BOB KAISER MEETING PLANNER, IFCA INTERNATIONAL, BYRON CENTER, MICH.
I would have to say that the most annoying charges are those that pertain to negotiated items. For example, I have negotiated complimentary Internet — and it is in the— in meeting space, but the charges end up on the master billing as a direct cost. When I question the charge, I am told “it must have slipped through the cracks.” Basically, it is because of poor internal communications at the facility, which is just as annoying as the charge.
FRANK LAGROTTERIA, CMP, CONFERENCE PLANNER, UNIVERSAL PACE FEDERATION, TARRYTOWN, N.Y.
I am most consistently pleased with the food and beverage portion of the bill as it almost always reflects what I had signed for at the end of each day. What causes unnecessary stress and extra work is the accommodations portion of the bill. Reviewing the individual folios of several hundred guests for accuracy, room rate, and incidentals is no fun.
What is even more troubling is not being able to track incidentals that go to the master account. In some hotels, when we designate the person as “all charges to the master,” we cannot see his or her actual charges to check for accuracy as they go directly to the master and are no longer tagged to a specific room. That drives me nuts as I cannot check it or question it.
I guess the main thing I am looking for in my accommodations bills are total of number of rooms per day, the rate, and the extras that have been added.
I usually have to cull this information from different sources if I want it for myself. Unlike the F&B bills, the accommodations bills are long and complicated. The result is that it becomes hard to give an accurate report about our expenses or authorize final payment when there is so much extra checking to do.
MARLENE KNIGHT CONVENTION CONSULTANT, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH GATHERING OF PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN, LOUISVILLE, KY.
Heating and air conditioning charges for move-in and move-out days at some convention centers are annoying. I always look for that before I sign a contract.
The most annoying charges are not always hidden, but are many times cost prohibitive. They are Internet connection fees in the meeting space. Hotels are now offering free Wi-Fi in the sleeping rooms, while charging exorbitant fees in the meeting space. Each connection can run hundreds of dollars. It has become a big revenue source for many facilities. I find this extremely annoying and my clients feel they are being taken advantage of when they hear these rates.
STAR LEE DIRECTOR, SPECIAL PROJECTS/EVENTS, TIMOTHY BARNABAS INC., WOODSTOCK, GA.
I have found it wise to be extremely careful when reconciling my final bill. We hold conferences that include hundreds of lodging nights, F&B for meals and breaks, plus corporate incidental costs. Unfortunately, I have found that when a hotel/resort/conference center fails in their due diligence to collect needed information on their end, often they will add charges to my master account that should have been allotted to individual attendees. When your final bill is large and detailed, you need radar to pick up on these types of charges. Fortunately, most event planners have that radar.