If you were asked what the purpose of the table at an average banquet, you might answer, "To keep the food from falling on the floor." And it is true that providing a way for the guests to enjoy their meals is a fundamental purpose of the tables you provide to them. But if you look at how the tables fit into the overall success of the evening, those important tables actually have many lives and many functions all of which are important to how well the event goes.
The first impression your guests will get when they enter the banquet hall will set the tone for the entire evening. That is one reason that banquet organizers put so much effort into the decoration of the hall and the tables. When the guests are transported to a delightful world of elegance, fantasy or romance, that is what makes a banquet something special. In any banquet hall, the tables dominate the room simply because of the amount of physical space they occupy. So it makes sense that some thoughtful effort and some expense be put into the decoration of those tables.
The tables at any banquet are also where your guests will spend the most time during the course of the evening. Their assigned seats at their tables becomes their "home base" for the night where they will store their coats and purses and return to regularly even if they drift off to chat, dance, go through the buffet or enjoy some other activity. They always come back to home base. So the table where each guests "lives" should be comfortable and pleasant as well as elegant and professional looking.
Then, of course, the table the guests eat at during the banquet is a social place. Often people dine with people they meet that night so the meal time is a place where friendships are forged and even business contacts are made. The table should be intimate enough so people across the table can speak to each other and exchange conversation. You may wish to consider a seating chart for the very reason of guiding how those relationships are formed in light of the mission of the evening.
These important "lives" the tables serve at a banquet are important but that basic one of facilitating the meal is still a high priority. Not only should the food be high quality and well prepared but the table is a big part of the "presentation" and the ambiance which are so important in a banquet setting. There should be sufficient room between guests for the servers to do their jobs without disturbing patrons. Moreover, there should be sufficient room on the table so the guests can dine in comfort without having every inch of the table crowded together with tableware.
These are just a few of the reasons to put some creative thought into the tables you will provide and decorate at your upcoming banquet. But if you find the right approach and style for the tables you set out for your guests, those tables will work hard for you to make their evenings delightful and make your banquet event a huge success.