What to expect on the awards night
So, the long-awaited awards night has finally arrived – you’ve made it to the venue, the champagne is flowing at the drinks reception and there is a buzz of excitement throughout the room. But the big question is, are you prepared?
Here we’re sharing our best tips to make sure you get the most out of the awards night dinner.
Top Tips for the Awards Night
Usually, the awards night will be divided into four parts which include the drinks reception, a three or four course dinner, the awards presentation and finally the after party.
Before you arrive, here are some things you should consider:
- Research – Prior to attending, we suggest doing a little research to find out who is going to be there, what table you will be on and where this is in relation to your competitors, existing clients and potential hot contacts.
- Make a List – List at least 5 people you would really like to speak to or be introduced to on the night and be clear on exactly what it is you want to say to them. It’s good to have a few interesting and fun questions lined up in your mind. Remember though, it’s about them not you, until they ask something interesting about you.
- Network – When you sit down, introduce yourself to everyone on your table and try to remember everyone’s name. Collect business cards and give out yours. Try to involve 3 or 4 people to create dynamic and interesting conversation. During the comfort break, take the opportunity to excuse yourself and say hello to some of your key clients. Networking on the awards night is important and is a great way to build new relationships.
- During the Awards – When the awards are taking place, make a note of who the winners are and where possible, send appropriate tweets to the relevant # or @ as these will often be fed to the main screens on the stage and shared to their followers and network. Comment with pictures and praise for the evening’s events and entertainment as this will usually generate a response and share also.
- Don’t Forget Your Own Socials – As well as engaging with other companies’ social media accounts, it’s a good idea to share the awards night on your own social channels. Bring your followers with you on the night. You could share photos of you and the team dressed up to impress, clips of you arriving and getting seated at the table, the all-important champagne ‘cheers’, and anything else you feel will help to show the importance of the night and things that your followers will be excited to see.
- Enjoy it! – The awards night is there for you to celebrate your achievements, whether you win or not, you have made it as a finalist, which is a huge thing to be proud of. Take in the night, be present and celebrate in style with your team. Once the formalities have finished… take lots of photos, have a few drinks, dance and relax. The night is meant to be fun!
- Be Courteous – If you don’t win it’s important to still congratulate the winners and be courteous the other companies on the night. We’ve discussed this in a previous post about what happens when you don’t win and how to avoid disappointment, which you can read more about here.
After the Night
Once the awards night is over, the hard work doesn’t stop there. Make sure you follow up with everyone you have met at the dinner the following day or next working day at the latest. Engage with them on social media, particularly on LinkedIn as this will help them build up a professional picture of you. Invite them to be on your newsletter distribution list and send them monthly newsletters to keep your details at the forefront of their minds. Once you have started to build a rapport with that person, you will begin to share more information with each other, and this can then lead to further engagement and opportunities.
But remember, the follow up is NOT about selling your business to them at that stage. It is about building your network of trusted professionals who could potentially introduce you to their network, and that is where the benefits and your next biggest customer could be!
The awards night is a night of celebration for yourself and your team, but also a great way to network with other trusted professionals. Use the night to your advantage and congratulate your staff and their achievements and start building relationships with other businesses in that space.
If you’d like any more advice on what to expect on the awards night, or you’d like to find out how you can make it to the final, get in touch with us today.