One of the greatest challenges thrown at event planners is keeping costs inline with the budget. Seemingly small event expenses can add up and cause the overall event to come in well over budget. Watch out for these potential food and beverage budget busters.
Individually Packaged Snacks
One of the easiest ways to feed a crowd during a morning or afternoon break is often with granola bars, bags of trail mix, packages of dried fruits, etc. There are a lot of pros to individually packaged snacks. They give you the ability to offer your guests variety, many offer healthy options, and they can stay fresh all day, but beware! These packaged snacks are easy for your attendees to grab on the go AND easy to put in their bags for later. Many attendees will grab not one, but multiple items doubling, if not tripling your spend. Work with your caterer to offer bulk trail mix or homemade granola bars instead. This will allow you to provide similar items to your guests at a higher quality, lower price, and with less risk of cost creep.
Continuous Beverages on Consumption
People want their coffee (tea, sparkling water, or Diet Coke), and they want it throughout the day. The problem is when you work with the hotel to provide continuous beverages on consumption, the hotel staff will continue to replenish items and charge you for each one consumed. People will drink more just because it is there. Also, the bottles of water or sodas are easy to slip into their bags to take up to their room for later. The best way to handle this is to negotiate a set price for continuous beverage service in the contract. If that didn’t happen, you will set yourself up to stay within budget if you of limited number of cans, bottles, or gallons to set times throughout the day.
The Signature Drink
Who doesn’t love a clever signature drink? I’m not here to say to never include one. I just want to shed some light on a misconception. You see this a lot at weddings. To save money, the couple offers a hosted bar with beer and wine only. The only alcohol they cover is a witty signature drink that represents the special day or incorporates a cute story about the couple. What they don’t realize is many times when you offer a hosted signature drink, especially one that gets people talking, many people will order that drink just to try it before ordering their glass of chardonnay or lite beer.
Though these items don’t appear to cost a lot on their own, not keeping an eye on them could cost your company thousands of dollars. What other sneaky budget busters can you think of?
Need help with your corporate, non-profit, or social event? Allow Lynn David Events to help leave a lasting impression on your attendees. www.lynndavidevents.com