When an event is held with a lunch involved, the guests are more relaxed, are better able to converse with one another, and gain a more personal experience. Luncheons are held for special occasions such as employee training, showers, award ceremonies and motivational seminars. When planning a luncheon, the host must manage time efficiently to prepare well and deliver the desired results of the event.
Determine the approximate number of people attending the luncheon. Research venues that can accommodate the crowd you expect. Ask the potential venue management about in-house and outside catering rules. Ask about what types of tables, chairs and linens are available.
Consider what you wish to accomplish from the luncheon. Make a list of equipment and supplies. Podium and sound systems are needed for speakers. Pens and paper placed at the tables are a good idea for informational luncheons. Prizes and games are appropriate for leadership and training events. Decide the number of personnel needed to assist in the activities and schedule them accordingly.
Contact catering services. Inquire about menu options for buffet style and table service. Consider vegetarian dishes in addition to traditional menu items. Ask the catering service to provide cold drinks, coffee and tea throughout the luncheon. Plan to serve dessert before the end of the meal, to aid in time efficiency.
Determine what can be done during setup to minimize any disruptions to your speaker once the luncheon begins. For example, set out any informational material before the start of the event -- not during the presentation. If using buffet style catering, arrange the food tables far from any podium.
Announce what is happening throughout the event. For each segment of the luncheon, use the podium to address when lunch is being served, to direct the guests in activities, and to announce speakers.
Banquet Planning Checklist
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- Follow up with your guests within a few days. They will provide useful feedback and appreciate the gesture.
Claudia Sinclair is a short-story writer and essayist based in central New York. Her work also includes business-related handbooks and manuals, with a focus on criminal/business law. Sinclair earned Bachelor of Science degrees in business security management and accounting, both from SUNY Empire State College.