Sometimes a meeting budget can grow in ways not foreseen by anyone, including the planner, the attendees, or their bosses. During the Meeting Planning MasterMind training in Kissimmee, FL on July 11-13, in partnership with Meetings Today and Experience Kissimmee, we will discuss how knowing the ins and outs of hotel operations can make you a more effective meeting planner.
At this meeting planning symposia, you'll learn how hotels need your business, and by working with an effective RFP and bid process, you can have hotels competing for your group. One of the topics we will discuss is finding methods to control banquet costs. Here are a few highlights:
- Learn how to ask the Executive Chef to get involved with your budget planning. Some hotels offer seasonal or specialty menus that can be adjusted in order to meet your price point. You can also ask to "menu match" another group that is already booked on your dates and negotiate a discount.
- The service charges on banquets are climbing to 24-26% in some cities. This can cause an issue for planners working with a smaller meeting budget. Try to negotiate to bring down your rate. Many hotels are willing to help with a large enough group. At Meeting Planning Mastermind, we will also discuss room night credits and how this may help stretch your budget.
- Another way to improve your meeting budget is by trying to decrease the price of coffee the hotel provides. Many times, hotels need to stay firm on menu prices, but they can set special pricing on coffee. Try to negotiate to see if the hotel can adjust the cost of coffee and watch your savings grow.
- If you are holding your meeting at a non-hotel site, such as the Nicholson Center, look at what hotels your meeting facility is partnered with. Hotel partners are typically listed on your meeting facility's website, and could lead to discounted rooms, if you decide to have your attendees stay there.
About the Author: Tom Pasha is the President of Contact Planning, Inc. with over twenty years of experience in the hospitality industry. Tom will be a speaker at Meeting Planning Mastermind at the Nicholson Center from July 12-13, 2017.