It is very easy to plan a banquet that turns out to be "the same old thing". If you have gone to a lot of banquets, you know the drill. You get seated around a big table probably with some strangers who you have to make small talk with for an hour or so. Then the servers begin bringing the food which you are glad to see because you are out of small talk. Everybody eats and then the speaker or entertainment gets underway. The format is pretty humdrum but it gets the job done.
So if you go take on the assignment of planning a banquet and you determine your banquet will be fun, interesting and exciting, you are already one step ahead of the pack and on your way to planning a banquet that will be truly memorable. Of course, the extent you can let your creativity have a free hand depends on the event. It is very different to plan a high school prom banquet to planning the 75th wedding anniversary for your in-laws.
The old saying goes that there is a child in all of us and that is true because everyone from 8 to 80 loves a fun atmosphere. Even people married 75 years would love to have some spark and life in their party. So think about putting some pizzazz and surprises into your banquet plans. In most cases your guests will very much appreciate it.
For a banquet that is to celebrate an event in the lives of children or youth, you can go as crazy as you want and as crazy as your budget will allow and never be in danger of making the banquet too fun for them. Three words should dominate your planning for a banquet for young people and they are, fun activity and laughter.
Kids want to come away from a banquet that is nonstop entertainment. A carnival theme is perfect. If you can create booths with games and activities that all of the kids can be a part of, that will be a huge hit. And don't fret about having the manpower to staff those booths. For any children or youth banquet you have a built in army of free labor. They are called parents.
Care should be taken about the use of an after dinner speaker or what kind of performance oriented entertainment to include in the agenda for the evening of the banquet. Many banquet planners just eliminate the speaker phase of the evening entirely. Kids and teenagers have little use for formalities and if they have to eat politely at a formal table and then sit politely and listen to a "talk" for a half hour, that isn't a party to them, it’s a jail sentence.
But don’t limit your creative planning to just banquets for the young. By making any banquet a lively and fun event, that is the stuff of banquet legend and it will make your event the talk of the town the day after the banquet and for weeks and months to come.
For adults, you do want a banquet to have some level of formal celebration. But even then think about happy and cheerful decorations and keeping fun and laughter in on everything you plan. And if those element dominate an evening of celebration, everybody goes home happy, especially you because you planned and pulled off a very successful event.