Estimating your numbers a year in advance of the event can be extremely difficult. In reality they probably won’t differ much from the year before but you have to remember that the numbers you are signing will be the MIMIMUM numbers the hotel is expecting. If you are short on these numbers the hotel will more than likely charge you for any unsold rooms and this could easily be into the thousands of pounds.
One of the benefits of using an agency such as Square Events Management is the added protection you get when it comes to contracting. If a Lodge specified 80 people as a minimum we would contract for 60 with a buffer for an additional 20 people on a two month, penalty free release. This way the Lodge has an escape clause if needed and the hotel has a realistic chance of selling any unwanted rooms if they are released back.
Please pay attention to the price breaks. Your disco maybe included if you get to 80 but what happens if you don’t? Will the hotel charge you for part or the entire disco if your numbers are under?
The reality is the President is signing for a number he has very little control over. Half the prospective guests he won’t even know. What happens if the Brother who brings a table of 20 can’t go? What happens if the weekend you’ve booked clashes with another event?
In closing I apologise for the doom and gloom feel to this blog but so many Lodges have been stung with charges and it doesn’t need to happen. My advice would be take the lowest possible number of people you expect to attend and then take another 25% off. If bookings do go crazy you can always add to your allocation.