As a fully fledged veteran of numerous awards evenings, I feel it is my duty to to pass on my knowledge in a short guide on how to survive these awards evenings.
1) Don’t Bother Arriving on Time:
If you have ever been to an awards evening, you know that it will inevitably start late. If the invitation says doors open at 5:30, get there for 6 at the earliest. The crush of people waiting to get in will be eventually subdued by large security guards and let in at 5:45. However, most people also anticipate a late start so turn up later resulting in a frantic rush. Never turn up early. This is a rookie mistake. You will undoubtedly spend a considerable amount of if time standing outside the venue, potentially in the rain, wind and cold (this is Britain after all)
2) Don’t Expect to Leave on Time:
It is almost an accepted fact of life that no one can accurately time a speech. People ramble on, speak much slower than anticipated or may be heckled (I have seen this at an awards evening; there were some very proud, excited parents present.) No matter what happens, know that you will leave at least 45 minutes after the invite said the evening would end. Therefore, you should never, ever, make plans for after the event that must adhere to the concept of timing and punctuality.
3) Dietary Requirements Inquires Are Just a Formality:
Asking if you have a dietary requirement is obviously very quickly ignored. As someone who has a sever fish allergy and has vegetarian/vegan/halal friends, these needs are frequently overlooked. Recently I went to an awards evening where not only was there no veggie option bar some lettuce, “salad”. The fish option was not marked in any way resulting in me eating it. Now my fish allergy causes sever projectile vomiting. I felt I should leave the event, lest I projectile vomit over “our glorious mayor” of Tower Hamlets. I suppose this analogy shows that the caterers aren’t that concerned unless it’s a major thing, but then you probably have an epi pen anyway….
4) Dress Code: Who Bloody Knows?!
“Smart dress code”. This can range from nice trousers and a top to full blown hair, make up, heels, dress suit and tie. Who bloody well knows what you’re supposed to wear to these things, and to be perfectly honest, who really cares? The host and award winners really should just be glad that they won the award, not what kind of shoes and clothes I’m wearing. I would love it if the next awards evening any one goes to, you go in your pjs or, in trakies. Just could we do that, for the good of humanity and my happiness?