Steal the Spotlight: 10 Award Season Secrets Every Event Planner Must Know

June 26, 2024

De-de Mulligan

De-de Mulligan is the president and chief content strategist for Mulligan Management Group. She is a writer, digital marketing strategist, a former event planner and a regular contributor and blogger for event industry publications. You can reach De-de by email or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Awards season, which includes the Golden Globes, Grammy, Tony and Academy Awards, provides a masterclass in event planning. These high-profile events captivate millions worldwide with glamour, detailed organization and impactful presentation.

By incorporating elements from these star-studded evenings, you can elevate your next conference or convention from start to finish, making every attendee feel like a celebrity. Here are 10 innovative ideas to consider:

1. Encourage Red Carpet-Ready Attire

Urge attendees to dress in their finest—a tuxedo, evening gown or sophisticated formal wear—and invite partners to join them. Dressing up enhances the overall experience, instilling a sense of importance and excitement.

2. Invest in High-Visibility Signage

Use bright, reflective signage to guide attendees into the parking lot or event space. Utilize digital displays and illuminated signs to ensure easy navigation and a great first impression.

3. Create a Spectacular Entrance

Make a memorable entrance using a red carpet, dramatic lighting or a themed LED tunnel.

4. Provide Top-Notch Transportation Services

Offer valet parking or a shuttle service from nearby accommodations. During adverse weather, having attendants with umbrellas escort guests to the entrance can add a thoughtful touch.

5. Establish a Warm Welcome

Set up a greeting team to welcome each guest personally. Arrange for photographers and videographers to capture their arrival and display these images live inside the venue on large LCDs, adding an exclusive celebrity touch.

6. Deliver an Exquisite Dining Experience

Serve a gourmet multi-course meal. Enhance the dining experience with champagne and a signature cocktail that matches the event theme.

7. Design Distinctive Table Centerpieces

At this year’s Golden Globes, tables were adorned with fresh flowers and alcoholic beverages. Tailor your centerpieces to complement the event's theme using creative elements like lighting or themed decorations.

8. Ensure Efficient Service

Prevent any service delays by hiring adequate staff, including bartenders and servers. A smooth, professional service will keep guests happy and engaged throughout the event.

9. Offer Memorable Parting Gifts

While not every goody bag needs to mimic the Oscars’ lavish offerings, providing a thoughtful parting gift can leave a lasting impression. Choose items that reflect the essence of the event or its theme.

10.  Embrace and Grow from Feedback

Put a QR Code on each table asking attendees about their experience and areas for improvement. Share how you plan to implement this feedback in future events, demonstrating a commitment to excellence.

Integrating these refined elements from the awards season into your event planning allows you to craft unforgettable experiences that resonate with all attendees, making each feel like a star for the night.


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