Event Planners and Service Charge Disbursement

I was just catching up on some industry news on the Meetings Industry Megasite and an article caught my eye entitled “Show me the cash. Nope”. The article had some facts from a recent survey that stated that most event planners (60% of the 300 surveyed) failed to ensure that the servers actually got the money that was added to bills as a “service charge”. They just chalked it up to the cost of doing business.

My thoughts are…..shame. All event planners should take 10 minutes and check. Get assurances that this money is going where you were told it was going. In fact, before you sign the contract, ask what the venue’s policies are regarding dinero disbursement. It is your money.

If a venue has a written policy regarding the service charge and how it is dispersed they have actually thought of their employees. If they are thinking of their employees, the employees are more likely to be happy. If the employees are happy, my event is gonna go a whole lot better. If my event goes better, my client is happy…………..you get the idea.

Now, it is common for the hotel/venue to take a cut (why can’t they just charge me upfront….another story), so we encourage our planners to take a little extra money to reward the employees of the venue who worked hard to make the event a success. When possible, we distribute the money in a sealed envelope handed directly to the individual.

Years ago, I worked on that side of the industry and I can tell you from experience, that the servers do not always see the money. Not really a fair deal for the server and not a fair deal for the planner.

In the event industry, the little things do matter. Event planners should take the time and ask one more question. Have a better event.

From the way back machine of 3/22/07…………

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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