The old saying goes, "It always is best to start at the beginning." And if there is a basic place to start planning any banquet it is with finding a great facility to host your function. Later on you will begin to get obsessed with the meal planning, the entertainment, the decorations and the dozens of other details that go into making a great banquet spring to life. But if your banquet hall is not the perfect fit for the needs of your group and to make your vision of the perfect banquet possible, all of the rest is an afterthought.
Fitting the banquet hall to match the event is without a doubt the most important decision to be made and one that can be difficult to estimate. This is particularly true if you do not have a guest list that is set in stone. If the event is to be open to the public or the guest list stays in a state of flux right up until the banquet, knowing for certain that you planned for enough people is always an open question. The advice of people who have booked this kind of event or even who have served to plan the banquet you are developing can help a lot with getting a good estimate so you can at least book the hall and then move on to make similar plans concerning the tables, chairs and catering.
Just as challenging but with more variables to consider is the layout of the facility. If you are going to have a speaker or some form of entertainment, these are important parts of the event and you must be sure the facility is set up to give those special artists what they need to be successful. A speaker may need a stage, microphones and the ability to get the attention of the assembled guests to get his or her point across. But if the entertainment is dynamic such as a juggling act, they may want to perform from the floor so you will have to clear that space to allow that special talent to be showcased.
So to be sure the facility you pick is a perfect choice for the event you are planning, tour each candidate hall with very specific questions in mind to check off before you even begin negotiating for the rental of the space. Look at the kitchen facility in light of how the serving will work and the size of crowd you expect. Are the bathrooms located in a convenient spot and are they the right kind? If your banquet is for a large, all woman group, you will need to be able to convert the bathrooms so the ladies are well taken care of. If your guests have a high proportion of handicapped individuals, having the facilities to make their needs easy to care for is crucial to the success of the night.
By being particular up front and starting early, you have the time to research all of the available banquet halls that would make good candidates. And because you thought ahead of what will make a good banquet hall and great facility, you will be off to the right start for staging a truly great banquet event.