• Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. How to Avoid Costly Mistakes and Big Headaches that Excedrin Can’t Help! 1
  • 2.  Hey, I did say “might!” My background: ◦ Themed birthday parties for my kids ~ every year ◦ Events for my own company for 12 years ◦ Events for clients such as Kodak and Xerox STC Program Manager for two years/Barbara Knight 2008. Spectrum Co-chair 2011. 2
  • 3.  Develop your event based on consumer demand: * surveys * suggestions * data from past events Consider the “risk factors” regarding P & L 3
  • 4.  Assessment Scoping ◦ Time and cost projections (“cost of goods sold”) ◦ Attendance projections ◦ Income projections (baseline, upside, downside) Venue arrangements ◦ Food, entertainment, raffles, presentations 4
  • 5.  Size of event Target Competing events in your market 5
  • 6.  Scalability ◦ Venue flexibility * Menu revisions * “Lock-down” date * Increasing/decreasing room space, menu items * Volume discounts or freebies Event fee structure (…adequate for downside?) 6
  • 7.  Is there a deposit required? What does it cover? When is it due? Are you required to sign a contract? ◦ Are you authorized to do so? ◦ If a written contract is not required, you are still in an oral contract. Get all of the details and fees in writing. 7
  • 8.  Fees you need to inquire about: ◦ Room rental fees ◦ Food costs ◦ Gratuity (Standard 20% for some venues) ◦ Server fees for bar or food setup ($45 per hour?) ◦ Linen fees ($5-$7 per tablecloth, 50 cents per napkin?) ◦ Décor fees 8
  • 9.  Fees you need to inquire about (cont.): ◦ Internet access fees ◦ AV fees (slide or overhead projector, screen, flip charts) ◦ Parking fees ◦ Promotional materials/signage fees ◦ Table and chair rental (if catered) ◦ Coat rack rental/coat room fees ◦ Security fees 9
  • 10.  Do not forget to provide the venue with: ◦ Tax exempt certificate ◦ Certificate of insurance (if requested) ◦ Set-up instructions ◦ A list of any special food requests ◦ Your phone number to give to the chef or the event coordinator in case there are last minute changes. 10
  • 11.  “Guarantees” are fees for unused food, rooms, etc. based on either “minimums” or “lock-down” dates. ◦ A contract is the place to START negotiations! It is a “suggestion” until it is signed. ◦ All establishments have policies, but most of them will be flexible to obtain business. 11
  • 12.  Contract negotiations: to succeed in passing through, around, or over (as in a hiker negotiating a mountain pass) At its core, a negotiation is reaching an agreement…but sometimes you must get around or over policies of the venue that do not meet your customer needs. 12
  • 13.  Things you might be able to negotiate: ◦ Free hotel rooms for event planners ◦ Donations from the venue to put into a raffle ◦ Free coffee or tea with a meal ◦ Less expensive dessert like cookies (even if those are not on the menu) ◦ Free use of the event room if you order meals ◦ Free speakers if you buy them dinner 13
  • 14.  Things you might be able to negotiate: ◦ Better “lock-down” dates (Get these added to your contract!)  Smaller events (up to 50 people) -- try to lock at 24-48 hours in advance. Give updated counts at 7, and 3 days in advance. Final lock 1 day in advance.  Larger venues – Give count 2 weeks out, then 1 week out. Lock 3-4 days before event. 14
  • 15.  Publicize small community events 10 days to 4 weeks in advance. Publicize larger events 2-3 months in advance, with increasing frequency until day before event. Use a variety of distribution channels: 15
  • 16.  Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) Professional organization web sites and info boards Local and regional colleges and universities Professional trade shows (Digital Rochester) 16
  • 17.  Direct e-mails and invitations Word of mouth/personal invitations Company contacts such as HR departments Event Planning mailing lists such as EventBrite Literature and “leave-behinds” 17
  • 18.  Media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines) Blogs Event web site (Spectrum), chapter/co. web sites, my STC Member communications 18
  • 19.  Communication targets: ◦ Capture and maintain contact information and continue mailings until “targets” opt out (non-renewals and referrals) ◦ In business, this may refer to former clients or sales contacts. 19
  • 20.  In all publicity, include: ◦ Clean, motivational copy and custom graphics ◦ Perceived benefits (Why should you come?/What will you get out of it?) ◦ Motivational copy/R.O.I info for the money manager (Why should you send your employee?/How will your company benefit?) 20
  • 21.  NOTE: It is not enough to sell the attendee on the event. You must “up-sell” whoever is paying for the event (the ultimate end– user). 21
  • 22.  NOTE: All of the PR in the world can’t overcome resistance when: ◦ there is no money to spend to get the R.O.I. ◦ the perceived value is less than the price. ◦ there are two good choices, and the competing event makes a better business case than you do. 22
  • 23.  the competing event is not a business event, it is a personal one. the weather is bad. 23
  • 24.  Your best publicity comes from people who enjoyed past events, so: ◦ meet everyone who attends your events if possible, ◦ help guests meet others who will build personal and business connections with them, and ◦ make your events fun as well as educational. 24
  • 25.  Provide quality! Bad food (or sparse food) and run-down venues communicate, “We will do as little for you as possible, to improve our bottom line.” Negotiate the best value you can provide for a quality event. People remember a good meal spent with “friends.” 25
  • 26.  Warm chocolate chip cookies will make you a hero! Good-bye, good luck…and let’s have fun out there! 26
  • 27.  Marilynw@wingzcreative.com Marilyn.woelk@gmail.com @bluestoneriver 27