How to pick awards night entertainment

May 29, 2019 at 5:22 PM

More than "just" an awards night. That's what you're telling your colleagues. "Just you wait and see". It's all well and good to talk that talk, but can you walk that talk?


To make an awards night a memorable, creative, and well, a great event, entertainment is a crucial element. However!! Putting the right entertainment at the right times and places can really transform a guest's experience.


And we’re here to help.


Below are our best tips for awards night entertainment – enjoy and learn!

  1. Formality and theme

First of all, we recommend where possible to make an awards night a formal event. When people think of an awards night, they usually associate it with words such as classy, or elegant – so play on that. Give them a chance to dust off an old suit, an excuse for a new dress…. little things like this can really build excitement!


A theme isn’t essential, but can be a really interesting and great element to add to an event. There's a lot of them out there, but to get you started some good ones can be:


  • Winter Wonderland
  • Las Vegas
  • Hollywood
  • The Oscars
  • Arabian Nights
  • 007 James Bond
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Around the World

If you can match your entertainment and decorations to your chosen theme, this will really tie the night together and make it appear that you've put a lot of thought and effort into the evening (which I'm sure you have!).

2. Entertainment timing

When should you have your entertainment? Some awards nights are quite tight for time, and only have one block available for entertainment. If this is the case for your event, I recommend that this block should be just after dinner. Why? Well, you know that feeling after you've had Christmas lunch and all you want to do is go for a nap? That's how your guests will feel (!) and entertainment is a great way to stop them from falling asleep(!!). As funny as it sounds, you've kinda got to admit it's true…..

In an ideal world, we want to captivate guests right from the start and keep their interest, so if you do have flexibility on your schedule (or if you haven't made it yet), your entertainment should ideally be staggered throughout the event and building with every performance. We do have another blog that breaks down how to do this in great detail (you can read it here), but a few ideas to get you started:

  • having some body-painted models in a design matching the event theme or company colours on the stage as people come in, going into having a singer perform just after dinner, and ending with a live band to start the dance floor(see how this is staggered, but builds as the night goes on?)
  • For an “Around the World” theme – start with some welcome staff dressed as flight attendants to greet guests and to take tickets at the door. From there, kick off with a “Come Fly with Me” themed dance. Later on in the evening, have medley dance performances from different parts of the world, making sure that the main demographic of the crowd's country is included (knowing your audience is a great tool). To finish - a live band playing hits from all around the globe (again – staggered entertainment, building throughout the night)


3. Entertainment Types


There’s a few entertainment types that most people know and are really enjoyable (we do all of these!):

  • Dancers
  • Singers
  • Bands
  • Welcome staff (elaborated below)
  • Themed makeup stations
  • Body painted models
  • Wearable art models
  • Stilt walkers
  • Musicians
  • Drag queens
  • Circus acts – trapeze, aerial silks, lyre and more


However! There are a few underrated and not-well-known entertainment ideas that can really work for an awards night. Here’s a few:


Hand Holders – this is two people dressed in full tuxedos, bow ties and white gloves, helping people on and off the stage. Having this in place saves the really awkward dance of “where is the stairs” when someone is going up for an award! This sounds funny but it happens at a lot of awards nights - I could safely say every single one I've been to!! It’s a little detail that can really smooth out an event, and actually shorten the night (as awards nights can drag on!)

Trophy Staff – this is models on the stage dressed to the theme, handing guests their award. They could be in wearable art, in body paint, or for a Vegas theme - full feather showgirl outfits. Having these models frames the stage and makes it look amazing, especially for photos.


Welcome Staff - having people at the door dressed to theme to welcome guests and take tickets is a really great idea for awards nights. We talk about good welcomes a lot here at Event Flair, and they are so, so important to get right as they can really set a person's mood for an event. Having someone to smile and take tickets, show guests where to go, and dressed to theme makes guests feel like they're about to step into another world  - a great way to kick off an event.

To summarize:

  • It's good to keep things formal and even better, add a theme
  • A single block of entertainment suits best after dinner, but ideally should be staggered and build momentum and excitement throughout the night
  • Consider other ideas when it comes to entertainment, there are more than you think


If you have an awards night to plan, please do get in touch with us, we'd love to help and are more than happy to come up with ideas! Contact us here and we’ll get started on something amazing.


Tags: Entertainment eventflair awards awardsnight awardsentertainment aucklandentertainment entertainmentideas
Category: Event Flair