Awards & Gala Dinners: How to Win with Events

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Awards & Gala Dinners: How to Win with Events

It’s that time of year and we love gala dinners, banqueting, awards ceremonies and really any kind of celebration that marks a special occasion. These are increasingly lavish affairs with huge meaning for the attendees. So, to ensure the very best event, here’s our top tips to make yours really shine.



1. Remember the occasion

This could be one of the main events of the delegates’ year. Professionally or personally, this is where they could pick up a life changing accolade, see their successes come true, or even just spend a well-deserved evening with colleagues.

This will mean something special to everyone there, us event professionals should never see it as ‘just another event'.

2. Support the message of the event

Events aren’t just about theming anymore; they are about message. The theme is easy to catch onto, and can make the whole event creative, exciting, and interesting. But every event has a message, a purpose, or a set of values. Tap into them as well, they could be about sustainability, charity, or equity. Get to know what they are, and the event can be really elevated.



3. Understand where ‘food’ sits

Not too prominent, but still very important. 45% of all event feedback is related to food and given the importance of the event, lets make that feedback positive.

Food isn’t the most important aspect of the event, but it’s a gala dinner and they want something special on their plate. Let’s give them the best, lets excite them and intrigue them. Let’s make food memorable for all the right reasons.

4. Think about service, as well as food

Food is about theatre and drama as well as taste. It’s not just what is on the plate, it’s how it gets served. At major events, this can be really good fun. Imagine the national car awards with canapes served on hubcaps, imagine artistic dinners where the plate is a piece of art. Think about how wait staff can pick up on the theme of the event, and add moments of delight.



5. Pick your partner carefully

Again, given the importance of the occasion, make sure you have the best team around you. Event organisers just want to know that what is promised is delivered, that they can trust the people they work with, and if things go wrong, calm heads will fix it efficiently and silently.

On top of that, great partners are collaborative. At Lime Venue Portfolio we have research around delegate desires, food choices, even insight on how the event can hit its sustainability targets. Use your partners, the best ones will be part of your team.

6. Be considerate

Not everyone wants to party like its 1979. Times have changed and so has drink culture. These events developed a reputation for debauchery that makes many guests seek to avoid them even to this day. So be considerate. Not just culturally but understanding the different relationships people have with food and drink, many deeply personal.

This isn’t about sectioning off or overtly signalling different dietary requirements, it’s about giving them quality choices throughout the event, not just a flimsy alternative.



7. Be sustainable, show purpose

Modern guests hate waste. They hate it when we waste their time, their money, or planetary resources. No one minds a great event that doesn’t waste these three elements. So, be indulgent, be theatrical, but be sustainable. These things matter.

Food is a great way to show that the event has purpose. You can share these values with guests ahead of the event, showing commitments to reduce waste, to locally source, to offer plant first menus. Given a choice between sustainability and taste? Guests should always have both!

8. Be accessible

One of Lime Venue Portfolio’s major trends for 2024 is an increased focus on accessibility. This isn’t just about physical accessibility, or even those with hearing or sight restrictions. We need to make our events safe places for those who are neuro diverse or could be intimidated by major event environments. See our blog and our Meeting of the Future section on Wellness Rooms, to learn more.