What’s in a day?

The banqueting manager is one of the most high profile roles in a hotel, simply because the conference and banqueting facilities tend to be a rich source of revenue. In this senior role, therefore, you'll be involved at every level of decision making, from marketing and selling the banqueting space to ensuring that each event runs without a hitch.

This is as much about people as it is about food, so you'll have to be comfortable dealing with a variety of clients. Some will be professional event organisers who will hire venues for conferences, receptions and exhibitions so there will be repeat business to win. Other clients will be from the general public - perhaps planning a once-in-a-lifetime event, such as a wedding.

Your job is to ensure your team meets the requirements of each client, whether they want a small anniversary party for 50, a glamorous wedding for 120, or a high profile corporate dinner for 600 or more. And in a large hotel or venue, all of those events may be happening on the same day.

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Key responsibilities:

  • Marketing and selling conference and banqueting facilities
  • Scheduling reservations
  • Operating the facilities profitably
  • Planning well so each event runs smoothly
  • Checking all bills are paid on time
  • Managing your food and beverage team
  • Briefing staff and checking the room set-up before the event
  • Ensuring the room is turned around, ready for the next event

What sort of hours will I work?

Be prepared for early starts and late finishes when necessary – the unsociable hours mean that this is a vocation rather than a 9-5 job.

The best bit about being a banqueting manager?

It’s a glamorous world and there’s no scope for boredom. You’ll meet all types of people and get great satisfaction from making their event go smoothly.

And the worst?

Sometimes you just can’t anticipate what might go wrong – and when it does, you’ll have to think on your feet and be prepared to work alongside your team to sort it out.

What skills do I need?

  • Leadership skills to motivate and manage your team
  • The confidence to liaise with other heads of department and deliver what the client wants
  • Good communication skills to find out exactly what your clients want
  • Personal charm to greet organisers, hosts and VIPs and to show clients you are giving them full attention
  • Excellent organisational and administrative skills
  • A cool head to deal with last minute requests and problems
  • A can-do attitude, because you may need to hire audio visual, lighting, a DJ, a band, stages, and marquees

What qualifications do I need?

As with most hospitality jobs, it's the quality of your experience that counts. However, any event management, hospitality management or F&B related NVQs, SVQs, HNDs or degrees will boost your career prospects and help you in this job.

Who would it suit?

Someone with impressive stamina and engaging social skills who stays cool under pressure. You'll need to thrive on managing a hardworking team and be able to inspire them to deliver memorable events for all types of client. In a nutshell, you need to be a strong leader who can pull a party out of a paper bag.

What sort of salary can I expect?

The UK average is £26,500-£29,700.

Where can I go from here?

You could pursue a banqueting role with a bigger remit, or get experience in other hotel management roles with a view to becoming operations manager and ultimately a general manager.

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