move boosts your registration numbers, gives your runners an incentive to run together, and gives them a running buddy (or buddies) to pace with during the run. To get more groups to register, contact local running clubs and gyms to promote your event.

Set an ambitious promotion plan.

Create a calendar of deadlines for promotions, and stick to it. Reach out through as many channels as possible, such as social media, radio, posters at local businesses, through sponsors, and through any other outlet you can think of. Ask other runners to join your planning team, and have them serve as recruiters as well. Provide your participants with the tools they need to recruit as well, such as social media graphics, posters, and pins. Give participants incentives to register early (such as a discounts or 2-for-1 deals) so you can boost numbers early.

Make your 5K unique.

Latch your run onto a theme or holiday, and play it up in your promotions and event decorations. For example, if you’re doing a fundraiser for heart health, design your invitations around your heart theme and buy balloon decorations with your event colors, such as balloon bouquets, heart sculptures and balloon archways—or ask your balloon company for a unique suggestion just for your event. For a patriotic run, display your flag uniquely, outfit your registration table with red and white tablecloths, and get balloon decorations that fit with your theme. Make sure all your decorations are weighted down at your event so they hold up in the case of rainy or windy weather.