5 Fun Themes to Jazz Up Your Corporate Awards Dinner

Receiving an award or honor is always a delightful experience. But your corporate awards dinner doesn't have to be a strictly black-tie affair. Shake up your formal evening with a fun theme that everyone can enjoy. The only limit is your imagination, and letting it soar brings all the fun.

Go a Little "Mad"
Time travel is always a fun theme for an awards dinner. If you're a fan of AMC's "Mad Men," then you've got the perfect theme already. "Mad Men" is set during the 1960s, so you could encourage guests to dress as characters in the show do, listen to music from the sixties and turn unfamiliar viewers on to the show. However, if this era is not your flavor, there are still plenty to choose from. Whichever time period you travel to (Wild West?) guests will have a blast.

Have a Ball
Masquerade ball that is. Who isn't captivated by beautiful masks and stunning costumes? If your corporation is highly creative, they will love the chance to dress up for the night. There are several ideas for having a masquerade ball at your corporate awards dinner, so let them all fly. Offer prizes for the best costumes and masks, hire string musicians to accentuate the mood and dance among the magic and mystery. Whatever ideas you may have for your corporate masquerade ball will transform a dinner jacket affair to dazzling.

Take a Cruise
Bring some sun, sand and surf indoors and send everyone on a cruise. Set a relaxing and enjoyable tone with beach music, a tropical-inspired food spread and dancing. Encourage guests to dress up in their best beach attire (appropriate for the office, of course), and give prizes for the best tourist in the room. A cruise or beach theme will bring out the fun in anyone, and vacation is something everyone looks forward to. So give a bit of relaxation with those awards and join the cruise.

Join the Circus
The circus is always a fun time, so bring out the kids in your office workers and have a great time. Decorate with bright colors and balloons, and hire a clown or two (or the resident office jokers) and let the fun begin. Although the circus is the farthest thing from a corporate setting, giving your employees and their guests a night of light-hearted fun will be an enjoyable evening. Complete the carnival experience with tarot card readers, face painters, caricature artists or any other colorful character.

Solve a Crime
Give your guests a mystery to solve as they enjoy their corporate awards dinner with a murder mystery theme. Everyone loves a mystery and working out the clues. Give each guest who wants to be involved their own plot and background and watch as the investigation begins. Give prizes for participants who uncover the plot first, or add a hint of mystery to naming award recipients. No matter what kind of mystery you weave in with your awards dinner, your guests will remember it for many years.

Don't worry if these themes don't tickle your fancy. You can take any small theme idea and build onto it as your planning process moves forward. Your company's award dinner doesn't always need to be black and white, so add a splash of fun and let the office party begin.

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