Unless you have been living under a rock, you've heard about the rising prices at the gas pump. It's hard for me to wrap my head around it. The news says it's because of the issues in Libya and the fear of reduced oil output. (But that country only produces about 3% of our oil.)
One of the bigger issues about the rise in gas prices is how it influences just about everything else we touch, not only on a daily basis, but on a meeting planning basis, too.
The national news this morning said that prices for everyday goods, like toilet paper, are going up in price between 3-7%. Don't you think that would also impact how the hotels and suppliers do business with meeting planners? It sure does.
Not only will the oil prices make us see airline prices go up (after all, planes need fuel, too), but now we'll see F&B prices and other elements at hotels go up, even for essentials like coffee service.
This will come down to the meeting planners. We often are responsible for the budget and now it will be more of a challenge to get what you need and stay under budget. But don't give up. One, this can't last forever. Secondly, you have the skills and knowledge to work around this challenge. You may already be reducing your driving or using more public transportation. Now how to do the equivalent at work?
At your events, you can still serve coffee, but you may want to ask the hotel to use smaller cups so the coffee lasts longer. You may have to give up or reduce your concessions to stretch your dollar a little further. You might also ask your staff, coworkers and, yes, your boss to make a little sacrifice. Perhaps some coworkers can room together onsite or you can leverage your boss's suite.
The point being, you can still plan a great meeting despite the damage brought on by high gas prices. Anywhere you can save a little money means you can spend it elsewhere, someplace where it positively influences your meeting and those that attend.
How do YOU cope with rising fuel prices?