An Event to Remember –

A Quick Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Banquet Venue

By Kimberly Matts/Golden Valley Country Club

“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The committee has met, plans for a date have been marked on the calendar, tasks have been handed out.  The hard part is over, right?  Not so fast!  You’ve been assigned the most crucial responsibility for success.  Whether it’s for your upcoming corporate banquet and events, meetings, or non-profit galas, choosing the perfect banquet venue can be critical to your guests overall experience, and the accomplishment of the wishes and goals that you desire for your event. 

Before throwing your hands in the air and screaming, “I don’t know where to start!” - read our helpful quick tips planning guide to choosing the best banquet venue to ensure your guests have an event to remember.


Getting Started – Make Your Checklist

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” –Abraham Lincoln

The first step in picking the best banquet venue for your event, is to estimate the number of guests that will be attending your event, and to plan your budget accordingly.  This will help when doing your research on various venues.  Golden Valley Country Club offers 7 unique events spaces for you to choose from, with seating from 30 guests, all the way up to 500!  Next, you should make a checklist, marking down the “must-haves” for the event, as well as any questions you may have for the venue when inquiring for more info. According to Desta Kraft, a Business Manager for a local media group who books between 6-7 banquet events for her radio stations each year, the first things to consider when booking a banquet venue are:

  1. “Ambiance – How is the overall look and décor?”
  2. “Is it cost effective?”
  3. “Will the layout work? What is the capacity?”

Let’s now explore some other “must haves” when considering booking your special event.


“Location, Location, Location…” – Van Nuys News, 1956

There is a growing trend that shows companies and non-profits are moving away from booking their events at the traditional hotels and reception halls.  In fact, according to, 92.3% of planners and property professionals alike said they believe events are more likely to be booked outside of a hotel than they were five years ago.  Furthermore, having a convenient meeting space is a vital aspect when choosing your venue.  Choosing a space that is close to your main office is favorable to your employees attending the meeting.  Also, the last thing you want your guests to experience prior to your event is the hassle and struggle of finding a parking spot, and then walking blocks to get to your event. Says Kraft, “Location is a 9 out of 10 for importance!  It's nice to have a location that is centrally located, that's easy to get to and with ample parking.”  The Golden Valley Country Club is located just minutes from downtown Minneapolis, with an easily accessible parking lot, and valet service available as well!


“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” – James Beard   

Yes indeed, Mr. Beard.  Arguably the most important aspect of the event – the food!  How many times have you gone to a private function, and on the way home one of the first subjects that comes up in the conversation recapping the night is the food?  Yes, us too!  Catering food preparation and service for banquet events can only be accomplished when you have a team of individuals that are driven towards the common goal – to combine exceptional dining with award winning service.  Says Kraft, “Yes, attendees will remember the meal in two instances - if it's really good OR if it's really bad - and you WILL hear about it!”  At Golden Valley Country Club, we have a variety of amazing dining package options, and even the ability to work with our Chef to create your own custom menu!  Of course, the only thing better than eating deliciously scrumptious food, is not having to clean up the mess!  Check and Check! (Insert Quote from Event Planner in this paragraph)


“Without atmosphere a painting is nothing.” - Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Whether it’s the hardworking, loyal, employees of your company whom you want to show your appreciation, or the non-profit gala attendees who are supporters and donors to your cause, the banquet venue that you choose sets the stage for the performance that is the main event.  Every year, as technology advances, (and as the Millennials enter the workforce!), new trends arise in corporate banquets and meetings and non-profit galas to further engage attendees.  Here are some fresh and exciting tactics to utilize to create the best atmosphere possible for your guests:

  1. Using mobile phones- Using apps on your phone at meetings has been a thing and is going to stay a thing for quite a while. They not only help you with staying extra organized, but they allow for social interaction and sharing, along with seeing the agendas and possible check-in and checkout times at certain meetings. Leaders of the meetings could even have live polls and surveys for instant feedback. Having this is helping the productivity of meetings rise immensely.


  1. Exercise Breaks- Allowing an exercise break during meetings is one of the best ways to have your employees gain creativity and become more engaged in what is going on. Allowing them to get up and move around whether it’s a walk, or a set exercise portion of the meeting, it allows them to get their blood flowing.


  1. Encourage Engagement From Attendees- Instead of just having your attendees sit and listen to you for the whole meeting, get them engaged by having them contribute their ideas or opinions. Instead of just having a PowerPoint, we will see meetings with more group activities and mobile phone usage. They will gain much more knowledge from these types of engagement.


  1. Live Streaming- Live streaming is not something new, however now that it has hit Facebook and Instagram, it has become even more popular because of how easy and accessible the content has become for someone to present to their employees. As well as now even someone who could not attend the meeting in person could be there virtually.

Golden Valley Country Club has you covered with AV Equipment and Third-Party AV Tech services available, as well as Wi-Fi Internet access.  The exercise break?  How about a stroll along the walkway in back of our Clubhouse to take in a view of our beautiful 18th Green?  Yes, please!  Your guests, even the Millennials, will be very content.

Event planners take note of this last statement from Desta:

Kraft says, “The #1 decision to return to a venue is the friendliness and accessibility of their staff, both in the planning stages and the execution on the day of.  This will make or break a second booking!”

Good luck as you begin the planning stage of your big event!  For more information about Golden Valley Country Club, and for help with creating your memorable experience, call us today at 763-732-4100 or visit us at  Membership is NOT required to host events.

The only thing we can’t do…is help convince your guests to RSVP! 

About the Author:  Kimberly Matts is the Director of Catering Sales at Golden Valley Country Club.  She has over 20 years experience in the banquet and catering industry, overseeing hundreds of events.  She has a keen eye for detail, and loves to think outside-the-box to create a personalized experience for each couple that is reflective of their personalities.

Published by Widespread Media 30 July 2019