It’s inevitable. Every season, no matter how exceptional, must ultimately come to end. And what better way to mark the close of one season and the beginning of another than hosting an end of season banquet for your cheerleaders!
In many instances, the burden of planning such an event falls heavily on coaches and parents, both in the planning and financing department. Don’t be discouraged by this! There are many ways to plan fantastic, stress-free and cost efficient celebrations to recognize your athletes for all of their hard work throughout the season. Banquets can also be a great opportunity to thank others outside of team members who helped to make your season a success. This can include teachers, principals, band leaders, sponsors or parents.
The first step in planning a memorable event is to define your vision for the banquet, as well as your budget for the event. Banquets can be formal, informal, elaborate or simple. There is no one style that is better than the other. In most cases, knowing the personality of your team and honorees will help you to make the best decision as to what type of banquet you’d like to host. If you are seeking monetary assistance in funding the banquet, you may want to consider charging a nominal fee to those who plan to attend. This may help to offset the costs a bit. Another method of offsetting the costs is to charge for all family and friends that may be in attendance and not charging the actual athletes.
After you have figured out how you will finance your event, next you should choose a theme for your event. Themes can be as extravagant as the imagination will allow. The venue in which your banquet will be held in may help you in determining your theme. For instance, you may decide to host your banquet at a bowling alley. This venue provides an instant theme for the banquet. Other venues like a banquet room, restaurant, or a home may not provide as evident a theme… so let your imagination go wild. For instance, consider the following themes:
Passport to Victory – Design your venue to represent various international locations. You can decorate the venue with suitcases and other items representative of travel. Awards can be designed to resemble passports.
A Red Carpet Event – Bring Hollywood to your banquet. A red carpet entrance leading up to a stop for photo ops will wow your team members. Decorative items could include director’s chairs, spotlights and/or a movie projector. Be sure to advise your guests to come dressed in their best red carpet garments!
Party like a rock star – Give your team the chance to party as their last act together. Set the stage with a karaoke machine, and this banquet will be sure to be one that is not soon forgotten!
Winners Circle – This NASCAR themed event will surely be a welcome surprise. Decorate your tables with checkered table clothes, and adorn the venue with checkered flags and other automobile accessories.
You see, there is no one single way to create a great end of season banquet. Let your creativity run wild! When considering the logistics of the event, make sure you clearly communicate the banquet details to the attendees. For instance, if you are hosting a pot luck, you may want to consider having a sign up list or assigning dishes to ensure you have a good spread of food. Including everyone in the planning process will ease the burden on you and typically makes for a much more exciting event. You don’t have to divulge all your surprises, but allowing others to assist will usually generate a greater pool of creative ideas!
When it comes to gifts for your team, consider something memorable that will forever remind them of the season. Personalized photos albums or place mats are a great keepsake for cheerleaders. Additionally, you can check out all of the great gift ideas that The Cheerleading Company has to offer.
Keep in mind while planning your banquet that your goal is to create an event that will celebrate both your cheerleaders and your season . . . and there are many ways to achieve this goal!