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Banquet Coordination and Preparation Advice - Articles Surfing
Ten years have gone by and you can't believe it. Either you were a class officer, so planning the banquet defaults to you; or no one seems to have planned a banquet, so you were roped into the planning committee. No worries, putting together a banquet doesn't need to be overwhelming.
For starters, you'll need about six people for your planning committee, and one person to lead the group. The phrase, 'the more the merrier' isn't always best. Decisions need to be made and too many people will cause you to get stuck in the quagmire. If others want to help, put them on sub-committees to delegate tasks to later.
Just like a wedding, it's important that you get a ring and a dress. No, that's not right. It's important that you get a date and a location. You can't move forward if you don't solidify those two factors. Before deciding on a location, get an idea of how much money you are going to spend. Do you have any funds in an account leftover from previous banquets? How much per head will you charge your classmates to attend? Some events end up costing $50+ per person, and your attendance will be lower if you don't keep it reasonable for people to attend. If you only want to be able to charge $25 per person, then that will influence your decision on location (union hall vs. country club).
Will you be hiring a DJ? If so, get this person reserved next. Don't wait for the last minute to try to find someone. You'll need to compensate deposits on the banquet hall and the disc jockey. The last big thing you'll want to decide is if you're going to be having dinner or just h'or duerves. If you're just going to have snacks, you can save a bundle by doing the food yourself. You don't need to have that catered.
Start getting a hold of classmates. This is a daunting job. It's a little easier now with the internet and all the people-search resources. Women are a little harder to find because of all the possible name changes. Ask people to ask people to ask people. This is truly a word of mouth venture. Also contact parents. Other suggestions are to do a lot of publicity. Post your banquet notices on www.classmates.com and www.banquet.com. Send out press releases to media: newspaper, TV and radio. Build a website preferably with the domain name of your school and year dot com. Having your own website will simplify things as you can put all the pertinent information on the site, then in all your other notices, give a contact phone number then 'see website for details.' Also contact your Alma Matter to see if they can post the info on the marquis out front. Mail invitations; even simple flyers made on the computer will suffice, but give them something to stick on their refrigerator.
Keep decorations simple. No one really cares. They're coming to see each other, not how pretty the room looks. You can spend a bundle on room d'cor if you're not careful. Photocopy pictures from the yearbook, cut them out, stick on poster boards and laminate. Voila'. Get copies of the school newspaper and leave those on the tables. Don't go overboard here. It's a waste of money.
Door prizes are optional. People always like to win stuff. Solicit business owners for donations if you want. You can delegate this task to someone who may have wanted to help but you didn't need any more decision makers. 50/50 raffles are always fun too. Check to make sure raffles are permitted before conducting this though. Most places don't have a problem with this type of activity.
One final word, if your banquet hall rental fee does not include after-event clean up, but offers that at an additional charge, take it! This option will be much appreciated at the end of a long day of setting up and pulling off your event. You don't want to mess with clearing tables and emptying trash at one o'clock in the morning.
More importantly, have fun and don't sweat it. The details aren't as important as old friends reconnecting.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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