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How To Strategy A Banquet – A Manual To Preparing Perfect Banquets For Firm Or Non-public Get-togethers

1st time planners are generally stricken with entire fear! Even those that plan functions about and about again continue to fear that a thing will go erroneous and they will be the issue of ridicule. Hopefully we can allay the fears and quell the butterflies in your abdomen by serving to you as a result of the total project.

There are a good deal of inquiries you need to talk to. 1st timers almost certainly don’t have the foggiest strategy what inquiries to talk to, so, the to start with point we might superior do is define these for you.

Potentially the most straightforward way to do that is to fill out a form. (I appreciate forms!)
If you were to cell phone me and talk to me to assistance you make arrangements for a specific event, the to start with point I would do is reach for a blank form, and about the cell phone we would fill it out. When I had all the data, I would be superior organized to assistance you.

Ahead of you go on examining, you could want to print the banquet organizing worksheet(PDF) from my web page. That way you can follow together with the worksheet as I explain the organizing system. I’ve also included a pre filled sample organizing worksheet that you may possibly assistance.

Let’s start with point discovering.


The to start with concern to talk to is, “What is the function of the event?” This concern ought to be really straightforward, but it can be potentially the most essential. The function of your event will determine your event’s agenda.


Break out your calendar to make a decision a date for your event. Glimpse for achievable conflicts. It may possibly be tricky to get people out to a Saturday night banquet if it can be a three-day holiday getaway. It would be unwise to set on a church social if your nearby school, wherever most of your congregation had kids attending, were having an open dwelling or participate in that night.

Pencil in a date and then try to consider of achievable conflicts. I know of a single group that booked a pretty well known and rather highly-priced Jewish comic into the club dwelling of a predominantly Jewish retirement group. Attempts to promote tickets failed miserably, since they had not understood they had scheduled his visual appeal on a Jewish holiday getaway – a pretty highly-priced oversight!

Price range

There are several, several analyzing aspects in setting up a budget. 1st of all, how several are predicted to attend? You may possibly have a fairly superior strategy for a company bash, but in some situations you may possibly just have to make a “guess-timate” until eventually you can get additional data. Make the best achievable estimate centered on what points you have, and continue.

TICKET Price tag

Another factor to determine ahead of we pick a spot is how significantly your attendees are keen to pay back. Positive, we can operate the other way: we can choose a spot, employ the service of a band, pick the menu, etc., and then insert up how significantly it all expenses and as a result determine how significantly everybody needs to pay back, but performing so will almost certainly go away you hurting in the finish.

If you count on 1,000 people, and you determine $25.00 a human being is appropriate, then your total budget for food stuff, printing, leisure, etc., is $25,000. If you count on only twenty people and you know they will not likely appear if it can be about $five.00 a human being, then you know you are much additional constrained.


Identify the geographical place wherever the event is to take place. If you stay in the place wherever the event will take place, you could previously know of various lodges, country clubs, restaurants or catering halls that can accommodate your group. If you don’t stay in the place, be absolutely sure to go glance at the prospective spot ahead of you book it. If the event is in a distant city and it can be not achievable for you to travel there, and the event is a important a single, I suggest you employ the service of a specialist conference planner.

I at the time attended a banquet in a quaint “50’s malt-store-variety restaurant. The bash planner had not absent there to glance at the area wherever the bash was to be. She had just taken the term of a good friend. True, it was a fantastic restaurant, but their “area” had about five long term booths on each and every wall. Attendees were experiencing in all various directions. This designed it virtually impossible for the magician they had hired to accomplish. To further confuse the challenge, it was not even a non-public area. Restaurant customers could not get to the restroom without the need of disturbing the bash, and the 50’s new music continued to blare as a result of the ceiling speakers during the evening since it was piped during the complete restaurant and could not be isolated from a single area. A check out beforehand could have prevented this nightmare.

Many, if not most, facilities do not charge a payment for the use of the area but instead take up the rental payment into the value of the meal. For occasion, in our instance of two hundred people, a banquet facility would be delighted to source a non-public area in buy to promote two hundred dinners.

Ordinarily they will have numerous dinners to pick out from – potentially a rooster dinner, entire with beverage, salad and dessert, for $twelve.00 for each human being or prime rib at $eighteen.00 each and every or sirloin steaks at $25.00 for each human being. In our instance we are charging $thirty.00 for each human being. Let’s pick the prime rib at $eighteen.00.

Does that involve tax and tip? Oh, Oh! Come across out if it does, or you could get a shock at the finish of the night. Let’s say it does not. 15% tip and 8% (or no matter what) tax will make the dinner a full of $22.14 for each human being. Our sample budget phone calls for two hundred people at $thirty.00 each and every for a full of $6,000. If all two hundred people attend, dinner will price tag $4,428. That leaves $1,572 for all other expenses.

By the way, the facility could talk to you for a deposit and ensure. If you ensure two hundred people, you will have to pay back for two hundred dinners even if only a hundred seventy five present up. Commonly, a facility is organized to provide about ten% additional people than you ensure. So it will make perception to ensure a lesser quantity than you count on. Even some of those who instructed you unquestionably they would be there, probably even gave you a deposit, don’t present for a single cause or one more.

Just to be on the safe side, in our instance of two hundred people, I would ensure the restaurant 185. If you are pre offering tickets, which I endorse, you can usually modify your estimate upwards with the restaurant a day or two forward of time if necessary. Talk to the facility about their necessities in regard to a modify in the ensure.


The evening agenda is mostly established by the event’s function. A common event may possibly go like this:

6:00 – 7:00 – Social or cocktail hour

7:00 – 8:00 – Supper

8:00 – 8:15 – Conference/Awards/Business enterprise

8:15 – 9:00 – Amusement/Speaker

9:00 – 9:ten – Raffle/Door Prizes

9:ten – 1:00 – Dancing

Acquiring an hour to “gather” is usually superior. You and the facility equally will want everybody current when you essentially sit down to try to eat. It is really been my working experience that virtually anything commences late, so plan for it and don’t be dissatisfied when it transpires.

Will you be having a cocktail hour? A “Hosted” bar indicates that beverages are no cost to the bash-goers. If you pick out to host the cocktail hour, be organized to invest about $1200 for our sample group of two hundred people. Most group-sponsored functions have a ‘No-Host’ bar, in which guests acquire their individual beverages. It is really suitable to announce ‘Hosted’, or ‘No-Host’ in the invitation.

Some form of leisure all through the cocktail hour is surely a as well as. The facility could have new music piped in as a result of its sound method, which is surely the most inexpensive having said that, for around $300 you could have stay new music. Most banquet facilities have a piano, in some cases on wheels, and will enable you either lease the piano or use it for no cost. Payment for the piano rental ought to be around $fifty to $one hundred and a piano player any place from $a hundred and fifty to $250.

Other cocktail hour leisure could involve a chamber group, a jazz or “culture” trio, harpist, or a strolling accordionist. A strolling “near-up” magician, executing from group to group or desk to desk, is usually exciting. Other forms of leisure for the cocktail hour could involve superstar glance-alikes, mechanical or typical mimes, a balloon animal sculptor, caricaturist, graphologist, palm reader, tarot card reader, stilt walker, or just about everything else you can consider of! All over again, your budget is your gauge.


This is fairly straightforward. When the Maitre’d suggests dinner is prepared, have your bash sit down!

The vast majority of banquets have particular people assigned to sit at the head desk when everybody else could sit wherever they desire. If you pick out to have a head desk, you ought to make little place markers for those assigned to sit at the head desk, and don’t ignore to explore desk arrangements with the facility.


Another person, potentially you, ought to move to the microphone and announce that dinner is prepared and talk to everybody to take a seat. When this has been accomplished your President, or whoever is presiding, ought to welcome everybody.

It is suitable at most banquets to have anyone direct the flag salute, adopted by a blessing on the food stuff. People ought to not be named on for these positions extemporaneously, but ought to be requested in advance and their names and tasks ought to be listed on the printed program if there is a single. Pursuing the flag salute and prayer, your Master of Ceremonies (or who ever is conducting) ought to introduce the people sitting at the head desk, introducing himself previous.

THE Software

If enterprise of any sort needs to be carried out, start when dessert is completed, or at minimum served. Make absolutely sure that the facility knows that you do not want any bussing (clearing of tables) or coffee served following the program commences, as it can become an annoying distraction and take absent from the satisfaction of the program.


Pursuing opening remarks, and/or other enterprise, you could either introduce the major speaker, or current some form of leisure.

This could be the highlight of the evening! There are several fantastic following-dinner performers and speakers. If you really want to have a productive event, employ the service of a specialist. At this creating $500 to $1,000 can acquire you some fairly prime-notch leisure.

How about a comedian-magician who employs a member or two of your group and does some hilarious bits of enterprise and viewers participation magic tricks – thirty or forty minutes of non-end laughs!

Or photo this…the dessert has just been served and in walks “Lt. Columbo,” entire with overcoat and cigar…”Oh, justification me,” he suggests, “I was on the lookout for any person else.” All eyes are riveted on this familiar figure as he turns and commences to walk out. “Oh, a single additional point, is this the Walker bash?’ Then for the upcoming thirty minutes or so he does a comedy plan in the style and shipping of Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo, making use of names of people in your group.

That will rock your people out of their seats with laughter. These are just a couple of tips. Most people loves to snicker, and a superior specialist entertainer can make you a hero.

How do you locate that sort of leisure? All over again, watch out for the properly-meaning good friend. In some cases employing a good friend of a good friend who tells jokes or performs the banjo can set a moist blanket on the evening if they don’t stay up to your expectations.

Probably the best way to secure expertise is to operate with a specialist expertise agent that specializes in specific functions. Ordinarily there is no payment for his providers. He can make suggestions and tips centered on what your needs are, and operate within your budget limitations.

Some entertainers could have specific necessities, like a phase, highlight, two mics or a thing else, and these merchandise need to be arranged with the facility. There could be a rental payment associated.


Giving absent door prizes or raffle prizes ought to not be held until eventually following the leisure or major speaker. Potentially it can be an inducement for your guests to stay until eventually the finish.

If you are offering raffle tickets, again you need to make out a budget. How several tickets do you count on to promote and for how significantly funds? Do you want to make a financial gain? Let’s say you count on to promote one hundred tickets to those two hundred people predicted to appear, and we promote them at the banquet for $2.00 each and every. That’ll give you $two hundred to acquire prizes with. You can set this in your typical budget or assign anyone to take care of the complete raffle, including acquiring the prizes and offering the tickets.


Pursuing the raffle, the formal part of the program is really about. Your people can now go residence. If you’ve elected to have a deejay or band, they could stay for dancing.

The facility may possibly charge to set up a dance flooring. In some cases this is a transportable dance flooring they build right on prime of the carpet. A band will price tag any place from $a hundred and fifty for each band member to $450 for each band member for 4 hours. A little trio of keyboard, drum and guitar could be any place from $750 to $1,500.

An $1,800 to $three,500 five-piece band, including a vocalist, is ordinary. If you employ the service of a band, you could be equipped to use a single or additional of those exact musicians to offer cocktail hour and/or dinner new music for a little extra payment. You typically need to make a deposit at the time you employ the service of the band. Everything about 4 hours’ playing time is regarded extra time, and you ought to speak with the band or agent about the price tag of extra time when you make the initial arrangements. Bands also need to take a ten-15 minute split each and every hour. Talk to if the band will source recorded new music all through their breaks.


In some cases you may possibly favor a DeeJay playing recorded new music instead of employing a band. This offers you the benefit of hearing the initial recording artist instead of a dance band’s rendition.

Another benefit is that most mobile DeeJay models will set up ahead of dinner and supply to participate in dinner new music at no extra price tag, and of program, a DeeJay does not take a split all through the evening, so you have non end new music for your event.

Expense-intelligent, there is not a good deal of distinction concerning a three-piece band and a DeeJay. Some DeeJays supply a complete mild-present that couple of bands do, and even with an extra charge, this could be a authentic as well as. I consider it can be just a matter of taste. Some people insist on a stay band and other people are just as adamant about a DeeJay.


Online video taping an event, apart from for historical uses, is avoidable. Seldom will the movie tape or DVD be viewed additional than at the time following the event. Sure, probably a Bar or Bat Mitzvah will watch his or her recording yrs later when they grow more mature, and probably even a bride and groom would watch a properly-edited and condensed recording. A company or organization’s banquet, having said that, will be rarely if ever viewed.

I would endorse that you employ the service of, budget allowing, a specialist photographer relatively than leaving it up to a single of your guests or a good friend of a good friend who only normally takes photographs two times a year. You can have the photographer provide prints or a CD of digital pictures in which circumstance you could print just the photographs you want.


Probably the most traumatic point that could occur is that you prepared the total event and then no a single came. If it can be a company bash and the food stuff, leisure, beverages and dancing are all no cost, I don’t consider you will have a difficulty, as lengthy as you enable everyone know when and wherever and that it can be Absolutely free!

But if which is not the circumstance, you could need to market the event. After you have all the points (WHAT, WHEN, In which, WHY, WHO, and HOW Substantially), you can build a flyer – a piece of paper with all the points on it, made to motivate people to attend.

If you are an artist, fantastic! You can build the flyer your self. If not, probably anyone in your group is and they can assistance you. Normally, you need to “tough it out” the way you would want it and take it to a graphic artist to do the “digicam-prepared duplicate” for you, then off to a printer to print having said that several you are heading to need. How several you need will rely on how you are heading to distribute them.

The layout, printing, envelopes and postage all need to go into your budget. There are, of program, extra means you can market the event – term of mouth, bulletin boards, cell phone committee, club or company publication, posters. If your event will be open to people outdoors your group, you may possibly try making use of the publicity channels of other relevant groups, businesses, educational institutions, etc., as properly as your individual. Have a “brainstorming session” with your committee, if you have a single, to consider of all the means you can get the term out.

And remember that if you want people to appear to your action, you cannot just tell them. You have to tell them and tell them and tell them! Use all the methods at your disposal, and don’t be reluctant to repeat your self. The additional times you tell them, the additional will appear!


There are as several means to deal with this as there are means to market the event. If you have to lay out funds forward of time (which is generally the circumstance), it is superior to get as significantly funds as you can up entrance. Pre offering your tickets will assistance you do that. Of program, your publicity should state your necessities and deadlines. This also will assistance you get a deal with on how several are heading to attend. Bear in mind although, that there will continue to be some previous minute cancellations and additions, so stay versatile.


As stated earlier, most corporations assign only the head desk, and the rest of the attendees are left to sit wherever they desire. Some groups insist on drawing pictures of the tables on a sheet of paper, numbering them, and then assigning people to certain tables.

I consider it can be much additional operate than essential, but if you should, then have at it.
Some banquets, specially those honoring individuals or groups, supply total tables “for sale.” ten people for each desk at $thirty each and every indicates that for $300 anyone could reserve a complete desk. Make absolutely sure you set a “reserved” sign on that desk, exhibiting the identify of the host.


When all the points are in, if the budget will allow, a wonderful printed program could be set at each and every place location or handed out as people get there. It ought to incorporate the agenda for the evening and credits provided to all those who contributed to the event.

Many corporations have been productive in offering ads in the program to defray the price tag of printing or even to increase some excess funds. I’ve set $250 cash flow underneath the cash flow column of our instance. Really don’t you consider you could influence ten people to give you their enterprise card and pay back $25 to be marketed on the back again webpage of the program? Of program, this strategy could be a minimal tacky if the event is to celebrate minimal Bobbie’s tenth birthday. Use your best judgment.


This could be a large product or not – strictly up to you. If you picked a stunning spot, and it can be not a specific seasonal event like a Christmas or Halloween bash, why not just get pleasure from the facility’s decor? If you experience you need decorations and you have a adequate budget, contact a bash decorator who employs balloons. They go a lengthy way toward dressing up a area without the need of investing a good deal of funds.

Centerpieces on each and every desk glance wonderful. You can talk to anyone to donate these or have anyone clever make a thing for each and every desk. Many facilities make these a wonderful desk layout that a centerpiece is not essential. Really don’t invest funds unnecessarily, but do remember that the nicer the ambience, the superior the reminiscences or the event will be in the minds of those who attend, which indicates that they will want to appear to your upcoming event, far too!

Just one notice of warning. If you are having leisure, be careful that huge
centerpieces, specially balloons, don’t block the perspective of the executing place or even the people sitting on the opposite side of the desk who want to see and speak to each and every other.


Sure, you will fret and get worried until eventually the complete point is about, but each and every bash planner does. Just take it easy, do your best and get pleasure from! (Here is a key: If you get pleasure from what you are performing, the people you are performing it for will get pleasure from it, far too!)


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