I’ve never liked the term “banquet hall.” It sounds like the fifties. I picture long tables of Shriners or Rotarians eating chicken a la king and debating Eisenhower vs. Whoever Eisenhower ran against.
Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that. Some of my best friends are Shriners (no idea if this is actually true, but go with it). I’m not even going to hate on chicken a la king. I believe a good chef can put a fresh spin on everything. But the term “banquet hall,” like eating chicken a la king, is not for everyone.
I’m not here to write a hospitality-industry diss track, I just want to get this off my chest. Words have multiple meanings. These days, they’re heavily valued by what they sound like to the ear, and their value in google searches. So it’s a term I have to be aware of every day.
What is an event venue?
In simple English, it’s a place that holds an event. The event can be a lecture, a symposium, a wedding, and yes, even a banquet. A banquet hall is always an event venue, but not all event venues are banquet halls.
What is a banquet hall?
The word “banquet” comes from the French word “banque”, which means the mass gathering of people, which we now associate banquet to eating and feasting. People associate banquet hall with event venues because it’s usually one of the only venues that people need, typically for a wedding reception or other party.
Banquet hall is an industry term. Back in the day, I’m sure it brought to mind visions of glamour and elegance. The term hasn’t aged well. When was the last time you heard someone talking about the amazing banquet they went to? I doubt ASAP Rocky is out there at some dope ass banquet. The word has fallen out of modern usage.
I get that people need a term to differentiate event venues meant for this purpose from all other venues. People have different needs for weddings than they do for conventions, concerts, raves, or anything else. Vertigo LA is certainly closer to a “banquet hall” than it is Staples Center. Banquet hall is specific, and specificity is good.
All that said, I’ve always wished there were an equally specific term for “banquet hall in Glendale” that had a more current ring to it. What I’m saying is this: if Google promised me the top result for “banquet hall” for a million dollars, I’d take it. But if they offered me 2 million dollars to kill the term once and for all, I’d seriously consider it. It’s a brave new world out there. We should find a brave new term for the kind of upscale, experiential scale of venue that we provide at vertigo.
What do you guys think of the term banquet hall? What’s a better term for 2017? If you think of one tweet/insta with #notABanquet. I’d love to hear your suggestions.