Recently, I attended a fund raiser that was suppose to be a “Tea”. The guests looked chic in their hats and heels and the room was beautiful with linens by Nuage and centerpieces by Xquisite. There were over a hundred silent auction items and even a fabulous fashion show and merchandise by Neiman Marcus. This all took place in a five star hotel
So what could go wrong?
There was virtually no food!! The invite said the menu was a “tea inspired” lunch but there was no inspiration in this menu! All we got were miniature crumpets (on a small plate not even a three tier plate holder) , a tiny salad and three thin pieces of the thinnest sandwiches I ever saw. The biggest surprise was we never even served tea! Can you imagine? I know you are saying that this event was held at a small or low end hotel, right? Wrong, it was a four-star St. Regis Hotel no less in Bal Harbour. Hard to believe?
I worked on the decor of this event with the Chairperson, so I called her the next day to see why she chose this menu. Knowing her it just didn’t make sense. I was shocked to find out that the hotel served the wrong menu!! In twenty years of doing events, I have never heard of a hotel of that caliber doing that.
How did this happen?
Apparently, the contract they signed had the right menu but the Banquet Event Order (BEO) did not. Instead of putting the contracted menu, they used their standard “tea menu”. This was a major screw up of the hotel but it was also a mistake on the charity for not reading the BEO properly before approving it. They assumed it was the same menu as their contract and you know what they say about people who assume.
How to prevent this from happening to you?
When dealing with hotels a B.E.O. is their bible for the event. It has the timeline, equipment, and any special requests listed on it. Trust me if it’s not on the B.E.O. your Client isn’t going to get it. So many times I have been told don’t worry it’s not on there but we will take care of it. Don’t believe them. They are just being lazy in their paperwork and the only person that will be in trouble is you with your Client. In addition to the B.E.O., I make sure everyone involved gets my timeline. My timeline includes everything that is scheduled to happen at the event. Giving everyone a copy insures a successful event!
The more you do to communicate the less mistakes and the better the event.
To learn more about timeline go to www.specialeventforms.com