Awards season is upon us, which means more events, more opportunities for moments of engagement, and for some, more confusion about how to put on an event that will elicit excitement and post-show chatter.
If you’re in the event planning category, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Sometimes, the most challenging part of an awards banquet is staffing the right number of people in the right roles. Here is a list of the most important roles for any event:
The stage manager is just that: someone who is managing the stage. However, their role requires quick thinking and organization, as well as the ability to create smooth transitions. The stage manager must know the schedule well to know who is speaking or presenting next and make sure stagehands are moving things on cue. The stage manager should be on the intercom with the producer as well, so they know what’s coming next. It’s important to think several steps ahead to prevent possible dilemmas.
The emcee is the master of ceremonies in an event. They are responsible for setting the stage, casting vision, and drawing people into the main message or theme of the event. Along with presenting logistical transitions, the emcee is the person who sets the stage for what’s to come. Without the emcee, transitions can be awkward, messy, and can cause people to mentally check out of your show or event. Similar to the master of ceremonies in a circus or theater, the emcee moves the experience from place to place and segment to segment to set the tone for the event. A good emcee will be able to tie transitions together to make the event cohesive and break the fourth wall between the audience and the people on stage. Making your audience feel comfortable with responding to questions, interacting during any kind of icebreaker activity, and getting to know those around them is important for the natural flow of any event.
Think of the producer as an air traffic controller. You can find them at the back of the room at the tech table, making sure that every piece of the show is in place and where each person should be at which time. The producer should know the entire run of show from start to finish and should be thinking three, four, or five steps ahead so they can anticipate potential problems in a calm and collected manner. The producer is the show caller and should think of the event through the bigger picture, whatever that may be.
DJ stands for disc jockey, but since discs are few and far between these days, we like to call them a music infusionist or an experience creator with sound. The DJ creates the mood for any event. The right song, and especially the wrong one, can set the tone and determine the energy of a room. A good DJ will use music to enhance event-goers’ experience, and in turn help the producer, emcee, and stage manager create meaningful and smooth transitions between different elements of an event.
Sound technicians are separate from the DJ. The DJ is thinking only about the music, while the sound technician is thinking about microphone frequencies, making sure the right people have the right microphones, monitoring sound levels, and reducing feedback between speakers, microphones, and other communication systems.
Slide managers are responsible for transitioning between slides. Although this role may seem relatively simple, missing a slide or putting the wrong one on a screen can confuse guests and be a setback for the run of show. Having one person solely responsible for slides is extremely important. At an awards banquet, there can be a lot of slides to transition through. One slide might be the name of an award, and the next could be who is receiving it. If an award winner is no longer able to make it to the banquet, it’s the slide manager’s responsibility to skip the slide with their name on it so everything moves smoothly and without mixups.
A stagehand is responsible for assisting the stage manager. This job could mean handing out mics, holding people side stage if they’re receiving an award, or handing awards back and forth to the presenter for a quicker, smoother run of show. The stagehand is also responsible for moving things on and off the stage, such as furniture, props, or anything else that needs to be quickly transitioned.
All of these roles are vital for any awards banquet to thrive. Some additional roles not listed, but still important, depending on the show are lighting technicians, videographers, photographers, and video/camera people for image magnification.
What Roles do I Need for my Awards Banquet/Ceremony?
Here are our suggestions:
- If your event has… 1-75 people
- Roles needed: Emcee + DJ
- If your event has… 75-200 people
- Roles needed: Emcee + DJ + Slide Manager + Stage Manager
- If your event has… 200+ people
- Roles needed: Emcee + DJ + Slide Manager + Stage Manager + Sound Technician + Stagehands (multiple) + Producer
Award banquets can be complicated, but hopefully, this blog will help you get a better feel of what roles you need to make your show run smoothly and be a memorable experience for everyone involved. For more tips, icebreaker activity ideas, and other event-related content check out our YouTube channel, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!
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