Presentation on theme: "A Meeting Planner’s Guide to Catered Events Chapter Nine Outside Suppliers."— Presentation transcript:
A Meeting Planner’s Guide to Catered Events Chapter Nine Outside Suppliers
Providing Other Client Services Audiovisual Entertainment Lighting Ground Transportation Government Agencies Cooperating with Other Caterers Rental Companies
Some catered events require much more than food and beverage service. In addition to food and drink, some meeting planners will need audiovisual and/or lighting services. Some will require specialized dining and buffet-table presentations.
Caterers cannot be all things to all people. They must draw the line somewhere. Cost considerations render it virtually impossible to store and/or provide all of the special types of services meeting planners might potentially need.
When dealing with services other than food and beverage, caterers usually are faced with five options: Provide as many of them as possible themselves. Steer meeting planners to outside service contractors. Expect meeting planners to find their own outside service contractors. Authorize concessions. Use some combination of these four possibilities.
Outside Service Contractors Decorator Designer Audiovisual Lighting Photographer Transportation Media coverage Specialized security Printer Host/hostess Talent bookers Florist Specialized food ( e.g., subcontracting a sushi bar from a local Japanese restaurant) Furniture Exhibit equipment (e.g., pipe and drape, pop-up booths, etc.)
Some caterers have a list of approved outside service contractors they recommend. The list includes only those contractors they feel are capable of doing the job properly. To be placed on the approved list, contractors normally must have adequate references, proper licensing, and adequate insurance. ....
A caterer does not want to risk recommending someone whose ineptitude will cause dissatisfaction and ruin the chances of repeat patronage.
In-house Concessionaires Large hotels, convention centers, and conference centers that do not want to provide their own special services, yet do not want to inconvenience potential clients, may grant a few outside service contractors concession status. These contractors automatically receive a client's business unless he or she wants to make other arrangements with another service contractor.
In-house Concessionaires Large properties usually allocate the concessionaire storage space so equipment and materials can be kept on- site. The concessionaire also will need space to house employee work areas. Usually the concessionaire has its own backup warehouse facilities off-site.
By having on-site space groups can be serviced quickly and efficiently. Employees and equipment are readily available at a moment's notice; emergencies or last-minute requests can be handled immediately.
In-house Concessionaires Caterers usually charge a commission to in-house vendors. Understand that these costs must be passed on to the end user. With high commissions, a meeting planner may end up paying a higher fee for a simple slide projector.
In-house Concessionaires Some caterers charge outside vendors who are not part of their in-house group a surcharge for the right to work in the venue. This is done to discourage the meeting planner from using a favorite vendor. This ensures that the caterer will not lose its commission and satisfies the caterer that the service will be provided correctly.
Entertainment Many catered events offer some type of entertainment. Responsibility for booking, scheduling, and coordinating is up to the planner. The caterer's major involvement in the entertainment decision is to take it into account when planning the catered event. If a dance band is scheduled, everything from banquet setup to work scheduling will be impacted.
Entertainment The banquet setup crew may have to work around the band’s road crew, affecting the banquet setup crew’s normal work schedule. Considering the major impact that entertainment will have, caterers cannot work effectively unless they are privy to this information.
Entertainment Be sure the caterer sees the entertainment contract before you sign it. There may be conditions that the caterer cannot meet or will require you to pay extra for.
Entertainment Lighting requirements Dressing room requirements Sound systems Rehearsal time and facilities needed Setup time Security Staging Requirements
Entertainment Dance floor Buffer area Liability Complimentary F&B, Lodging Operational logistics
Lighting Overcome a plain, pedestrian environment. Highlight persons, products, and specific function room décors. Illuminate speakers and other entertainers. Focus attention on a particular spot. Create an exciting and dramatic dance floor. Frame an area. Follow awardees from their seats to the stage. Provide other decorative touches.
Lighting Lighting can also be used to tell a story. Laser equipment can project company logos, pictures of awards recipients, and names of VIPs on a wall so that attendees can view them when they enter the facility.
Ground Transportation Some ground transportation firms specialize in providing limousine service. They can pick up and drop off attendees as well as be on call for personal needs during conventions. Shuttle or motor coach service often is employed by the meeting planner because it is more efficient and, in most cases, a lower-cost alternative to using taxicabs.
Ground Transportation A few ground transportation companies specialize primarily in entertainment. Some trips, such as charter boat rides and trail rides, are planned strictly for their entertainment value. The Napa Wine Train is an example.
Motorcoaches Busses are usually booked per coach on a four- to five- hour minimum rate. Busses can be booked on a daily rate if you need them all day. A daily rate is usually less expensive than booking them for only a few hours. Busses charge from the time they arrive at the pickup site to the time they drop off passengers; however, some calculate their time from garage to garage. In this case, the meter is running from the time the coach leaves the coach company until it returns to the coach company.
Motorcoaches Most companies do not charge garage to garage, but if it is a busy time, a regional coach company may not have the inventory; in that case, it would subcontract the job to a coach company that is outside the city. When this happens, you usually would be charged garage to garage. Find out what you’re paying for.
Motorcoaches Are driver tips included in the charges? What about staffing? Will staff be on-site to load luggage, coordinate the transfers, and communicate with dispatch? If so, what are the charges for staffing? How many staff should you have? Typically, staff is paid on a four-hour minimum; the cost also includes a positioning fee (i.e., parking/cab fees, etc., for the staff person).
Motorcoaches Will there be signage on the coaches? Will staff have communications with all other staff, dispatch, and drivers? Where will motor coaches stage? How much time before your event will they stage?
Government Agencies Inform the fire department if you are putting on outdoor pyrotechnics. Make sure that the pyrotechnics company has the appropriate liability insurance, typically $1 million. The fire department may also need to oversee and inspect any portable electrical power setup to ensure it is grounded properly and safe to use in a public area. In some jurisdictions, a fire marshal must approve banquet room setups to ensure guests will be able to evacuate safely in the event of a fire.
Government Agencies The local health district would need to approve portable, temporary tents, cooking lines, and serving lines to ensure you are not violating health guidelines. You may need special parking permits for motor coaches, parade permits, or a temporary off-site liquor license. If an event will include a public official, such as a city mayor or state governor, speaking at a meeting, you may be dealing with bodyguards or, in the case of the President of the United States, the Secret Service.
Rental Companies Audiovisual Refrigerated storage Freezer storage Generators Transportation Tables and chairs Tableware (flatware, china, etc.) Service utensils Napery (at times meeting planners want colors or patterns the facility does not own) Centerpieces (meeting planners often rent or bring in their own centerpieces) Lighting Tents