The devil can be lurking in the details. Here are some tips to uncovering some potential future issues:
- To avoid disappointment, when you receive your initial proposal ensure you are on ‘first option’. This means your group is not on a waiting list with another group considering those dates. If you are not first option and are ready to move to contract, the hotel will typically give the other group 48 hours to make a decision.
- Ensure that your special concessions are considered. Currently I am working with a First Nations group that will perform a smudging ceremony and play traditional drums. A clause in your contract indicating your intended usage will go far to assure everyone understands how you use the meeting space.
- Schedule of events – does your group need an entire day to set up the room or move in heavy equipment like cars or large scale AV? Or do you just need a registration table and basic room set up? Do you need loading docks, rigging or is everything coming in the front door? All important “small” items. Check for loading dock security charges.
- When reviewing your meeting space costs, ensure that setup/tear down time rates are reduced. For moving out – does this need to happen after/before opening hours? Large trade shows with vehicles are often required to move out overnight for next day cleaning. Take an extra few minutes to review the times. Note, overtime labour charges may apply.
- Option Dates – has your venue given you a required contract return date? If so what is the incentive? Is there one? Is there an option date for your guestroom rate? Filled blocks by xxx date gives you a break on F&B?
These are all “small” items and more that we consider when negotiating for your group!