The Top 10 Problems Hotels Face With Events (In No Particular Order)
When guests at a party know they’re staying the night on-premises, it’s easy to… shall we say, go a bit overboard in the cocktail department? Hotels have a responsibility to not over-serve guests at the bar, but with unfettered access to mini-bars and other outside alcohol, sometimes things can get out of control, despite a hotel doing everything right. It’s crucial to have security measures in place if things start to go south.
Hotels generally keep a stock of rental furniture on hand for different events, and those items can range from Chiavari chairs to banquet tables and beyond. Popular hotels might host a different event, or number of events, every night of the week, which means banquet chairs and other rental furniture get more than their fair share of use. During set-up and tear-down, hotel staff should always visually inspect furniture for any cracks, missing hardware, etc. to prevent problems before they occur.
Blocks of rooms are a convenience for hosts, but are a little harder on the hotels themselves. This is especially true during peak travel seasons, like summer or the holidays, when hotels are often at full capacity. If you’re booking an event at a hotel and want to set aside a block of rooms for your guests, try to do it as early as possible to give the hotel plenty of time to fill the rooms that don’t get snapped up by the party.
Patios are wonderful for a garden wedding reception, but when a thunderstorm rolls in, hotels are responsible for providing a comparable backup. Whether that means an outdoor rental tent or an inside ballroom may vary, but hotels should always have a contingency plan built into the event contract.
It’s normal for hotels to either suggest or require that parties book additional services through preferred vendors, but that can make hotels appear inflexible to outside-the-box demands. Perhaps their catering service specializes in French cuisine, but you wish to host an authentic Indian wedding. Making sure that you have flexible contacts to recommend is a great way for hotels to up their level of customized service.
A word of advice to hotel party planners: once you find a good party DJ, hold on to them for dear life! Music can make or break a party, and when a DJ is missing the mark, no amount of coaxing (or alcohol) will get people back on the portable dance floor. Make a relationship with a handful of skilled DJs, and your hotel’s parties will be the talk of the town.
Investing in rental furniture is a big expense (although with the right maintenance and supplier, it can be a profitable venture). When offering tables for rent or folding chair rental options to potential clients, it’s important to have the right balance of options without over-investing in every type of banquet chair imaginable. Only you know your budget - learn how to maximize it, along with your rental furniture options, for parties of all sizes and themes.
As much as we’d like to give partygoers the benefit of the doubt, the reality is that when adults attend hotel events with their children or relatives, it’s not uncommon for people to sneak teenagers a glass of champagne (or two) “for the toast”, or “since it’s a special occasion”. Special occasion or not, hotels are still liable for underage drinking, and it’s a tricky balance to shut down illegal behavior without causing a scene. Be sure to educate your staff on what to do in this inevitable situation.
The best advice we can give to hotel party planners is to not just invest in high-quality rental furniture, but also to invest in long-term staff that knows exactly what it takes to get the job done. They should have excellent customer service skills, know how to efficiently, safely, and quickly set-up and tear-down events, and know how to stop problems before they begin without skipping a beat. Armed with an expert event staff, you’ll save time, money, and avoid lots of liability.
It’s expensive for a hotel to throw a party, even when the customer is “footing the bill”. Lots of times, hotels have to front deposits or invest in things like banquet tables or portable dance floors to be able to offer them as a rental option before a party even takes place. Plus, in the competitive events field, margins are often slim and investing in a bundle package of banquet chairs and tables isn’t exactly cheap, even if you are making some back with the folding chair rental fee. Hotels need to be realistic about these upfront costs and budget accordingly.