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Banquet Planning Checklist

Biagio's is a great place to celebrate all special occasions, from weddings and graduations to corporate events, company parties, award ceremonies, and more. As with any major event, thorough planning is crucial to the success of your banquet.

These tips will help you plan a banquet for your next big occasion and ensure that everything goes smoothly—with the least amount of stress for you, and the most enjoyment for your banquet guests.

Choose a venue

The right venue for your banquet will depend on many factors, including the number of guests, the type of occasion, the format of your banquet, and the location and available amenities for the venue.

Some things to consider when choosing a venue include:

  • Capacity: Can the venue comfortably hold the number of guests you’re inviting?

  • Parking: Will there be plenty of parking? Is valet service available if needed?

  • Location: Is the place conveniently located and easy to find?

  • Accessibility: Are there handicapped-accessible entrances, elevators, and facilities?

  • Space: Will the caterers have room to set up? If you’re planning entertainment or speakers, is there a stage and/or podium available?

Choose a caterer

Food and drinks are typically the centerpieces of a banquet event. Choose a caterer with an excellent reputation for service and quality food, and meet with him or her at least 2 to 3 weeks before your event to discuss the plans and preparations.

Some catering considerations for your banquet include:

  • Meal planning and number of guests to be served

  • Style of service (buffet or table serving)

  • Specific guest requests, such as dietary restrictions or vegetarian options

  • Beverages, especially if you’re providing an open bar

  • Planning ahead for last-minute guests

Plan banquet activities

Many banquets include some type of program, activity, or speaker, such as DJs or live bands for weddings, speakers for corporate events, or activities for company or family gatherings. If you have special guests or entertainment planned for your banquet, make sure the venue knows about your needs for this part of the program. You should also talk with your speakers or entertainers before the event to find out if they’d prefer to eat at the banquet or have meals prepared for them. Discuss these arrangements with your caterer.

Track miscellaneous details

With the main portions of your banquet in place, take the time to list everything you’ll need to have prepared for your banquet and work your way down the list. These details may include:

  • Decorations and flowers

  • An event-themed cake or other dessert

  • Gift collection

  • Award presentations

  • Transportation, lodging, and/or childcare for guests

  • Printed material (invitations, program cards, seating labels)

Be sure to plan for these details far in advance of your banquet, so everything is positioned to run smoothly and efficiently on your big day.

Biagio: Your Seamless, Full-Service Chicagoland Banquet Planner

Dazzle your banquet guests with exceptional meals and impeccable service from Biagio. We develop unique dining experiences for every event we cater, flawlessly handling every detail from start to finish.

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