Event Planning Toolkit

Venue Logistics

Venue Logistics Overview

When choosing a venue for a Yellow Ribbon event, it important to consider a few key factors, such as estimated attendance, duration of event, budget, and location. Other variables must also be considered, such as changes to deployment/redeployment dates, differences in unit sizes, locations as they relate to unit travel funds and Individual Travel Orders (ITOs), dispersion of Family Members, and training schedules of units involved. When choosing a venue, the coordinator should take the time to ensure he/she looks at the overall flow of the event. The time it takes to do this will be worth it when the event runs smoothly in the end.

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    Venue Logistics Guide
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    Venue Logistics Guide

    The Venue Logistics guide provides an overview of the main factors to consider when choosing a venue. This includes key elements such as hotel, venue location, and catering. Each of these elements has a few considerations that should be evaluated before a selection can be made. Throughout the process, having the right background information will allow the YRRP coordinator to choose the right location for a seamless event.

    Last updated: 6/4/10

    File type: MS Word

    File size: 83KB


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Contracting with a Hotel

When dealing with a hotel for a venue, it is important to ensure you have all the correct documentation in place. A hotel typically has a considerable amount of event planning experience and can often accommodate the majority of requests; however, all unique requirements should be documented. The document examples provided here can ensure you and the hotel team are in agreement, and that you receive all that you have requested.

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    Sample Hotel Statement of Work
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    Sample Hotel Statement of Work

    As described in the Contracting section of this tutorial, a Statement of Work provides overall guidelines for an event. When creating a Statement of Work for a hotel, it is important to spell out all event requirements prior to signing any documents. This includes lodging requirements, location of childcare rooms and restrooms, and audio/visual requirements. This information will serve to ensure the hotel can meet your requirements.

    Last updated: 6/4/10

    File type: MS Word

    File size: 70KB


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    Sample Hotel Contract
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    Sample Hotel Contract

    The sample hotel contract includes a block of hotel rooms that are being paid for with YRRP funds, as opposed to by the individual Service Members. Writing a contract in this manner allows for better overall room rates due to bundling. It also raises the chances of receiving other conference area rooms at greatly reduced rates. In some cases, hotels will cut back on their room servicing offerings to allow for lower bidding amounts. Writing a more specific contract, for example, including daily maid service and trash removal will ensure a more level playing field for all competitive bidders. Clearly stating what the government will not be financially responsible for also guarantees a clear understanding between the hotel and the YRRP team, and ensures the economical use of Yellow Ribbon funds.

    Last updated: 6/4/10

    File type: MS Word

    File size: 53KB


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Alternate Venue Location

Although many events will be held at a hotel, there are many other venue options to consider that can accommodate a larger or smaller group, or reduce costs. Some alternate locations include conference centers, high schools, or local colleges. Other interesting ideas include non-traditional venues for During Deployment events, such as water parks or spas that also provide conference rooms or other meeting spaces. Evaluating different and unique options might help to increase attendance and provide a meaningful experience for the Service Members and their Families.

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    Alternate Venue Options Guide
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    Alternate Venue Options Guide

    The Alternate Venue Options guide highlights some ideas to consider when thinking about a venue location. When evaluating a venue space, try to consider something outside of the standard location. The possibilities for alternate venues are endless, and innovative solutions might increase Family Member attendance and generate interest in the program. Consider what the event is meant to communicate and how the location can be matched to the event.

    Last updated: 6/4/10

    File type: MS Word

    File size: 72KB


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Catering

Regardless of who you contract with for catering, the specifics matter. This means that you want to be very clear on what types of meals are needed. For example, some locations might think it is a good idea to provide a separate meal for children, whereas you might prefer to offer a kids’ buffet instead. Additionally, cost should be a major consideration when choosing the catering. It is important to determine early on whether or not a location can accommodate the “local per diem rate.”

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    Sample Catering Contract
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    Sample Catering Contract

    As mentioned in the Contracting section, it is important to maintain specifics within a contract. The sample contract demonstrates the number of people at each meal, the type of meal being served (hot or cold), and the rate per person. It also lays out the cancellation policy, which is important to consider since the number of attendees can fluctuate. Consideration should also be made for the time it will take to move the attendees through a buffet line in the specified amount of time.

    Last updated: 6/4/10

    File type: MS Word

    File size: 53KB


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    Sample Catering Statement of Work
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    Sample Catering Statement of Work

    Keeping track of your expenses can be an overwhelming task, but if you take the time to break it down by pieces, you will find areas to save money. The sample Catering Statement of Work shows how the elements of a meal are broken down by unit to produce the final cost. Venues should be able to provide this information to help you stay within budget. Often, venues will also provide a tiered approach to catering. For example, dessert might be charged at $8.00 per person for a make-your-own-sundae table, but at only $5.00 per person for a pre-selected ice cream table. The differences can quickly add up, and evaluating them closely will help you stay on track with your budget.

    Last updated: 6/4/10

    File type: MS Word

    File size: 60KB


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