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EVENT TEMPLE VENUE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR THE FUTURE

THE FUTURE OF

BANQUET EVENT ORDERS AN OVERVIEW

OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR INDUSTRY

EVENT TEMPLE


In this e-book, we’ll cover BEOs and where we see them going in the future. We’ll start with a brief overview of what BEO’s are, how they are used today and then discuss some of the challenges the present in terms of operational efficiency. We’ll then discuss our vision for BEO’s in the future and how we see them changing in the upcoming years. Anatomy of a BEO (Banquet Event Order) Event Temple specializes in Hotel Software that makes creating BEO’s fast and easier than ever before. In order to understand how we’ve streamlined BEOs for exponential efficiency, let’s first go over the basic anatomy of what is in a BEO. 1


What is a BEO? A banquet event order (BEO for short), is a master document that provides you with an overview for your event and puts your hotel staff and the client on the same page. Every BEO starts out as a quote or proposal. As your client refines the details of their event, you will be communicating and sending the quote/proposal back and forth until a final version is approved and signedoff on by the client. At that time, the proposal’s name is changed to a BEO and becomes a formalized Banquet Event Order.

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A BEO generally includes the following information: -Client name/Company name and contact details -Event logistics (Room name, setup time, start time, end time, etc) -Food and beverage needs of the client -Audio/visual needs of the client -Room setup notes (including tables) -Staffing requirements -Any other items related to your event Along with this information, the BEO also includes the costs associated with each order.

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The basic outline of the BEO will be as follows: -Contact Information -Schedule and Timeline -Food and Beverage Order And Arrangements -Room Setup Logistics and Floorplan -Audio Visual Requirements -Terms And Conditions (Basic contractual language) -An area for the client’s signature, name and date Once the client has signed the BEO, it becomes a binding contract and the details of the event are solidified. Until the BEO is signed, it is a quote or proposal. 4


The BEO Process: Banquet Event Orders are one of the more cumbersome parts of the Catering Sales Manager’s job within a hotel. The BEO is essentially a quote or proposal (they are the same thing but the name changes depending on what part of the world you are in).

As part of the sales process, the Catering Sales Manager works with their potential client to go back and forth over the details of the BEO, often preparing many revisions. At Event Temple, we feel this process is ultimately broken, so let’s take a look at why. 5


First, Catering Sales Manager’s have needed to be in control of BEO’s traditionally. Simply giving clients a “serve yourself” BEO option is less than ideal as often prices need to be discounted and altered in order to get the sale. As well, often times at hotels menus change, materials become available or floor planning isn’t very straightforward. There can be a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to give your clients direct control over the BEO. They might take one look at your pricing for example and go to your nearest competitor. By giving clients direct access to BEO’s, we’ve found that many Catering Sales Managers are worried about losing sales if they gave up control of the BEO to the client (and rightly so). 6


Additionally, discussing the BEO can be an important rapport building step which also aids in the sales process. Finally, by discussing the BEO verbally, it’s easier to feel confident about the event as you have had some verbal history and discussion about the event and are more likely to remember the details later.

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The Future Of BEOs: All of these benefits have a heavy price and that’s why we believe BEOs in the future will be much different than they are today. For smaller events at least, BEOs create a lot of additional emails and phone calls between clients and catering departments. For the hotels, this means that their teams are less busy focussing on sales or event planning and instead are spending their time revising BEOs. Since these departments are already so busy, this inefficiency creates an additional workload. As BEOs need to be negotiated a lot, this issue can be significant and over the course of the year, BEOs can take up hundreds of hours at a large hotel. 8


On the customer side, it’s easy to see why chatting about a BEO could lead to some frustration. If you have a small event or a meeting that you are responsible for booking, shouldn’t you be able to just book it online? Just like a hotel room, you’d want to see the space, check availability, check pricing and then book it. Of course upon clicking “book now”, you’d immediately want to start interacting with the BEO. The ideal situation would be to choose your own food and beverage, room setup, A/V requirements, schedule and timeline, then enter your event information, contact information and sign virtually. The Catering Sales Manager would then just receive an order for the event and distribute the BEO to her team members accordingly as the event approached. 9


Challenges To Overcome: In order to make BEOs radically more efficient, and to allow event booking online, we believe the following challenges must be overcome. 1) Meeting Space must be able to be booked online by customers. In order for BEO’s to become simplified, meeting and event space for small groups must be booked online. This will enable customers to fill out their own BEOs, pay online and sign electronically. This would decrease the back and forth and add a lot of efficiency to the process.

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It would also enable a much better customer experience and reduce the time spent emailing for both parties. This has already been accomplished for hotel room bookings, why not events and meeting space? 2) All hotels must adopt an online booking model for meeting space and small events One of the challenges of being an early adopter hotel and being one of the first to allow your meeting and event space to be booked online is that you immediately expose yourself to your competitors without them having to expose themselves to you. They can see your pricing, availability, etc. and you won’t see anything about them.

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It feels then that this represents a serious challenge to booking meeting and event space online that must be overcome before widespread adoption can be met. 3) Online tools must include room availability and layout options If clients are to book meeting and event space online, they will definitely need the ability to select multiple room layouts and check the availability of spaces. Layouts then must be part of the software they use in the online booking process and the hotel’s event calendar must sync with the online booking portal for meeting and event space so that no mistakes in the form of double bookings are made.

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Sometimes things break or are already booked up. For example, a given hotel may only have a certain amount of furniture or audio/visual equipment and if it is promised to another event and/or broken/in repair, the online system should not have the ability to book it. If BEO’s are going to move online, then the inventory system must be up to date and reflected live in the online booking system. 5) Online tools must interact with the central booking system to recognize holds on event space. One of the biggest concerns Catering Sales Managers have expressed when discussing online BEOs is the fear that a client may book an event space online when the Catering Team is already in negotiations for that space and date with another customer. 13


To overcome this issue then, the online meeting booking tool must be synced with the Catering Team’s event calendar and recognize holds so that those dates cannot be booked accidentally. 6) Online BEO tools must utilize “smart” negotiating and pricing strategies This is the largest challenge for bringing BEOs and event booking tools for hotels online. Hotels currently use the BEO negotiation process as a sales tool, often offering significant discounts on event space, A/V and food and beverage in order to get the room booking business. If the prices are listed online for meeting and event spaces, Event Planner’s may see the standard pricing and leave. If the discounted pricing is revealed, competitor’s may take advantage of it. 14


It’s therefore critically important that there is some kind of protective mechanism to prevent information gathering from competitors and also some form of “smart� negotiating that can occur digitally to prevent a sale from slipping away due to list pricing. Iterating Toward The Future At Event Temple we firmly believe that small events and meetings will be booked online in the future, just as hotel rooms are today. However, we believe that for this transition to take place, significant changes have to occur. Rather than launch interactive BEOs and online bookings right away, we believe that the movement towards this model will take place more slowly over time. 15


As a result, we’ve released our BEO feature as a first iteration in this direction. It is currently completely private, without any client interaction and it follows the traditional process. The Catering Sales Manager is the only one with access to the pricing and the BEO and the client must sign off on it. Any and all changes are discussed via the phone and email until the BEO is ready to be signed. However, we have designed our BEOs to be smart, so that they can be generated faster than ever before. Our hotels all have access to build complex menus and inventory inside Event Temple. They can then attach that inventory to a client file and generate a BEO from it in an instant.

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This makes manually updating BEOs a thing of the past and it also makes it easier than ever before to create BEO revisions and send BEOs off to customers for approval. Finally, we have added esignatures to our BEOs to enable customers to sign them digitally online. If and when the time comes for online meeting bookings and consumer facing BEOs, our software will be ready. Until then, we have created the most modern, innovative and efficient traditional BEO process on the market today. I hope you enjoyed reading our take on the future of BEOs. What do you think the future looks like? Will meetings and small events be booked online?

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EVENT TEMPLE EDUCTATION VENUE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR THE FUTURE

EVENT TEMPLE

Banquet Event Orders  

In this short E-Book, Event Temple explains why your venue should use Banquet Event Orders (BEOs for short). We discuss the main parts of a...

Banquet Event Orders  

In this short E-Book, Event Temple explains why your venue should use Banquet Event Orders (BEOs for short). We discuss the main parts of a...

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