One of the most troublesome post-event scenarios is having to assist hotels, resorts, event venues, and suppliers in chasing down payments. Not only does this cause unnecessary stress, there can be disputes about payments once an event is over. For example, if there is a last-minute cancellation and the client did not meet the required period for notice of cancellation, some clients may attempt to leverage what they owe and attempt to use it to avoid paying cancellation charges.
Unfortunately, some suppliers wait until after events to take the final payments and soon learn that the credit card is maxed out. This even happens with large corporate clients. Delayed payments can hold up payment of commissions for weeks and even months.
The following best practices will help venues and other suppliers receive payment in a timely manner.
- Ask all suppliers to submit invoices in a timely manner.
Stress the fact that delays in submitting invoices can result in significant delays in payment.
You can use Cvent to simplify the process of event invoicing.
- Ask suppliers to set up a payment terms that include a deposit and payment of the balance before the event.
This applies to items to be covered on the master and charges for which individual guests are responsible.
- If the supplier has a policy that prevents them from collecting the full amount in advance, insist that they request a credit card to secure payment and put a hold on it to be released once payment is made.
(If the client prefers to pay by cheque or wire transfer and the date of the event is drawing closer, a hold on the credit card is an essential form of protection).
- Advise the supplier to accept payment by credit card only for last minute bookings/purchases or items and incidentals consumed during the course of the event.
- Follow-up with suppliers before the event and ensure that all payments have been received.
- During the pre-con meeting again check with all suppliers to verify that they have been paid.
- Review the master and individual guest account daily and ensure that anything charged to the master does not exceed any holds on credit cards.
- When you debrief with suppliers, again verify that they have received payment for all services booked in advance and all incidentals.
- If despite your advice, some suppliers have not taken the steps to ensure payment in advance, be as helpful as possible and assist them in collecting any amounts that are outstanding.
Photo Credit: GotCredit