1. Include a gratuities line in your budget so you arrive on site with appropriate funds.

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2. Write a standard gratuity letter before the meeting and, once on site, insert the person’s name and gratuity amount.

3. Create a spreadsheet with space to list the people you tipped, their titles, and how much they received.

4. Ask whether the hotel will do a “paid out” to the master or if you have to do a “paid in” before arriving so you have cash on hand.

5. Confirm that the hotel has safety deposit boxes for your cash. If it doesn’t, get the cash on the last day of the program.

6. Confirm that hotel employees can accept a cash gratuity. If they cannot, you may want to give a gift in line with the cash gratuity you would have given.

7. Tell your convention services manager that you need the names and titles of all the people associated with your program, as well as the number of housemen assigned to your program, so you don’t forget anyone.

8. For exceptional service, consider writing a letter to the general manager or to a corporate vice president.

9. When deciding who should receive gratuities, ask your team whom they want to include and why. There are many people on your team who have worked on the program and they may have additions to your “must thank” list.

10. Remember that gratuities are earned. You do not have to offer them to those who did simply what they were expected to do, nor do you have to offer a gratuity simply out of obligation. Also, when determining the amount of the gratuity, consider the number of days and hours the person worked on the event.

For more on Christy Lamagna

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