If you’re tasked with planning a banquet for your business, church, or non-profit organization, you may not know where to start. From selecting a banquet hall in Orlando to creating invites, a lot goes into planning a successful banquet. From finding a banquet hall in Orlando to meeting with caterers and sending out invites, there’s so much to do! Our team at Canterbury Conference Center has had the pleasure of planning many types of banquets at our facility in Oviedo, Florida. Here are some of our best tips for planning a great banquet in 2024.
Find Your Banquet Purpose
Banquets can be held for many reasons, such as award ceremonies, thanking donors, celebrating company milestones, and more. Banquets are a great celebration choice for an adult-focused crowd that enjoys a great meal and time together. Before you get into the nitty-gritty of planning your banquet, you’ll want to completely understand why you want to have the banquet in the first place.
How to Plan a Banquet
The first step in planning your banquet is to understand your purpose. That will guide all your decisions regarding how to plan it. Here are the steps for planning a banquet for your church, business, or non-profit:
The first step in your planning process needs to be determining the budget. You can have the best, most extravagant ideas for the banquet, but there’s no reason to keep planning if your organization’s budget can’t support it. Know your budget upfront so you can pick a venue, secure a date, and select a caterer within your price range. Your budget will also help you determine what theme and decor you’d like to have at the event.
Pick a Venue
The atmosphere of your event will come down to your venue choice. It’s one of the most important aspects of planning your banquet. It’s also likely one of the largest expenses. When choosing a venue, you’ll want to consider the atmosphere you desire. Do you want guests to be close to the hustle and bustle of Downtown Orlando’s nightlife? Or do you prefer a hidden getaway so guests can unplug from technology? Our banquet hall in Orlando has the best of both: it offers a secluded, tranquil location in the heart of Orlando, which is a convenient commute for anyone in the Central Florida area.
Select Banquet Style
Do you want a buffet meal with several stations or a sit-down dining experience where guests are served at tables? Or would you prefer a casual meal where guests bring a dish to share, potluck style? Along with the venue you pick, your banquet style will determine the atmosphere of your event. Sit-down banquets will have a more luxurious feel than buffet-style meals. When selecting a buffet-style meal, understand that you’ll have people standing in line waiting for food and people who get up occasionally during the meal to grab seconds. This could hinder the event activities, depending on the nature of your event.
A potluck-style banquet may seem like an easy, casual option, but it requires significant planning. If you go this route, use an online spreadsheet or an app like Signup Genius for people to select the dish they’ll bring. This will ensure there are no overlaps and will provide a wide range of food options.
Entertainment and Events
After securing your venue and date, you’ll want to book live entertainment, such as a DJ or live band. You’ll want to spend time brainstorming and developing any other activities and games you’d like to participate in during the event, whether it’s a silent auction or a get-to-know-you icebreaker game. Don’t forget to line up your speeches, too!
Now that you have all your details together, it’s time to send out the invites! Give guests plenty of time to mark their calendars and RSVP. You’ll want to give your guests at least six to eight weeks to respond.
Banquet Trends for 2024
Looking to enhance your banquet for 2024? Here are some fun trends you should consider incorporating into your banquet this year.
Dietary Friendly Selections
One emerging trend in banquet planning is to provide a wide range of food options that accommodate different diets. This includes plant-based dishes and allergy-friendly selections. Making these selections a part of your menu helps your guests feel comfortable and included.
Charcuterie-style boards have become a popular catering option for appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Charcuterie boards overflow with sweet and savory finger foods, including cold-cut meats, cheeses, fruits, crackers, and snacks. Theme your charcuterie boards for different countries, colors, or flavors for a unique twist.
DIY Food Stations
Make getting your food at your banquet an activity! From an old-school chocolate fountain to a modern chicken and waffle bar, the opportunities are endless. This is your chance to get creative and make some fun surprises for your guests.
Banquets trend from large, formal occasions to intimate affairs with gourmet dishes and courses. Today, people focus on the quality of the meal instead of the quantity of people attending. Companies and event organizers are turning from traditional banquet-style meals to intimate dinner pirates with gourmet, freshly prepared courses.
Canterbury Conference Center, our banquet hall in Orlando, can accommodate banquets of many sizes, with conference rooms that can seat 20 to 200 people.
Another banquet trend for 2024 is to include non-alcoholic mocktail selections at parties. Get creative and make a themed mocktail for your event that everyone can enjoy.
Canterbury Conference Center: Banquet Hall in Orlando, FL
If you’re searching for a space for a corporate dinner, donor event, or awards banquet, our facilities are perfect for large gatherings and meals. Our team will work with you to create an exceptional experience that fits within your budget. To learn more about having your event at Canterbury Conference Center, call our guest services department at 407-392-9138 or contact us online.