Yes it’s true, we are officially in Awards season with the BAFTA’s, Oscars and numerous other ceremonies celebrating the stars of stage and screen, and it’s no different for the event industry either at this time of year.

The M&IT Awards which is undoubtedly the biggest recognition ceremony, is on track for another record-breaking year with 1,100 tickets already snapped up for next month’s event and a sell-out is expected Staged at Battersea Evolution, one of London’s glitziest large events venues, The M&IT Awards dinner is the largest networking event in the calendar and attracts corporate, agency and association organisers as well as suppliers from the UK and overseas.

Hot on the heels of M&IT is the Cool Venue Awards, an entirely unique and defining accolade, which aims to recognise an unsung but large influential element in the planning of a corporate event – How exciting is the venue? Will the invitees RSVP? Will they turn up? Now in its 10th year, the COOL Venue Awards has become the one of the most established awards show in the events industry, reaching an online audience of over 10 million last year. Staged at Café de Paris there is already a waiting list for tickets for this event this time around so its increasingly popularity is clear.

Somewhat newer on the scene is the CHS Awards which are run in conjunction with the Conference & Hospitality Show in Leeds and are now entering their third year. Closing date for these awards are on 3 March and with the ceremony set for May at the Royal Armouries in Leeds and many of the AIEA Members are involved in the judging of these awards. If you have not yet signed up and would like to take part, please let us know.

As Event Professionals and Venue Finders its highly unlikely that any our members have never run an awards event or sourced a venue to host and awards event – and whilst we all like to think we are consummate professionals, we’d love to hear your stories about any awards events that might not have gone strictly to plan.

We’re not asking for you to reveal any client secrets, but we’ll start with an example which Cloud 9 Event Management have shared with us. Running an awards event in Manchester for 700 guests, the final award was to be celebrated with a confetti canon to mark the end of the ceremony.

Unfortunately, a member of the AV crew unwittingly plugged one thing too many into the venues already slightly questionable electrics only to short circuit the entire electrical system, and set off the confetti canon.

As this was five minutes before guests were being called through to dinner, and the starter was a cold and plated and had already been placed on every setting, the first five rows on tables, including all flatware and glasses and food, were completely covered in confetti. It took an army of hotel staff and the event team to try and rectify this and luckily, we managed to restore order in under 20 minutes without the guests being aware that their poached salmon wouldn’t taste quite the same with bits of blue and red paper enhancing the accompanying salad!

If you have a similar story, do share it, we’d love to hear from you…