If you have ever planned a special event, you know that costs can add up faster than you can keep track of them. Suddenly, many unthought-of last minute items become essentials for your event. Whether it’s the latest trend, or it is something that looked amazing at Sally’s event, you end up feeling you cannot move forward without handing out another handful of cash in an attempt to impress your attendees. While it may be difficult to get a great and affordable deal on the latest styled items and trends, below are some cost saving tips to help you save money on your next catered event.
1. Don’t Blindly Trust the Vendors Calculations
At SBC, Inc. we review numerous final bills from well-established venues—with that being said, multiple times I have encountered over charges, and mistakes on final bills from large brand name hotels. Sometimes it is a very painful process attempting to obtain a refund from a hotel, so don’t sign off on any bills until you are totally satisfied! Make sure you do your own math calculations — calculate their taxes, service fees, check for hotel add-ons that you did not previously agree on and most importantly, don’t be afraid to question any charges you are not completely sure of. Sometimes hotels do make honest mistakes, we are humans after all so always make sure you check your bill on your end before you allow any charges.
2. Ask to be Charged on Consumption versus a Pre Set Amount
If you are unsure of how many attendees will actually be attending your event, you do have the option of having some items charged on consumption. Ask for a la carte menu options, sometimes a meeting planner package may appear to be a pretty good deal, but sometimes this comes out to be more expensive. Make sure to calculate the difference between your options, and pick the one that best fits your needs. No two events are alike, instead of ordering a set amount of snacks and drinks for a meeting, ask to be charged on consumption. This way you only pay for what is consumed. The same can be done for other snack items that are individually wrapped.
3. Don’t Let the Banquet Staff Replenish as They Please
Have you ever walked into brunch and been offered a complimentary mimosa, then 15 minutes later you are kindly asked “how did you like the mimosa, may I get you another one?” Now, you didn’t hear the word complimentary, but you also don’t want to awkwardly ask, “is there a charge?” At least in this situation, consider yourself lucky because you are being asked for your permission, in contrast, some catering venues just refill your coffee cambro by the hour. At some hotels, one gallon of coffee costs over $90. Imagine how much money is spent on all-day coffee alone? Make sure to get your terms in writing, and have the hotel sign off on it. If there are any additional charges at the conclusion of your event, you will have proof that the banquet staff was not authorized to replenish, and add charges without prior approval.