Making last-minute plans for a holiday party? BBB has tips to help you pick the right venue

ID-100220642Planning a holiday gathering?  Your BBB wants your event to be memorable, for all the right reasons.

Last year, BBB received more than 1,000 complaints against event planning, catering and entertainment services nationally. Common complaints included; items listed in contract that were not provided, excessive fees and unfulfilled refund requests.

Feeding and entertaining a large group can be stressful. Many will hire a catering service or event planner to make party planning a lot easier. BBB offers this advice when choosing the right party services for your event:

  1. Start your search with BBB. Find a BBB Accredited Businesses at org and utilize the Request-a-Quote feature for an estimate. Also, check out their BBB Business Review for details on the company, including business details, how they handle complaints, customer reviews and any advertising issues.
  2. Decide what services you need. Live music or DJ? Appetizers or dinner? There are so many details to consider when planning and with little time left, it’s important to trust the company. Be sure to understand what each service will provide and budget accordingly. Each service should provide a detailed written agreement for provided services.
  3. Know who you’ll be working with. Get the name and contact information of the person who will be in charge on the day of the event in case problems arise. If possible, talk with this person during the planning stages so that you will have a good working relationship before the event.
  4. Get everything in writing. Discuss conditions and get a written agreement. Be sure this includes details of any changes in plans such as the number of guests, menu selection or unexpected issues that require cancellation. Keep a written copy of the agreed terms.
  5. Understand the fees. Discuss and fully understand what each service will cost and ask about any deposits or additional fees. Ask for an invoice before paying, this should include a breakdown of costs, including taxes and fees. Your agreement should also include the number of staff involved, charges for overtime, and the starting and ending time of the event. Get a written, signed and dated copy of all receipts after payment.
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