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Recently, I read an excellent article by Alan Kleinfeld, titled “Smart Budget: Drip Pricing Primer”, an extremely important concept for all in the meeting planning and event planning business.

What does Kleinfeld mean by “Drip Pricing”?  He says that according to Juanita Gaynor, president of Elegant Affairs by Juanita, drip pricing is a technique in which firms advertise only part of a product’s price and reveal other charges later.

Yes, this does seem to be what the airlines are doing with checked bag fees, fees for preferential seating and now one airline is charging for carry-ons! Clearly, this is very deceptive.

This also has been happening with hotels. Some properties have shown their resort fees and parking fees when you make a reservations, but there are still many that don’t. Therefore, when you’re sourcing a hotel for a meeting you need to be diligent and ask about such fees, so you can either negotiate them out or negotiate a better price. Whatever you need to do, know up front so you can budget properly.

I guess the word is disclosure. Disclosing all fees upfront before the contract is signed is vital. This goes beyond venues. One must know all charges for food and beverage, transportation, audiovisual, production, etc. In addition, be sure that you know the gratuity and tax so you have a complete budget. Some properties have a gratuity on certain labor, and then there are service charges that go towards certain services.

Be sure you know which parts of your contract are taxable. Generally everything is, but check to see if each and everything should be taxed. It may make sense to check with the city and state where your event or meeting is going to be held.

Obviously if the circumstances of a conference change, there may be cost changes, too, but that is a different issue entirely.

Have you ever been annoyed by the drip drip of a faucet? Don’t let a meeting or event planning budget faucet drip drip either.

If you have a comment about this, or any other event management topic, I’d love to hear from you.