Saving money is important, but without quality, excitement, networking, and a memorable impact,you might not enjoy a successful food event! So what are the elements of a successful event?
Visual impact: focal points; effective, dramatic lighting; use of color
Smell and taste: created by the food and beverage and use of floral
Sound: music and entertainment
Smart logistics: lines and traffic that flows smoothly
Connect with your catering manager early.
Develop a relationship and reach a mutual understanding.
To inspire creativity, tap into the memory of your most successful events.
Ask about themes, décor elements, recommended vendors.
Research the Web sites of recommended vendors.
Ask for custom proposals from the hotel and the vendors.
Ask what equipment the hotel owns.
Ask what linen choices the hotel offers on a complimentary basis.
Ask if there are complimentary centerpieces, votive candles, mirrors.
Ask if there is a dance floor, stage, plants.
Ask if the hotel can donate door prizes.
Plan as far out as possible.
Release space for resale as soon as possible.
Share information about what you've done in the past.
Minimize turns and maximize space utilization.
Book events at off-peak times.
Host all events at the hotel.
Give the hotel an overall understanding of program and budget.
Give accurate guarantees — don't low-ball.
Negotiate discounts into the sales agreement.
Have realistic expectations for F&B pricing — you get what you pay for.
Remember thatminimums for F&B are not maximums.
Negotiate comp rooms, upgrades, and amenities.
Look at labor charges. Station attendant fees might be waived for high-dollar events; server charges for passing food can be waived.
Negotiate AV discounts.
Bring your MP3 player and use your own music — most AV companies can hook up for the cost of a microphone and mixer
Ask about LED lighting to enhance room sets.
Use fresh fruit as décor.
Ask about green alternatives — some may cost less.
Order a la carte.
Order beverages on consumption.
Ask about “all-day” packaging for breaks.
Serve dessert from lunch at the afternoon break or in the exhibit hall.
Ask that plated meals with a few enhancements be served as buffets for lunch.
Pass hors d'oeuvres so that smaller quantities will last longer.
Hotel F&B profit is about 25 percent.
Banquet revenue is used to offset lower-profit restaurants.
Buffets are not less expensive for you or the hotel.
Labor is the most costly item.
Hotel schedules are done on Wednesday and Thursday of the previous week.
Late planning may result in: inadequate staffing, timing delays, equipment shortages, general dissatisfaction.
For more tips, visit our Web site.
Keyword: food and beverage
SOURCE: Adapted from a past RCMA tutorial led by Kirk Howard.