Planning an event, whether for a small number of people or hundreds of them, can be difficult for many reasons. The budget for the event will vary depending on the size of your conference; however, you need to have a to-do list of things that need to be taken care of as well as have an allocated budget for those things. One of the most important parts of any conference is food and beverages. If the conference has amazing speakers and a cozy venue but terrible food and catering service, you didn’t do a great job at organizing the conference. Here are just a few things to consider when choosing a caterer for your conference.
When you are planning a conference, food and beverages might be on the last page of your to-do list since it seems easy to deal with. However, this assumption is oftentimes wrong. Once you have a set budget for the conference, you need to choose the venue first. After the venue has been chosen, make sure you set aside a considerable amount of money for the caterer, depending on the size of the conference. While catering is not central, it also cannot be left as an afterthought when budgeting.
Reviews and success rate
Don’t rush choosing the first catering service that pops up in your Google search. Talk to your friends or colleagues, read reviews online for different caterers and only then make the decision. Moreover, try to get direct feedback from people who already used a certain catering business you might have your eye on. While internet reviews are reliable to some extent, you cannot trust them 100%, and calling the reviewer for more details might provide you with details that will determine your final decision. Make sure the caterer you have chosen is known for delivering delicious food with no surprises or delays.
You want to make people comfortable at your conference and have them enjoy their time. While this can be achieved by finding the best speakers in the area, it should also be supported by the service of the caterers. Bringing the food and setting it up is just half of the catering challenge. They also need to be able to serve the food properly, respect the people attending the conference, and provide the best customer service. You can judge their ability to delivering excellent customer service based on how they talk to you or your colleagues.
While this may seem like an obvious matter, you need to make sure that in case something goes wrong you will not just lose the money. By signing a contract with the caterers, both sides are securing their end of the deal. The conference gets the food and beverages, and the caterers get paid for their job. If no contract is signed, and only a verbal arrangement is made with the promise of a discount, you might end up being cheated out of your money. You will need to formalize the terms and the penalties for failing to provide the service you paid for.