Government Connections - Winter 2012 - (Page 24)
33 Ways to Save Money on Meetings
By Harvey Chipkin
MEETING PLANNERS WHO save money for their companies, associations or clients are not only doing a good job; they’re proving their worth – and that provides a measure of job security. There are many big and small ways for planners to save money and improve their employers’ bottom line, said meeting professional Kristi Casey Sanders during a recent webinar she presented for Meeting Professionals International of Greater New York. Sanders is vice president, creative, and chief storyteller for Atlanta Metropolitan Publishing, which produces www.planyourmeetings.com. Travel Market Report asked Sanders to share her favorite money-saving tips.
F&B: TRIM THE FAT
• Ask for all-inclusive rates. Present a price to the chef and see what he or she can do at that price. • Review the banquet event order (BEO) daily to identify red flags in consumption. Count bottle caps, labels, etc., to see what has already been consumed and to ensure it is being counted properly. Don’t let anything be “refreshed” without your consent. • Plan receptions with heavy hors d’oeuvres rather than big sitdown dinners.
GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS | Winter 2012
• Offer an appetizer table where attendees assemble dishes themselves; it’s an ice-breaker and a money saver. • Replace a sit-down lunch with a box lunch. • Instead of a buffet, set up “action stations” – they provide more control over pricing. • Control consumption. Use smaller cups for coffee and smaller plates. Reduce portion size, for instance, by using smaller cuts of meat. • Meet in a restaurant so there is no setup fee for chairs, tables and other fixtures. Many restaurants now have A/V capacity. • Eliminate the formal lunch and give out vouchers for the hotel restaurant. Keep the meal time short so people stay in the hotel. This can also be used as leverage in negotiations with the hotel. • Look into sponsorship possibilities, such as hospitality suites. • Piggyback off the menus of other groups.
AUDIO-VISUAL: POWER IT DOWN
• Use the same AV company year-round to gain leverage on price and the benefit of its expertise. Talk to them about your
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Winter 2012
Travel Tips & Trends
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
Location, Location, Location
OGE Proposes Ethics Changes
The Evolution of e-RFPs
Organizing More Effective Meetings
7 Deadly Sins of Small Meetings
The Meeting Minute
Government Connections - Winter 2012