In the meeting planning industry it’s always a challenge to find the right venue for your group while working within your budget framework. As any seasoned meeting planner will tell you, meeting planning is always a delicate balance between budgets and creating an exciting program to attract delegates. There are ways that you can still impress your delegates by selecting the right type of venue based on your budget.
Venues with In-House Kitchens Are Attractive to Meeting Planning Companies
From my full service destination management days I can remember doing site visits with meeting planners that wanted their functions to be held in the best museum in the city – yet with a budget that would only accommodate about half the cost for that facility. I guess that’s where my job really came in to play. As I’ve mentioned here many times before, providing budgets to your event planning company is not a bad idea. However, a lot of meeting planners tend to hold this information back for fear that the event planning company will always spend the budgeted amount. My attitude towards budgets is more the opposite of that thought process. I like getting a budget so that I know what venues will work for that client so that they can have a great event and spend only what they anticipated.
Here’s the rule of thumb, or tip as it were, on selecting a venue based on a lower budget. Basically any venue that does not have an in-house kitchen (meaning that they don’t have their own equipment such as tables, chairs, linens and cutlery etc.) will always have an additional expense to the per person cost. And that expense can be as much as the food menu cost itself (meaning double the food menu price). Venues that typically fall within this range are museums, galleries, attractions etc. To help eliminate this additional service and equipment cost I would advise my meeting planning clients to look at venues that have in-house kitchens. Of course hotel ballrooms would fall into this category as well as event spaces that have been designed to handle group business. And believe it or not there are a lot of these types of venues in most major destinations.