by Jonathan Vatner | June 01, 2010

When planning catered events, it's easy to get a big head and assume you'll have record-breaking attendance. But the thrifty planner always sets the meal count lower than she's expecting, says Patrick Sullivan, president of PRA Destination Management New York (212-683-5333; Hotels and other banquet facilities often will charge a penalty fee for reducing the count at the last minute, but not for increasing it, as long as the room you've reserved can handle the larger size. Sullivan suggests underestimating your attendance by 10 percent.