What is a Banquet Event Order?

Everything That Needs to Be Inclued in a BEO

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Nearly every event planned at a hotel or special event facility will require you sign a Banquet Event Order or BEO, which is a contract that outlines every detail of your event.

The agreement is often outlined on a form that details selections for food and beverage, audio/visual, room setup, including table centerpieces, staffing requirements, and all other items relating to your event. Included in the BEO is a broken down list of costs you will need to pay.

The agreement most likely includes “blocks” of information under subheadings, such as  contact information, schedule, food and beverage arrangements, room set up, audio  visual, terms and conditions, and the signature blocks.

Reading the Banquet Event Order

While it's obvious you need to read the BEO and agree to the terms outlined in the agreement, make sure to also read the fine print. Make sure you are fully informed as to what you are agreeing to -- including all costs.

Check that the following is outlined in the general section of the BEO:

  • Onsite contact’s information, including a cell phone number.
  • Use of the space for that day of the event.
  • Set up, start and end times of the event.
  • Total number of guests expected.

Food and Beverage Arrangements

A section of the BEO will be devoted to food and beverage arrangements. You want to make sure the following is detailed in this section:

  • The entire menu, including all courses.
  • Every item at a buffet, and how each station will be set and positioned in the room.
  • Special diets, such as gluten-free or vegetarian.
  • Service times.
  • Special items regarding service, such as wine and sparkling water on the tables.
  • A breakdown of all food prices.
  • Detailed list of alcohol, brands of alcohol and beers available at the bar.

    Room Set Up

    The BEO should specifically outline the entire room set up. This includes:

    • Placement of tables.
    • Number of seats per table.
    • Placement of food stations.
    • Location of entertainment.
    • Location of bar/s.

    Some BEOs may even include a diagram of the room set up.

    Audio Visual & Outside Vendors

    Audio visual arrangements will sometimes appear on a BEO, but since many venues contract a/v services to a third party, there may likely be a separate contract. If it is included in the BEO, make sure all details are finalized before signing the contract.

    Terms & Conditions

    All contracts -- including BEOs -- have terms and conditions you must adhere to. Make sure you are aware of all terms and conditions before signing the document.

    It's important to ask any questions to the facility manager before signing, because once you have signed the BEO it's a binding contract.

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