How to Plan a Formal Banquet Colorado-Style

by Beth Buehler

You’ve been charged with planning a formal banquet for an awards dinner, a product launch, a fund-raiser, a client thank-you event or the closing night of a multiday conference. It should be well organized and located at a venue that matches your organization’s brand and has options for making this a unique Colorado experience instead of just the normal sit-and-eat plated dinner affair. Already feeling a moment of panic? Relax, as Destination Colorado’s website and members can make life easier; just do some quick browsing and get started.

When selecting a destination, make sure to select a community that has a venue large enough to seat the appropriate number of guests and in the type of atmosphere you are looking for. Remember that even airplane hangers, large barns and attractions like museums can be transformed into banquet venues, so don’t forget to think outside the box. When clicking on the destination menu item on Destination Colorado’s website, go to a destination of interest and browse the venues that pull up for that community. You will find banquet venues in the mountains and in the cities.

For example, Boulder’s page lists CU Conference Services, Hotel Boulderado, Millennium Harvest House Hotel Boulder and St Julien Hotel & Spa, as well as the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, which also can help meeting and event planners find the perfect venue. Click on Function Space under each of these entities to find out total capacity, largest banquet room, number of guest rooms and more. This is the case for any member destination and venue.

A beautiful, light-filled space at Millennium Harvest House Hotel Boulder. Courtesy of the Millennium.

St Julien Hotel and Spa in downtown Boulder has several indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces. Courtesy of St Julien Hotel and Spa.

Or head straight for “Find a Venue” under the Venues menu item, where you can enter specifics like destination, group size and type of venue to narrow a search quickly. Another option is to search by venue types, where there are web pages that provide overviews about Colorado Banquet Hall Facilities in Metro Destinations and Mountain Destinations. While some of the largest ballrooms are at Colorado convention centers, also check out hotels, resorts and ranches for various sizes of function spaces.

One of the handiest features is that the venue pages all have tabs for function space and a person to contact. In the case of looking at C Lazy U Ranch near Granby, you will find that groups of up to 120 can be accommodated in a variety of indoor and outdoor meeting spaces. The ranch’s banquet space can host a maximum of 80.

This unique function space at C Lazy U Ranch also can host dinners. Courtesy of C Lazy U.

While selecting a destination and venue, keep in mind any needs for additional services such as audiovisual, entertainment photography, transportation and destination management companies that can help plan your event.

Capture quality images of your event by hiring a professional photographer. Photo by WonderWorks Studios.

Lighting and fabric decor by Elite Entertainment add a special touch to this Colorado barn. Courtesy of Elite Entertainment.

Destination Colorado stands ready to help make your task of organizing a memorable banquet as easy as possible. Sit back, relax and see what options Colorado has to offer!

Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado in all seasons.