@MPIGNY - Spring 2016 - (Page 16)
FOR MEAL TIME
t's time to come to the table and haggle over your food
and beverage costs. fantastic fun for planners who
enjoy the haggling process, harrowing for those who
don't. What can you do to stretch your budget while ensuring
the very best in eats, drinks and service for your guests?
read on for some helpful negotiating tips.
* It's all on the table. Just like the eventual buffet
selections, everything you're buying is up for grabs,
so don't leave anything off the negotiation block, don't
accept the first price (ever!) and be sure to read your
contracts with a magnifying glass before inking the
* No, really. All on the table. Have you worked with this
venue before? Do you trust your contact? if so, you might
consider what most say is a no-no: revealing your actual
budget. This might help them work better within your
parameters and get you the most bang for your buck with
no need for the full-court haggling press.
* Go over the guidelines. seems like a given, but there's
often a lot hiding in the fine print. Get a copy of your
venue's banquet policies for a complete understanding of
things such as date-based menu price changes, preferred
vendor requirements and gratuity guidelines.
* Grab-n-go breaks. Very often, between-meal noshes have
attendees grabbing a bottled water and a banana (safe for
purse-stuffing!) or a coffee and a cookie and heading off to their
next session. There is often too much food. Work with staffers
to shave down costs here and either save total spend or apply it
elsewhere for an amped-up lunch or dinner.
* Go off-site. scheduling meals on-site may add convenience,
but guests love to see the cities they're visiting and experience
them as a local. And as restaurants or alternative venues
are often priced more competitively, it could be win-win all
around. make sure, however, that getting there isn't too hard on
* Gratuities, not givens. A gratuities clause in your contract gives
you the right to question these charges in the event your service
is subpar. Present this clause early in your negotiations; the f&B
manager will be aware, ahead of time, and prep staff accordingly
to ensure superb service.
* Build relationships. Venue staffers are potential allies. They want
to give you a stellar event, but they need to make money, too.
Treat every situation as negotiable and every contact the way
you'd wish to be treated. remember, you may want to use them
again (and if you do, odds are you'll have a new negotiating tool in
your arsenal: repeat business!).
xpedia's end-of-2015 analysis seems to indicate
that international airfares won't be. That could
be good news if you're planning more than one
international meeting. After doing some number crunching
using data from the Airlines reporting Corporation (ArC),
intra-european fares seem to fall among the lowest
@MPIGNY SPRING 2016
expected. sweden to Berlin, Brussels to Barcelona and ireland
to London were standouts among the cheapest projected routes.
Additionally, the American express Global Business Travel forecast
projects that lower fuel costs, among other trends, may push fares
to Latin America and Asia flatter. Companies with regular business
in these regions should benefit.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY - Spring 2016
ASK THE BOARD
MEETINGS & TRAVEL IN TIMES OF CRISIS
MEETINGS OUTLOOK: SECURITY CONCERNS ON THE RISE
10 WAYS TO MILLENNIAL-IZE YOUR MEETINGS
THE MPIGNY GOLF OUTING TURNS 25!
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL EVENT PHOTOS
DAY IN THE LIFE
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
WHAT’S COMING TO TORONTO IN 2016
@MPIGNY - Spring 2016