Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Banquet Event Order (or the BEO)

According to the Convention Industry Council's APEX Industry Glossary, a Banquet Event Order (commonly referred to as a BEO) is a form most often used by hotels to provide details to personnel concerned with a specific food and beverage function or room set-up.

According to PFI, a Banquet Event Order is our event/meeting bible!

I'm currently working on my BEOs for an upcoming event in New York City and I'm reviewing the BEOs with a fine tooth comb! I personally feel that anything NOT included on the BEO is not going to happen onsite. You need to make sure that every last detail is defined for all parties involved.

Important elements to include on all BEOs:
  • Timing. Be specific. When do you gain access to a room? When does the meeting/workshop actually occur in the room? How long do you have the room to breakdown after the meeting.
  • Signage. What do you want the Reader Boards to display? What should the signage outside each meeting room read? Get it down in writing (ha ha)
  • Dietary Needs. Get down and dirty with your BEOs. Qualify each attendee who has a special dietary requirement and get their name and specific requirement included on the BEO for any/all meal functions.
  • Dates. You may think this is a silly, but double check the dates outlined at the top of your BEOs. I can't tell you how many times my BEOs have been almost perfect in Content, but have had the dates wrong. It won't matter if everything is outlined well for your meeting; if the correct dates aren't specified at the top of the BEO - you're screwed!
  • Review. Review. Review. I always have at least one of my coworkers review my BEOs, regardless of their involvement with my program. A fresh set of eyes on any program can help catch those minute details that I may have otherwise missed.
Back to my BEOs!

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