Event planners stung with hidden charges

Have you received an invoice from a venue and been shocked at the cost? It seems you’re not alone. According to research from Warwick Conferences, inflated invoices are more common than previously realised.

The Value of Satisfaction report found that as many as 45 per cent of managers and event bookers have received an invoice worth more than the price they were originally quoted. Indeed, the mark-up was normally worryingly high, with inflated charges adding up to an average 25 per cent above the quoted amount.

Managers were more likely to have faced this problem than bookers, with 45 and 25 per cent respectively saying they had been hit with an unexpectedly costly invoice.

But it is particularly worrying at a time when these functions are making cost a top priority - 64 per cent of bookers said they were likely to get satisfaction from using a cheaper venue, compared to just 20 per cent of delegates. In fact, the study found that cost is the top selection criteria  for as many as 86 per cent of event bookers.

When it comes to keeping track of costs, knowing exactly how many places have been booked can be crucial for managing your cash flow. Online conference registration can help with this, since it gives you the freedom to offer a range of ticket prices and collect payment quickly. In turn, this will allow you to keep more cash in reserve to help cover the costs that arise in the planning stages.

But interestingly, it wasn’t just planners who were hit with unexpected fees. Nearly three-quarters of delegates told researchers they have had to pay for additional services at a venue. Three out of ten said this had included their evening meal, making this the most popular hidden cost, while a similar percentage said they had had to buy their own lunch.

As many as one in five delegates have paid to park their cars at a venue, too, while a quarter had been charged for Wi-Fi - even though for many corporate meetings and events, this is really an essential.

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