Mar 11th, 2010

How to Host a Banquet

When one speaks of banquets, one is immediately transported to another time and place, that of the medieval royal court, where the titled and those in favour enjoyed the hospitality of the monarch with a feast and entertainment. Hosting a banquet isn’t so different in modern times. Of course the medieval great hall, attire and jester are things of the past – unless you are attending a medieval themed banquet.

Should you opt to organize your own banquet, you will need a list of suitable venues, caterers, florists, entertainers and a bar service. Also, unless you know lots of people willing to work as servers, you will need to engage an agency for serving staff. The alternative is to find one of the companies who will organise the whole thing for you. All you will have to do then is say how many guests are to attend, what the dress is to be, choose a menu and leave the rest to them. Either way, you will need to have an idea of many people will be present at your banquet, so that you can budget sensibly. Once you have all the costing information, you can set a price for the tickets.

There will be several details to attend to, starting with what sort of banquet you are hosting. Themed costume, black tie or casual are the usual apparel for these affairs and once you have chosen this you can then work on the other details. For instance, if hosting a black tie banquet, your keyword should be elegance. Every aspect of the evening should be stylish and understated.

Choose menus carefully and don’t forget to obtain numbers for the vegetarian option. Your table should have minimal decoration, however it is important to be in keeping with your chosen theme and colours and styles should match. It might be a good idea to have a table plan in the reception area so that guests can see where they are to be seated. You should also put their names on the corresponding placemat at the table.

Apart from the feast, entertainment is a large feature of a banquet. There is a large choice of entertainment these days and what you decide to opt for, depends upon the theme of your evening. Music should feature and live music is always preferable to pre recorded, however a good DJ is worth his or her weight in gold.

As with the medieval banquet, the two important features of the modern banquet are the food and the entertainment. So do your research, plan ahead and pay attention to detail and ensure your guests are given plenty to eat and drink and that they enjoy themselves.

After all, happy guests are the key to a successful banquet.

Author: Graham Baylis

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