The difficulty from Lodge weekends stems from the fact that everyone books individually and predicting a final number can be nigh on impossible. Next week we will look at contracts in more detail, this week I would like to focus on payment terms. When you receive the contract from the hotel the payment terms should be clearly set out, they will differ from hotel to hotel and it is of great importance that you are aware of them and can fulfil the requirement. For all our events we insist the hotel charges a £500.00 deposit (this is non-refundable in the situation of cancellation) with the balance paid in full four weeks in advance of the event. This allows people plenty of time to get their bookings in and also sets a deadline to keep people on their toes. We always recommend our Lodges to use our guest management service as we can keep on top of people to make sure they get their booking in on time. The difficulty can be with the Brethren that payment will be put off and then at the last minute the guest decides not to attend leaving you still with the charge for their room but no-one to fill it.
Keeping the hotel up-to-date with your confirmed numbers is essential, the more advance warning the hotel has over possible shortfalls the better, this will give the venue more chance to resell lowering the risk of the Lodge being responsible for missing revenue.
Some venues will want a deposit and then the guests pay their balance on departure this can seem like the simple solution but relies on everyone being aware of what they owe and paying it without prejudice on the Sunday.
The thing to remember is that you are the client and the hotel will be malleable in order to confirm the business. If you are not happy about the payment terms make sure they are changed to suit your requirements before you sign the contract