Hey everyone, it’s Krista at iSPARK and today I’m ranting about extra charges in the events biz, otherwise known as hidden fees. This came up recently and I have a great story to share with you in a minute. When you’re planning an event, budgets are usually a pretty important part of the process. I’ve yet to have a client who told me they had an unlimited budget, so just go wild. That never happens. It doesn’t matter if it’s a conference, a fundraising gala, a one day workshop, a small networking event for 30 people, there will most likely be a budget in place. Okay sidebar here, I’ve written several blogs about event budgeting because it’s just that important. If you need help in that area, please check out my website. Okay, back to the hidden fees thing. Event venues tend to have a lot of inconsistencies when it comes to what’s included and what’s an extra charge. I’ve run events at hotels, who are happy to offer up coat racks, easels, flip charts when you need them, no charge. At other hotels, these exact same things come with hefty charges, that are going to be tacked on to your final bill. So, you have to be careful. Quick story, this summer I brought a new member of my team along with me on a site visit to an event venue. It came up as we were walking through that the event color scheme for this event was green and white. The venue rep says we could do green tablecloths in here. That would look amazing. His exact words, we could do. Fast forward to last week, we’re sitting around finalizing the event decor for this event and my team member asks me why I’m renting tablecloths, when the venue has green ones available at no charge. So I say, well they didn’t actually tell us they had them, and they didn’t mention they were free. She insisted that had I misunderstood. She remembered it totally differently. So, I emailed the venue rep to clarify a, did they own green tablecloths, b, if they owned them, were they free, c, if they didn’t own them, were they bringing them in for us and d, if they brought them in, did I have to pay for them. You see, you can probably guess how that played out. No green tablecloths. The venue rep was very careful in how he worded that comment during the site visit. Extra charges can also come in the form of admin fees, service fees, taxes and gratuities, material handling charges and so much more. Bottom line is this, if you care about your event bottom line, be wary of extra charges. Until next time, get fired up.