Keeping costs in check and protecting the bottom line is just another day at the office for those of us in the planning business. You have to know how to spend your dollars and when to get creative about re-alloting them, should something unexpected pop up. As a number of the events I work on each year take place in remote locations, calling the front desk and asking for a few more chairs is rarely an option, so I've learned to strategically over-order (just a little) to prevent event bumps from morphing into brick walls. The trick is to order one or two more extra of items that have the potential to derail an event or stop the show completely should things not go according to plan. Here are a few items to consider ordering a few extra of - so that whether you're working in a ballroom or a Bedouin tent, you'll have everything you need to keep your event moving forward:
Microphones. Be they hand-held, lavaliere or headset, having two extra mics charged and at the ready can save the speaker's day as well as your bacon. Compared to having a mic fail mid-speech, the extra $100 you'll need for the additional mics is money well-spent.
Monitors & TV Screens. In rooms with pillars, multiple screens are a necessity. Every guest, no matter where they are seated in the room should be able to see at least two screens at any given moment, so if one fails, they'll still have one other screen to view.
Linens. While being short of linens won't stop an event in its tracks, a full bottle red wine spill can make for an unappetizing table setting. Ask the venue or rental company to include at least a 5% overage of table cloths to change out in case of spills, to use if an additional table needs to be quickly set or if something unsightly needs to be hidden from view.
6-foot buffet tables. Is it just me or are these things just about the most useful item in any room? I always order a few more than we think we need because they are so versatile and can be easily stashed in a corner or closet should they not be needed. Remember, it's always easier to remove them from a room than it is to try to scrounge around for them in a pinch.
Flower arrangements. Every venue looks better with flower arrangements strategically scattered about the room. Budget permitting, I usually try to add an extra 2 - 4 arrangements to the order to brighten up check-in tables, the ladies powder room or to place on either end of the bar. An extra flower arrangement or two can also come in handy to use "for parts" should any of the other arrangements begin to wilt.
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