Your budget will surely be affected by your choice of hotel or convention center. Both facilities can be great, but make sure that you know where they differ and what needs to be included in your cost breakdown. If you will require guestrooms as well as function space, holding your event at a hotel may be a more cost effective way to go. Because the hotel will be receiving revenue on the guestrooms, in addition to the food and beverage, there could be concessions made for such things as room rental charges for setup and rehearsal time.
Generally, hotels do not charge a room rental fee for the time the event is actually scheduled to take place if they are receiving food and beverage revenue. This, of course, will depend on the total dollars being spent at the hotel. Holding your event at a hotel will mean that your guests will be able to easily walk to the meeting rooms, eliminating costs for additional transportation if they were staying at a hotel and attending a meeting a convention center that is not within walking distance.
Not all convention centers have agreements with nearby hotels for special guestroom rates, and you will probably be negotiating with the hotel and convention center separately. You may want to do a cost comparison to see how they differ in price. In addition to room rental charges, there are other cost factors to consider.
For hotel based events that are only running one day or over the course of several days but no guestrooms are required, day rooms or change rooms can be negotiated for set up staff and VIP’s. If your event is running over the course of several days and guestrooms are part of your requirements, suites, upgraded rooms, early check-in, late checkout, and special rates for staff are areas of negotiation and cost concession.
Convention centers can have labor charges for off loading goods, and for some instances, you could be looking at three or four hour minimums or overtime costs as well as union fees. There can be charges for tables, draping and skirting. Convention centers, unlike hotels, may not have specialty glasses on hand, and it will cost you extra to bring them in. Also, exhibit space is not always carpeted, and rental carpet is another additional expense.
If you have done your complete cost comparisons, you will be able to determine whether the hotel or convention center is the most cost effective option for your event or meeting.
Joshua Gair – Impact Entertainment Services