@MPIGNY - Spring 2016 - (Page 16)

#thought leadership MedIaTION FOR MEAL TIME i 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 dotted line. * 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 your attendees. * 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!). GOING UP? e 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 16 @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

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
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!
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL EVENT PHOTOS
DAY IN THE LIFE
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
WHAT’S COMING TO TORONTO IN 2016
NEW MEMBERS
ADVERTISERS’ INDEX

@MPIGNY - Spring 2016

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