Are you planning an event? Are you shocked by the costs of venue and catering fees alone? A small to average event can cost between $2,500.00 to $40,000.00. While there are many factors that bring the costs up or down, there are a couple of ways to keep your costs under control and avoid the shocking surprise of additional charges that were not initially disclosed by your hotel contact. Make sure you ask a lot of questions, and maintain a general understanding of the tips below during the initial planning stages.


Read Every Single Word in the Contract and Catering Menu’s Before Signing

Many times I have found out about additional charges as I was scrolling through the fine print of a catering menu rather than from the person I was directly working with. Everyone gets caught up in the big details that you and your venue contact may forget to discuss small details that will eventually add to your total event cost. For example, if you are planning an all-day meeting for 20 people, you might not be aware that the hotel has a 25-person minimum on their breakfast buffet and lunch menu until after you have signed off on your event contract because that point was not initially disclosed. If only 15 people were to showing up, you would still be accountable for meeting the minimum. Before signing anything, be sure to discuss every point with your venue contact, and see if you can come to a mutual agreement that is to your satisfaction.

Don’t forget to factor in the Tax and Service Charges

Make sure to check if the prices you are provided will be all inclusive, or if there is an additional tax and service charge associated. These fees could bring up your meeting room costs from $1,000.00 to $1,329.00, and slowly they start adding up so make sure you have budgeted for these fees too. It is also important to note that many of the service charges included in your bill are not gratuities.


Limit The Charges Posted to The Master Account

To avoid surprise valet parking and unexpected cocktail charges, be clear with the event venue about what fees you will and will not be responsible for. Inform them of who is authorized to post charges to the master account and be very specific about the names. Don’t just assume they will remember after a verbal conversation, make sure you protect yourself and include any details regarding your financial responsibility in writing. You don’t want to be surprised by unaccounted-for costs.

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