9 Biggest Failures of Award Show Planning

Samantha Mikos

The time comes and before you know it, your company’s award show is around the corner, but you haven’t even started the planning. The location of the event still needs to be chosen and the attendee hotel accommodations must be set. Above all else, you have not started to think about the design for the custom award each winner will receive. 

When it comes to planning event awards, we have got you covered. That’s why Cristaux has put together a list of the top nine failures when planning an award show and how to alleviate some of the major roadblocks for a seamless coordination. 

1. Failing to Establish Exact and Reasonable In-Hands Dates 

One of the most important factors when beginning the initial planning of award shows is the timeline. The first course of action is determining a reasonable in-hands date that considers all components of the process. Whether there is a detailed personalization attached to the design, or the shipment is far from the production facility, time must be allocated to each part.  

It is important to start the planning process as soon as possible, as many companies have award shows around the same timeframe and rush orders are common. By planning before the rush, you can be prepared for all parts of the process. 

2. Getting Buried in Shipping Options 

Figuring out where the event awards will be shipped is an important step before finalizing any designs. Whether it is one location or multiple locations, determining how the awards are going to be shipped will play a role in the final freight decision and ultimately, the final cost.  

Cristaux eliminates the middleman when it comes to shipping larger orders. We offer direct drop shipping, an ideal solution to custom award shipments. By eliminating the middleman, we take quality control in-house and have a step-by-step process to minimize room for error.  

3. Establishing Unrealistic Expectations with Personalization 

Not only can personalization vary depending on the choice of material, but each different personalization effect has a separate timing attributed to the process. The level of branding, specifically logos and any other intricate details affect the length of production time. 

For instance, sand etching a name on a custom crystal leadership award may take longer than hand engraving a commemorative medallion. 

4. Poor Communication with Award Manufacturer 

Communication is the biggest influence in the process of designing and manufacturing a recognition event. Each step of the design process includes multiple layers of perspective, and it starts with the initial design concepts. 

It is important to not only relay your vision and design approvals to the creative team, but it is crucial to stay in consistent communication. Gaps in response time lead to the longevity of a project and create a backlog until the communication picks up again. 

5. Not Staying on Top of Approvals 

Tying into the chain of consistent communication, providing regular feedback on art proofs ensure that the production timeline matches the event show deadline.  

Oftentimes, there are multiple approvals on one project. In this case, it is best to stay on top of these approvals to make sure that delays do not eat into production time. 

6. Avoiding Shipping Timeframes

Shipping the event awards is the final stage of the process but it should be top of mind in the beginning. If you know that your event is going to occur on a certain date, allow for an appropriate amount of time for shipment methods.  

When shipping ground, the set standard is usually between four to five days. If international shipping is needed the expectation for time allowance must be higher. At Cristaux, our rule of thumb is to ship minimum of one day before event to ensure satisfaction, which must be budgeted for during the planning process. 

7. Forgetting to Account for Delays 

Weather delays can severely affect shipments. If you live in an area where there is a frequent harsh winter weather advisory, and the event is occurring during the wintertime, weather effects ought to be taken into consideration when building a timeline.  

There is also the occasional freak accident with freight that can cause a mishap. The most common occurrence of this happens with truck shipments, although this option tends to be the most cost effective.  

8. Omitting Award Packaging/Categorization

Contrary to popular belief, the most ideal way to package shipments is not by alphabetical order. When providing shipment requests in a spreadsheet, the most beneficial way to categorize each award would be in the order of how they will be distributed or displayed. 

Cristaux provides digital and printed lists of all items that are shipped for a heightened level of organization. This way, all awards are easier to find during event set-up. 

9. Not Considering Follow-Ups and Re-orders 

It is common to want to decompress after a big event. What many might not expect is that some of the recipients may want to re-order an award for an additional member of their team, or an individual that was a major factor in a project.  

Instead of fielding these inquiries firsthand, put them in contact with your account manager where you ordered from. That way, they know exactly how to adjust based on each individual request and can accommodate accordingly in a swift and easy manner.  

Want to learn more about the Cristaux award show planning checklist? Connect with our team to find out other tips to guarantee that your next awards event has a foolproof plan.