Free Report About Conference And Banqueting Management
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The conferencing and banqueting industry in the U.K. is one of the major industries today with ever increasing numbers of corporations, business houses and business travelers requiring such facilities on an everyday basis. Every conference and meeting has different requirements and the industry has to be flexible to accommodate these. To better understand the influencing factors, SWOT and PESTEL analysis are carried out. In the last three decades, this industry has grown from strength to strength in terms of its size and scope. The U.K employs a large number of people for the hospitality industry and it is estimated that almost 7% of U.K’s population is engaged in the hospitality sector. The total income in this industry is approximately 2% of the national income. The manifold increase in the business traveler segment has increased the scope of business. Also, as different industries developed, the need to periodically meet at a common venue also increased and the hospitality industry was forced to keep pace, modernizing the conference and banqueting facilities on an ongoing basis to move with the times. The purpose of the meetings was not only to discuss crucial issues, but also an opportunity to interact, especially in the event of a business having worldwide or countrywide offices. This purpose was made further attractive by choosing different locations amidst luxurious surroundings, with some leisure activity thrown in.
For the purpose of this paper, we will describe a planned event in details, with all related aspects also covered. It is a full day conference, starting in the morning and finishing in the evening. The company booking the conference is a cosmetic manufacturing and distribution house, with sales offices in major towns in England. The purpose of the meeting is to review the threat posed by a rival company and the discussion of strategies to oppose the threat and better the targeted sales. The meeting will be led by the country Sales head and the participants would be the town sales leads along with zonal and territory sales managers. Also attending would be the Marketing head and the promotions team. The participants, totaling 30, would arrive in the morning and leave in the evening after the conference is over. The venue selected is The Waterton Park Hotel, Walton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. The reason for the selection of the venue is to offer the over stressed executives to get away from their daily activities and have a fruitful discussion amidst tranquil surroundings offered at the venue. The hotel is a 4 star property with its own lake and surrounded by its own lake and surrounding lush green countryside. This provides the participants an opportunity to step out and unwind, before getting back to the meeting. It hosts extensive conference and banqueting facilities, and offers an easily accessible location. It is located just 4 miles from the M1 at junction 39 and 6 miles from M62. Also for those arriving by train, it is only a short taxi hop from Wakefield station. The requirements for the arrangements as specified by the client are given below:
Meeting room for 30, U shaped seating, Flip Charts, LCD projector, screen, pens and pads, spike buster extension cords for laptops, morning and evening tea/coffee with biscuits, buffet lunch and overnight stay for 5 participants who come from distant towns. The budget given by the client is £ 60/- per head. It will take place on Friday, 27th March 2015. The client confirms payment by VISA card at the end of the function. The following menu and conference support facilities have been agreed upon by both the client and the hotel management @ £ 55/- per delegate:
Morning Tea/ coffee on arrival
Mid morning Tea/ coffee with assorted cookies
Two course buffet lunch
Early evening Tea/ coffee with home-made biscuits
Flip chart with boards
Pads and pens
LCD projector with screen
Bottled water for each participant
Conference room hire
The conference room of the Waterton Park hotel fir this conference is the Lakeside Suite. This is located on the ground floor of the property with fabulous views of the lake, hence the name. This is an airy room with a high ceiling height of 11FT 2 Inches. It affords natural lighting supplemented with desired artificial lighting.
After the agreement with the client, the following have to be finalized also:
The number of participant (pax), both expected and guaranteed.
Free parking sticker if required have to be provided
Menu, including special dietary requirements, vegetarian and non-vegetarian needs.
Additional charges for extra requirements.
The contract between hotel sales and the client is drafted and signed by the client (Legal requirement).
Advance is required from the client and is exempted if the company is listed on the approved list.
The percentage of advance depends on how close to the event date the booking is being done for. The further the date is, the lower the percentage.
In the event of cancellation, cancellation charges are applicable, which varies with the date of cancellation from the event date.
A Function Prospectus (FP) is created, which contains all details of the conference, including menu and this is signed off by the Banquet Manager and the Food and Beverage Manager. A copy of the FP is sent to all concerned departments, which are the Front Office or Reception, since this is the first point of contact for the client, and from where they are given directions to the venue. Housekeeping, for ensuring the venue is cleaned and sanitized, linen supply, washrooms cleaned and working, flower arrangements and to be on standby during the conference. Maintenance for ensuring all electricity points work, the ACs work and they too have to be on standby for completing urgent electrical connections if required. Also audio visual equipment is connected and working as per the client’s requirements. Kitchen, for ensuring that the proposed menu is prepared well before service, and in adequate quantities of vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. Food and Beverage Control for ensuring food cost norms are followed based on the pricing per plate/head.
Before the conference the following will have to be checked once again:
Staffing, briefing on the function and the staff’s personal grooming – hair, nails, clean handkerchiefs, shoes polished, clean and pressed uniforms, cleans shaves and no body odor. Check the Mis En Place (Before the preparations) and Mis En Scene (after the layouts etc are completed). Check whether all the client’s requirements are met with. Allot stations to the staff along with individual duties. Go over the service procedures and duties once again to remove any doubts and misunderstandings.
After the conference starts it has to be ensured that food and beverages, including tea/coffee and buffet lunch are served on the time agreed upon by the client, at the correct temperatures, and in adequate quantities. Water on the conference table has to b replenished from time to time and mints etc have to b refilled on consumption. Any extra requirement which is free have to be watched out for and fulfilled before the client can point it out. During the buffet lunch it has to b ensured that a correct head count is made and chafing dishes are replenished from the kitchen as required, the fuel burners under the chafing dishes are burning throughout the duration of the buffet, clearance of dirties are done quickly, the AC temperature is maintained at a comfortable level throughout .
After the conference is over, a number of tasks have to be completed. The tables have to be cleared; the chairs stacked, the used linen have to be sent to the laundry and most importantly, making sure the conference bills are settled by the client.
The menu is planned with the Chef, and food costing and budget requirements are considered. The following menu has been finalized for this conference:
Selection of breads
Honey tossed carrots
Vegetable Shaslik kebab with barbeque sauce
Tossed fruit and vegetable salad with vinaigrette dressing
Minced lamb kofta
Char grilled chicken
Chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream
The menu planning is done keeping in mind the requirements of the client, the food cost and budget and the appropriate balance between food types. It has to be balance and appetizing, both to the eye as well as to the taste. The menu for this conference involves the continental and the Indian styles of cooking. Most of the dishes on the buffet menu are from the Continental or European kitchen except the Shaslik and lamb kofta, which are from the Indian kitchen.
Along with the menu, it has to be ensured that HACCP (The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) have been followed. This is a preventive mechanism to ensure food safety. Various guidelines are given, based on scientific research and compliance to these have to be followed. There are clearly specified HACCP guidelines for the various classes of food. Hazards are of three types; Biological hazards, chemical hazards and physical hazards. Biological hazards cover contamination through bacteria, yeasts and viruses. Chemical hazards cover the use of antibiotics for meat products and the use of pesticides for agricultural produce. Physical hazards are in the nature of contamination by glass and plastics. Task 4:
This conference is planned for 30 participants. Seating arrangement is in an U shape, with flip chart board and LCD projector and a screen which is placed in such a fashion as to be visible to all participants comfortably. There are wide windows providing adequate natural lighting and the view of the grounds. These are supplemented by artificial lighting as well. The layout provides 2 FT of space between participants, which is considered comfortable. Rectangular tables are placed in a pattern resembling the English alphabet “U”. The inside of the U is skirted to provide a pleasant sight. This arrangement is not suitable for larger groups, since the U becomes too long and wide and participants lose the feeling of cohesiveness. Te projector is placed towards the open end of the U as is the screen which is visible to all. The audio visual equipment is tested before the conference. A sample figure is given below:
The emergency exits are clearly marked in the event of an unfortunate accident. Since there is no requirement for a PA system, the safety norms in terms of both participants and the environment is not applicable. A demarcated smoking zone has been provided outside the conference hall. Fire extinguishers are provided at strategic locations, and this covers the various classes of fires. Electrical points have been provided for laptops and mobile phones. The conference venue physical dimensions are 31’ x 21’ with a ceiling height of 11’2”, which is considered more than adequate for 30 heads. The buffet table is set up near the large windows and the table is skirted with a pink satin frill, which adds to the layout décor. Fresh flower arrangements are placed in the corners and provide a colorful relief against the primarily off white décor. The entire arrangement is pleasing to the eye without any frivolity and is the ideal setting for a business meeting.
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