Government Connections - Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 26)
Editor's Note: Thought Leadership is a new feature highlighting meetings tips and trends that will run in each issue.
it'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.
* Get multiple quotes. you may be in love with a given venue, but
don't marry it right away. not only will speaking with a selection
of businesses give you a sense of which has the best value,
you may find one you like better. and of course, having a figure
in-hand from a competing facility could very well help you drive
down costs at the one dearest to your planner's heart.
* Dance with your dates. Budget is likely your biggest factor, but
an immovable date is a chink in your negotiation armor. if at all
possible, have more than one option to help with your flexibility,
particularly at popular venues or if you have a shorter lead time.
GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS | SPRING/SUMMER 2016
* 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 competitively, it could be win-win. Make sure,
however, that getting there isn't too hard on your attendees.
* A la carte vs. per person. Don't go with the latter for breaks
unless you're hosting a small group, in which case it is usually
* Minimum exceeded, maximum clause. Will you exceed
the venue's f&B minimum by a reasonable amount? That
number is a sweet spot that may afford you some upgrades.
What's more, if the venue is a hotel - you can spin it off into
areas unrelated to f&B such as av, support staff or room
upgrades. you have leverage!
* 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!).
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Spring/Summer 2016
What You Need to Know: 2016 NEC Preview
A CGMP Primer
Your Best Investment: Working with a DMO
Optimizing Your Food & Beverage Budget
Meet a Staffer
Government Connections - Spring/Summer 2016