Banquet Table

The impression that the guests at a banquet gets starts as soon as they walk into the hall. So in planning the event, every aspect of that first impression is important. From the colors of the decorations to the way you have the space organized, it all sends a message that you want to coordinate with the theme of your event.

It is easy to see the tables at the event as more or less structure with no importance to the banquet other than to hold the people's food up as they eat. But there are decisions to be made about what kind of tables to use, how you will lay them out in the room and what they say about the event that you should take into consideration before you settle on just any table.

First of all, how many people you can accommodate at each table has an impact on the planning as well as the atmosphere of the event. If you pick tables that can host many people, perhaps 10-15 people at one seating, the expanse of such a table fills the physical space of the hall. However, if it is a round table, much of the floor space of the room is filled with the middle of the table which doesn't have that much use. On the other hand, if you go with rectangular tables, that takes on a cafeteria feel which may not be the message you want to get across to the banquet guests.

Another consideration is how you will arrange the seating assignment in light of the social event of eating with other people. If it a large hall with many people attending the banquet, smaller tables facilitate more intimate conversations. Larger tables either encourage loud talking or many small conversations. Think about the hall and the noise factor of those conversations when making your decisions.

In most cases you will have the guests eat at their tables and then turn and receive the presentation from a stage area. How will that work out when the speaker or entertainment is ready to get the attention of the guests? If you have many guests facing away from the front and they are still dining as the presentation time gets underway, they are going to miss the visual aspect of the presentation or entertainment and your presenters will be looking out at a number of people facing away. Consult with those in charge of the presentation about their preferences on this issue.

There are other considerations to take into account when making your plans for the tables and how they will help you coordinate the event. The tablecloths and decorations can help with the message of the evening if they are well planned. Also think about the servers and how you will lay out the hall to take best of advantage of them. Some thoughtful arrangement of tables can cut down on the number of servers needed which saves money.

You may not have thought that there were this many issues involved in something as mundane as table selection. But a detail as important as tables for a banquet can be a very important detail to be sure.