Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Get Creative with Your F&B Budget

I have noticed that corporations and associations alike have a renewed focus on the return on objectives that their meetings provide. This increased pressure for success comes at a time when budgets are low, which means creativity is a must. One area that always seems to be an easy target for cost cutting is food and beverage. However, poor food quality or selection can mean disaster for any meeting. The attendees need to feel well taken care of and comfortable in order to focus on the subject matter of the program.

I found an interesting article on the American Society of Association Executives website, called Creative Ways to Stretch Your Food and Beverage Budget,  that speaks directly to this trend. Written by Mr. Jeff Waddle, the article offers useful tips on managing costs. His suggestions are as simple as being creative with centerpieces by making them edible, or replacing bottled water with pitchers.

The recommendation I like most is to work closely with the banquet team at your next function to customize the menu. Allow the vendor to understand your objectives for the event so that he can create a menu that enhances the purpose of the get together. For example, instead of hosting both a cocktail reception and a team building event, why not host a wine pairing contest? This will allow guests to sample delicious wines and hors devours, but also encourages team interaction.

Don’t let a diminished budget stand in the way of an awesome event. A bit of thinking outside the box will inspire creativity to design a memorable and productive event!

Kasey Snyder
Global Sales Manager

Dolce Basking Ridge

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