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9 Great Ideas for a Banquet

Finding the right way to celebrate a special occasion is crucial. You want to honor the person, event, or organization at the heart of the event, and you want everyone to have a good time while you’re doing it. Here, we’ve got nine awesome ideas for a banquet that will help you do just that.

From initial planning stages to waving goodbye at the end of the night, we’ve got your banquet covered from start to finish. We’ll start with overarching considerations that need to be nailed down right away, like the theme of the night, and then we’ll move into more specific details.

So, whether you’re looking for ideas for sports banquets or big birthday parties, we’ve got lots of good suggestions for your next bash.

Fun Theme

Having the right theme makes a big difference. All our other ideas for a banquet will wrap back up to this one. A cohesive theme can take everything to the next level and majorly impress your guests.

Pick something that makes sense for your group. When we’re talking ideas for sports banquets, for example, theming the event off of the sport in question is a good place to start.

Other popular themes are location based (Paris, Vegas, Hawaii, etc.) — pretend you’re somewhere else for a night and get some of the fun of vacation without any of the hassle. Another tried-and-true classic is the decade theme. Pick an era and go wild!

How much the theme impacts the event is completely up to you. And you don’t have to have a theme! It can just provide some guidance on aesthetic choices like the invitations or decor. You can even direct your guests to dress up according to theme if you want (and if you think your attendees would be game for it).


There are all kinds of places you could host your next banquet. You could go for a tried-and-true banquet hall, or you might pick a restaurant with a private room, a hotel, or even an outdoor space. What’s best for your event will depend on the guests, the goal, and the season. If you’re here because you’re looking for ideas for sports banquets, for example, you probably don’t need a super fancy event space. However, other organizations are more formal.

Ideas for a banquet won’t go very far if you don’t have enough space. Make sure you have as accurate of a rough idea of how many people you’d like to host as possible before you book a venue.

A word to the wise: Don’t get a venue that’s way too big for your headcount. You might think erring to the side of too much space is the best way to go, but too big of a venue can make your guests feel awkward and make the decorations and furniture look kind of sad and empty.


Having good food ideas for a banquet is an absolute must. Since that’s the main draw for most banquets, you should keep the menu toward the top of your priorities list.

You might not need all that many food ideas for a banquet, depending on the venue you’ve chosen. They might have in-house catering or a list of approved vendors for you to choose from. This kind of specificity can really streamline the planning process. If you have more options available to you, keep the needs and preferences of your guests in mind (as long as it’s reasonable, of course). Definitely try to have vegetarian options and dishes that those with allergies can enjoy.

We’ll return to our go-to example of ideas for sports banquets. If you’ve got a big group of young sports players to feed, you’ll want to have plenty of hearty dishes for them, but also make sure the food is something their parents will also enjoy.


Even if you don’t send individual invitations for your organization’s banquet, you’ll still need some way of getting the word out about your event. Printing invitations, designing a graphic for social media, or creating an evite are all great ideas for a banquet. Think about what you have the capacity to get done and what your ideal guests would be most receptive to.

Whichever way you go about getting people to your event, make sure all the pertinent information is out there. The date, time, location, and any dress code directives should be plainly evident. This is another thing that can relate to the theme you’ve chosen — when we’re talking ideas for sports banquets, for example, using pictures from the season or otherwise athletic images can be a good way to tie things together.


Some banquets are primarily fundraisers, so you’ve got to have an effective way of making money during the event. We wrote about fundraiser ideas in this post, so if you need a more in-depth explanation of how you can use a fun event to raise money for your organization, you can read that for all the specifics.

Here, we’ll just provide a brief overview for those of you who don’t want to take the time to read another post. There are a few different ways you can go about fundraising at a banquet. You might sell tickets, but that could also decrease turnout.

You can also raise money during the event itself. Selling raffle tickets for the chance to win a big prize is another method you might consider. Finally, silent auctions are also ideas for a banquet fundraising opportunity. The only potentially tricky part is ensuring you get the right things to auction off. Depending on the type of organization you’re hosting a banquet for, you might get members or local businesses to donate items for your auction.

Of course, not all banquets will benefit from a fundraising component. Our ideas for sports banquets usually don’t include them, for example. Knowing when to abstain from fundraising is an important component of throwing a fun event.


This one can really make or break your event. Not all banquets need to have entertainment, but having the right kind can elevate the occasion to something extra special. Entertainment ideas for a banquet can range from music and magic to games and other interactive elements.

As with all the other suggestions on this list, keep your guests top of mind. Entertainment ideas for sports banquets are going to be very different from those for a more formal affair. Magicians, comedians, musicians, and other performers could be a good way to go, but you don’t necessarily have to have these traditional forms of entertainment.

As always, look back to the theme you chose for guidance here. For a circus theme, you might have different performers than you would for a Vegas theme, for example. You might also consider games or other interactive forms of entertainment. One idea for a banquet could be a fortune teller or tarot card reader, if you can work those kinds of things into your theme.

Of course, sometimes the banquet is the entertainment in and of itself. Your attendees might be perfectly pleased just mingling and enjoying dinner, maybe with a speech from the organizers or leaders. Simple banquets can be lots of fun, too.


These ideas for a banquet are going to deeply depend on what theme you decided on earlier. That much is obvious. The venue also has a lot to do with the decorations. Ask what they have on hand and what they typically outfit your event space with. The color of the tablecloths, for example, is one thing you might not be able to customize.

Ideas for sports banquets specifically are pretty easy in the decor department. Anything related to the sport of the hour is a contender for fun decor, plus pictures from the season.

Photo Opportunities

Make the night super memorable and have a photo booth or a themed backdrop for people to take pictures in front of. Photo ideas for sports banquets might include having props available for your guests to pose as the next VIP. For other events, you might provide accessories or costume pieces, props, a themed backdrop, and good lighting. Your guests will have a ton of fun.

You might even create a hashtag your guests can use when they post their pictures to social media. That way, everyone can find all the pictures at the end of the event and relive everybody’s fun times.

Gift Bags

Having some kind of favor for them to take home at the end of the night is a great way to leave everybody in high spirits. Pictures are also great keepsakes, but a fun little favor can be an extra way to your guests’ hearts. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. When we’re talking about ideas for sports banquets, for example, some useful goodies for the next season could be really welcome. Gift bag ideas for a banquet can be simple, and they’re definitely not required, but they can show your guests how much you appreciated their presence at the event.

Some banquets have door prizes or other, bigger items for a few guests. You might go this route if you’d like to have some showstopping stuff to send home with a few banquet goers.

In the realm of ideas for sports banquets, you’ll probably be handing out awards of some kind. That’s a little bit different from gift bags, but it’s a similar concept. You might make little goodie bags to go along with the awards to add a personal touch.

General Tips

Now that we’ve gone through all of those general ideas for a banquet, we’ve got a few pieces of advice for you to consider before you embark on your party planning journey. Whether you’re here for ideas for sports banquets or options for a formal gala, there should be good advice here for you.

Don’t overdo it.

It can be tempting to plan everything down to the second and keep adding more and more elements to your banquet. However, sometimes giving your guests more room to breathe can be a better idea. Don’t feel like you have to break the bank on a banquet in order for everyone to have a good time. A simple but thoughtful event is often the best way to go, and adding together too many different ideas for a banquet is a fast track to a mess of an event.

The best ideas for sports banquets make sure the priorities are in the right places: These events should be super fun celebrations of a season of accomplishments. Spending too much time or money on all the surrounding hullabaloo can distract you from what’s really important. So, yes, you want to ensure your guests are well taken care of, but you also want to be having some fun yourself.

Get your ducks in a row.

Leaving an event up to chance is no way to throw a proper party. We know we just said not to over do it, but you should also avoid not doing enough planning. The best ideas for a banquet don’t matter if they never become reality.

Find enough help.

It’s really difficult to put on a successful event all by yourself, even if you’ve got all the best ideas for sports banquets at your fingertips. Try to assemble a team and delegate tasks accordingly. Events have a lot of moving parts, so to make sure each of them gets the attention they need, get your team together.

Now you’ve got tons of great ideas for a banquet.

With all of these ideas for a banquet, you should be ready to start planning the event of your dreams. Whether it’s a sports team award night, a PTO fundraiser, an anniversary party, or any other kind of banquet you could imagine, taking all of these aspects into account will serve your event well. You and your guests should have a great time!

Start your venue search here at Trigg Banquet Center. We’re experienced in putting on all kinds of events, and our beautiful space in historic downtown O’Fallon, Missouri, can accommodate all kinds of parties. We’d love to help you with ideas for sports banquets or any other event you’d like to host.

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