Planning a golf tournament awards ceremony and dinner is all about celebrating. It’s time to reflect on the great day on the course and give recognition and rewards to to everyone who participated in the day. Make it a fun and exciting night that leaves everyone with a smile on their face! Here are some event planning tips to help things run smoothly.
First of all, don’t be afraid to open the ceremony up to other guests. It is very common practice for these ceremonies to open up to additional guests like spouses and friends. Inviting the loved ones of your guests for the dinner/awards ceremony will help increase revenue and make the atmosphere warmer and more welcoming for everyone.
A silent auction or raffle is a great activity to include in your awards ceremony and will help to raise more money. Plan beforehand to make sure you have appropriate auction/raffle items donated, and have enough volunteers to manage the activity.
Another tip is to have a master of ceremonies as a way to keep the awards ceremony running smoothly. He can also be the MC for the auction or raffle. By choosing a master of ceremonies that is recognizable to everyone – perhaps a celebrity or CEO of a local company—you will grab the audience’s attention and create some buzz around the event. A good master of ceremonies will also keep the ceremony upbeat and moving forward while constantly engaging the audience. Having a great master of ceremonies will make your event seem polished and professional and help keep things organized!
Another important part of your awards ceremony is giving a speech or having a discussion about the purpose behind your event. Whether it is a charity fundraiser or a business gathering, it is nice to say a few words to help underline the importance of why you have gathered together for the event. If your tournament was a fundraiser, the awards ceremony is the appropriate time to announce how much money was raised and thank all of your participants for their contributions. Don’t forget that people like to feel a part of something important and valuable, so it’s great to remind them of what they have accomplished!
The next phase of the ceremony should be letting your sponsors share some words. Your top sponsors will enjoy this opportunity to get more exposure and face time with the participants, and it will benefit you as the event organizer as well. Don’t forget that the added component of a sponsor speech can be included as a sponsorship perk when writing the sponsorship descriptions on your Golf Digest Planner site, therefore adding to the overall sponsorship value. You can suggest that they say a few words about their involvement with your organization and their own personal work to tie the day together. Making the sponsor more personable to the audience and involved in the tournament will help to guarantee their future involvement in the event.
The awards ceremony would not be complete without acknowledging your volunteers. This is the perfect time to introduce your tournament committee and the volunteers that helped make the golf event possible. By giving your volunteers this recognition, it shows that you appreciate them and gives them incentive to volunteer again in the future.
Finally, it is important to address your players. The awards ceremony is the time to celebrate the first, second, and third place winners of the event and to award them with a plaque or gift. Also, it is equally as important to make every participant feel like a winner. Make everyone feel included by sending each player home with something special that will remind them of the event and make them want to return next year. Whether it’s a take away bag filled with golf bag tags and golf balls, or a bigger gift like a new pair of golf shoes, your players will appreciate being thought of.
Planning an entertaining awards ceremony can be a tricky balancing act. There are a lot of things to fit into the night, but you don’t want it to drag on for too long. Remember that players will probably be tired and will just want to relax and have a good time, so don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure the night stays lighthearted and fun. The sample schedule below is our suggestion on how to fit everything in to a fun and fast-paced ceremony.
5:30 p.m. Silent Auction Opens
6:00 p.m. Welcome/Dinner
6:30 p.m. Introductions/Dessert
6:45 p.m. Sponsor Recognition
7:00 p.m. Organization Message
7:15 p.m. Awards (Contests and Winners)
7:30 p.m. Raffle Drawing
7:45 p.m. Closing Remarks
8:00 p.m. Silent Auction Closes
Download a sample awards ceremony script from our resource center.