The 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):
- Invitations, Guest List & Welcome
- Program & Speakers
Set the stage with decorations.
You 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.
Draw 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.