Is the rising cost crisis affecting events?
We asked BNC Club members if they are struggling to produce the same events with potentially smaller budgets or if are they have the same budgets but are facing higher prices and fewer service extensions. This is what we found out:
‘Venues adding costs at the last minute’
“I am experiencing, venues adding costs at the last minute. I had a venue I used in the beginning of July, who agreed to 5am access in writing then a couple of weeks before the event said we needed to pay for a security guard for this, but this was never mentioned when we spoke about it on the site visit and they agreed that time. They tried to charge £2,822.88 for a stage. Which after pushing back and explaining this price was too high etc. ended up being free after they landed us with a bill for another £1800 for security when they’d itemised the security originally as £280 for the event, as I made a big complaint at this point.
It very much felt like they’d left things to the last minute to chance their arm that I’d just say ‘yes’ to some of these charges.
‘Forced to use unnecessary local staff’
(This is NOT a joke). We are being forced to use local staff when unnecessary.
Example One : Spain We order F&B for a large meeting, self service and we were charged two hours for them to set up the table and place the F&B on the table and then left. In the past this was not an additional cost.
Example Two: USA Having to hire union labour to build our bespoke proprietary AV, when they had no idea how to do this, managed to agree we would hire two but they were not to touch the equipment as they had no experience. (We ended up using them to unpack boxes.)
AV ‘corkage’ – and more
As well as the buy-out for AV, which hotels are charmingly call ‘AV corkage’ they are now saying there is a ‘branding corkage’ if we want to brand any of the space! And this is a contract that has been signed since before covid they are trying to do it on.
After the farce I had with [one particular chain] last year, I’m pretty convinced I’m not going back to them again if I can help it.
Oh, and of course it is [the AV company] behind all this – the corkage is waived if I use them for branding.
As if our job isn’t hard enough right now!
Another AV add-on
Yes – I’ve had this come up for AV and have unfortunately had to pay it. Wasn’t happy about it though as it wasn’t particularly clear during the initial venue discussions.
I’ve found that venues are charging prohibitively high amounts for set-up access, UNLESS you use them for AV and branding – in which they handle set-up and don’t charge for the access
‘Constantly changing parameters’
Nothing is surprising me. We are struggling with hotels we have worked with for years on repeat events suddenly requiring x amount of bedrooms to be booked at a ridiculously high rate per night in order to secure the booking. Supply is outstripping demand and they are trying to make up for two years’ lost revenue. I get it, but it is very difficult to work with these constantly changing parameters. Our budgets have not changed!
24 DDR almost doubling
It is very frustrating! I understand their desire to recoup losses after a very difficult few years, but we also are needing tight cost control and their price increases and additional costs are ridiculous! One venue we use had a 24hr DDR in Feb 2020 of £275, it is not £450 (negotiated)!
We also find venues are charging for overnight holds, early morning set ups, corkage for bringing in AV, storage fees for accepting a courier of event boxes, fees for using their existing items like staging, etc. Also finding a new ‘discretionary’ service fee added at some places that didn’t used to be, but this feels unfair to remove if it goes directly to staff.