Randy and Andrew talk about the many successful off site receptions and events that they have done over the years. However there have been a couple that have raised red flags.
One off site event in particular was at a museum. Andrew begins by reviewing the site visit that he did with the client. The event was part of a larger citywide program and the meeting planner insisted that it was a “reception” only, that started at 5 PM (1st flag). The meeting planner also insisted that the menu be kept at a minimum but with; seating for all (2nd flag), dinner sized plates and food stations (3rd, 4th flag).
What was his first clue that this wouldn’t go right?
Next we fast forward to to the evening of the event, where Randy was onsite. Andrew went with Randy before the event started and they met with the caterer and other event staff. Then after saying hi to the client Andrew headed out thinking how nice this event will be.
Well, not exactly…
Later that night Andrew gets a call from Randy suggesting that he brings a suit to work the next day. “Oh dear (mind you Andrew used a bit stronger language) what went wrong” Andrew Asks. Well, as you would suspect, the guest were very hungry and wanted much more food than a reception offered. And the meeting planner seemed to forget how she insisted it would be a reception (yeah right) and was flipping mad at Randy as the event ran out of food.
This is where Randy’s expertise came in handy as she jumped into action and was able to call on her industry colleagues to get addition food to the museum. In the end, after a long void, additional food arrived. It also helped that Randy booked the coach as a charter, rather than a two-way, as she was able to send that coach to pick up the additional food (something they discussed in the first podcast).
You’ll have to hear Randy describe how the caterer in question acted (or rather disappeared).
In the end, thanks to Randy, the event was saved and the client was happy. I guess getting a rebate on the food helped. The planner even committed to using their services again.
Randy reviews what needs to be covered in order to be prepared for an off site event (and what to do when things go wrong), such as:
- reach out to local contacts
- notify the client immediately when issues arise
- confirm with the caterer that he has accounted for a 3 to 5% overage
Randy and Andrew also relay a story of an event where the caterer worked with them to save the day. So it’s vital to know the suppliers who you work with.
Here are the article links that Randy and Andrew refer to during the podcast:
- Event Catering – The Day We Ran Out of Food
- Choosing the Right Event Caterer for the Job
- Event Planning Tips for Food and Beverage Functions