Thursday, January 14, 2010

What is a BEO?

BEO stands for Banquet Event Order. This is a term that you will come across often if you are a meeting planner – and you will learn what it means quickly. But for those of you out there who are doing an event for the first time, perhaps, or only plan a function once a year, it can be tough to learn (or remember) the myriad acronyms that we use in the meetings and events industry.

A “formal” definition of a BEO is: a description of room setup, food and beverage, timing, and cost for an event, usually created by the convention services (or catering) department and is primarily for the internal use of the hotel staff. A BEO for a hotel will also typically include any audio-visual equipment ordered as well as other goods or services to be provided by the hotel. In short, a BEO is your event, translated into a standard form that everyone involved reads from.

How many pages make up a BEO depends upon the size of your event and how many details need to be included. I generally expect to receive either one page for each room I am using or one page for each function I am having during my event. A small meeting may only have one BEO, while it is not unusual for a large and/or complicated event to have many pages of event orders to review – but you always want to go through them in detail (no matter how many pages!) and make sure they are accurate. BEOs are the hotel’s “bible” on your event and every department is relying on their accuracy to enable them to provide you with great service. I review BEOs for every meeting or conference I work on, no matter what size. By making sure that the hotel and I are on the same page (literally), I can ensure a smooth event for my clients and their attendees.

- Karl Baur, CMP • Project Director, RDL enterprises