Banquet Event Orders (BEOs)
Insist on personally reviewing these if you are using a travel agent. Go over the BEO’s very carefully to assure accuracy compared to your contract arrangements. Do not allow the travel agent to sign for you without your input to avoid misunderstandings that have occurred in the past.
Flat Per Person Rate for All Activities: I (Luttgen) strongly recommend that all of the charges for the social and CE events for the week be negotiated at a flat rate per person. This makes all the financial accounting at the end of the week so much easier when you go to “settle up” with the resort. It also saves a considerable amount of money.
Menu Selection: Once a resort is selected, you will need to review their menu offerings for buffet (Karnival and Awards) and plated (Anniversary/Farewell) dinners. ALWAYS HAVE VEGETARIAN OPTIONS available. That is easily done on buffet nights if you select well because most buffets will have bread, salads, vegetables and deserts included automatically. You will need to give the resort the number of vegetarian dinners needed in advance for the Anniversary/Farewell dinner, since it is a plated dinner. It helps to have this on the winter meeting registration form to get an idea in advance of how many vegetarians will be attending your year.
Continental Breakfast and
BEOs: The resort will prepare a “banquet event order” for each individual event that occurs during the week (i.e. five separate BEOs for each continental breakfast, each CE meeting room arrangement, etc.) and send those out for review and signing a few months before the meeting. BEOs include all food and room requirements for the week. By the time you are working on the BEOs, resort staff members probably will have changed. I (Luttgen) found several mistakes on my BEOs when they were first sent to me.
The BEOs list every small detail of each event. They include how the rooms will be set up (i.e. number and types of tables and chairs; if and where you want a podium, microphone, and projectors; details of food type and service; etc.). They will also list charges for AV requirements, etc., so be sure those match up to what you negotiated in your contract. For example, I (Luttgen) negotiated all AV requirements into the flat fee. The new resort representative who took over the SVMA account after contracts were signed missed that and had extra charges for AV on the BEOs. I was able to remind her to look at the contract and corrected all those mistakes before BEOs were signed.