Understanding the Difference
Even if you are just a novice in the meeting and event industry, you have probably realized there are two very different ways that venues offer meetings. A La Carte Meeting vs Meeting Package. The first is an a la carte meeting, where every item you request comes with a separate price tag. This applies to each food and beverage item, audio visual equipment, as well as room rental. The second is a meeting package, where a venue offers a package with a set price per person that will often cover all the day’s food and beverage, room rental, basic audio visual, taxes and fees.
It is important that you know the difference between an a la carte meeting and a meeting package option before you begin planning your event. The direction you choose in terms of pricing can easily make or break your event. For many planners, especially those who are planning an event for the first time, the process of creating an event budget can be very stressful, so selecting a meeting package may prove to be a smart choice.
À la Carte Meeting
If you just need space for a meeting, with no complex AV or food and beverage, an à la carte meeting may be a good option for you, otherwise, you’ll need to be very organized in your requirements to set your event budget. When booking a meeting with ala carte pricing, you need to start with a detailed list of everything you’ll need for the meeting. Include all food and beverage items you’d like to serve, and make sure to include a contingency in case guests consume more than you planned. You certainly don’t want to run out of coffee!
Think of the set up you’ll need in each meeting room. You may find there will be a charge for any items requested the day of, so it is important to have every table, chair and piece of equipment accounted for. When working with ala carte pricing, you’ll often find that audio visual equipment is a big ticket item. Many venues contract with a third-party company for AV needs. You will be charged for everything, down to each power strip or extension cord you’ll need, so you’ll want to consider placement of registration tables as well as any vendor tables that may require electricity. If planning a large event, make a list of each space and consider how many microphones, screens and projectors, or any miscellaneous items your speakers may ask for. Keep in mind, each item you request will add dollars to your bottom line, and in some cases, can quickly put you over your budget. There is nothing worse than receiving your final invoice, only to find hidden taxes and fees that were overlooked in the planning process.
The second common option for meeting is a meeting package. Meeting packages often take the stress out of budgeting and planning and allow for you to focus on the overall goals of your event.
If you consider even just the inclusion of the audio visual and meals, the total cost is immediately relieved of those notoriously expensive per person items usually found in a la carte pricing. The flat fee, per-person rates offered by the Four Points Norwood and the Forefront Center Waltham help to make it easy on you and your budget!
The Four Points by Sheraton Norwood and the Forefront Center Waltham both offer complete meeting packages, with options for full day meetings, half day with lunch, and half day without lunch packages. The flat fee, per-person rates include:
- General Session Meeting Room: The main space where you’ll be meeting is included in your per person rate. Breakout rooms can be added for a flat room rental fee.
- Basic in House Audio Visual: Including wireless microphones, screen and projectors, built in speakers, (1) flipchart, white boards, and complimentary high speed wireless internet access.
- AM and/or PM Breaks: Our continuous morning and afternoon breakfast ensure your attendees stay fueled up for their sessions. Both options include Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks and Juices, as well as a chef selection of snacks and treats.
- Lunch: Our chef selected Lunch Buffet is one of the most talked about parts of meeting with us! Our talented and dedicated culinary experts plan the daily menu for you, with an array of fresh salads, hot entrees, and decadent desserts- options that will satisfy any palate. The best part? No menu planning on your end!
- Conference Coordination: Our talented conference planning team members are here to assist, from your initial request to the end of your event, using their years of knowledge to help create a successful event and a positive experience for all.
- Taxes and Service Charges: All included in your per person rate. Tax exempt packages are available with proper documentation.
- Complimentary Parking