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A Great Banquet Starts with Great Banquet Facilities

In keeping with the old saying that tells us “It is always best to start at the beginning” you’ll find that the best place to start your banquet planning is by finding a great facility. You’ll soon enough be obsessed with the meal planning, decorations, entertainment and the dozen or so other details that will make your event spring to life. However, if the banquet hall doesn’t meet your needs and the needs of your group your vision of the perfect banquet may be thwarted, even if everything else is just right.

Finding the right banquet hall is undoubtedly the most important, and can be the most difficult, decision you will make during your planning. This is particularly the case if your guest list is constantly changing or if the event is open to the public. If your event took place last year, check with the previous planners to get a head count so you can form an educated estimate and book your facility and move on to plans concerning the layout.

Once you have the facility booked the next challenge is the layout. Most banquets will have a speaker or some kind of entertainment (or both) so you will need to give a lot of thought to accommodating these special needs. You will likely need a stage, microphone or public address system and the tables should be situated so that the majority of the guests will have an easy view of the stage. In the case of a dynamic entertainment act such as a juggler or dancers you may want to reserve a space on the floor so that special talent can be showcased.

When deciding on the banquet hall you should make a short list of the available facilities in the area. Also make a list of specific questions and requirements you can check off as you tour each facility. Having this list will help you with pros and cons of each facility and give you a starting point in the negotiations for rental of the space. Make sure the kitchen facilities are large enough and have the right amenities for the servers, size of crowd you expect and the amount and type of food you are preparing. Check to make sure the bathrooms are conveniently located and can accommodate your guests. For example, if your banquet will primarily be a group of ladies you may need to convert the men’s bathroom so that the ladies are well taken care of and you don’t have lines forming at the bathroom. Similarly, you should be certain that there are accommodations for handicapped individuals. I cannot overstate how crucial adequate kitchen and bathroom facilities are to the success of your event.

Start earlyFind Article, be choosy and give yourself the time to research all of the available banquet halls that make good candidates for your banquet. Choosing the perfect venue will get you off to the right start for staging a truly great banquet event.

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Cheri Brennan is an avid banquet and event planning enthusiast. She has planned many events for friends, family and corporate settings.
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