June 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts June 2003

Current Issue
June 2003
Short Cuts:
On the SpotHow do you manage to keep F&B costs to a minimum?

“Rather than going with the pre-selected menu offered by the hotel, I prefer to create my own. That way, I negotiate lower prices and get the freshest ingredients. Also, my attendees are big eaters, and I find buffets keep everyone satisfied and costs down.”

Lisa Bortolussi, CMP
Meeting PlannerSpecial Events
Amway Corp.
Ada, Mich.

“Since I plan for a nonprofit, I immediately tell the hotel what my budget is. Negotiating with a limited budget is difficult, but I find that if I contract all meals with the same hotel, they are more willing to talk with me, because they appreciate the loyalty we are showing them.”

Debbie Easparro
Manager of Meetings and Travel
American Cancer Society
Tampa, Fla.

“Know your audience. For example, I once selected upscale, unique luncheon selections for a group, thinking that suited the demographic. Wrong! They came back to me and said, ‘Soup and salad, please,’ so they would be able to work through lunch.”

Paul Fogarty, CMP, M.Ed
Coordinator, Professional Development Activities
New Jersey Department of Education
Trenton, N.J.

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