Planning an Event at a Hotel

planning an event at a hotel

photo by trumphotelcollection

When we think of hosting an event at a hotel many of us think that it will be more expensive than holding it at an off-site venue. However, as a seasoned meeting and event planner may tell you, there are a couple of ways that you can actually trim your cost by hosting an event at a hotel.

There Are Many Price Points to Consider When Planning an Event

Many event planners know that there’s more than just the cost of the menu when trying to budget for an off-site event (of the food and beverage kind). In addition to the food menu, when planning an off-site event for their group, a planner also has to factor:

    • transportation cost
    • venue rental fee
    • service and equipment charges from the caterer
    • food and beverage costs
    • liquor licensing fee
    • entertainment
    • taxes and service charges

Two Reasons Why Planning an Event at a Hotel May Save Your Budget

There are two key areas where you can trim your budget when considering a hotel for your event.

Venue Rental Fee – quite often when you are hosting a food and beverage function at a hotel the room (venue) is provided to you with no room rental fee. This has been an incentive that many hotels have been offering for some time now. Hotels consider it to be a value added feature when booking a function inside of their property. When you compare it to what some off-site venues charge for room rental you will soon realize that you”re in a position to trim several thousand dollars off of your budget.

Service and Equipment Charges – many people (of course not the seasoned meeting and event planners) don’t realize that when they select an off-site venue, especially ones where there is no kitchen facility, the caterer will need to bring their own equipment. Depending on the venue this could include the china, cutlery, as well as equipment required to keep the food warm before serving. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the service and equipment charges can equal as much as the menu cost itself. Hotels, for the most part, do not charge additional costs for service and equipment.

At first thought many people consider hotels to be more expensive than off-site venues to host events. You may be surprised to find out that, when comparing apples to apples, hotels may just be the venue to help bring your event within budget.


  1. All really great points. Also to consider are the rewards hotels may offer when you host your event with them. I am the Director of Sales at the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/Vaughan and have over 10,000 sq ft of available meeting space. As an incentive to book meetings with us, we often reward planners, or their organizations with Hilton HHonors meeting planner points. These can be awarded to the individual on all food and beverage/room rental/guestroom charges to a Master account, or be offered to the Organization as the planner sees fit. Hotels really are not only a cost savings way to go, but can also offer valuable rewards that stand alone venues can’t!!