August, 19, 2015

Head Back to School with a College Homecoming Banquet

As an event planner, there’s a chance you spend some time every fall coming up with concepts and ideas for college homecoming events. Homecoming is a popular time for many universities, with alumnae traveling back to their alma maters to reminisce, see old friends, tour the campus to see what’s changed (and what’s stayed the same), so it makes perfect sense to plan a banquet for those who are visiting. Past just incorporating the school’s colors, here are our favorite tips for crafting a great homecoming theme party.

Incorporate the School’s Sports Team

Of course, homecoming is usually scheduled around a football game, so it’s fun to play into that. Set up photo ops that look like the end zone and goal post, or find cardboard cutouts of the players with spaces for people to put their own face in them. Celebratory streamers and pennants are also great to drum up some school spirit among guests and visitors.

Plan a Menu with Locally-Inspired Dishes

Depending on where the college or university is located, there can be a lot to work with for the menu. For instance, if the University is on the West Coast, California-style Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes can be a great plan. Southern locales can incorporate different types of barbecue, and East coast dishes can be centered on types of local seafood that are popular in the area. Set up charger plates with school colors, or deck out a buffet table in coordinating colors.

For dessert, you can offer cupcakes or a sheet cake with frosting that’s been dyed to match the school’s team colors.

Hire DJs and Other Entertainment

Of course, you’re going to need to plan more than just a meal. Hiring a DJ for dancing, and other entertainers such as a caricature artist, fortune teller, and a photo booth coordinator can make the event that much more fun.

Deck Out the Walls and Tables in School Spirit

Despite homecoming being a time when people gather around for, typically, a football game, there’s no reason not to go all out with the table and wall décor. Choose table linen and accessories (napkins, chair backs/chair ties, and more) that reflect the school’s colors, and consider utilizing patterns that incorporate the colors instead of simply using solid colors, too. You can also use overlays and runners to create a layered look that is interesting and beautiful. 

What are some of your favorite things to do when planning homecoming event banquets?