Models and Bottles Are No More
Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
Event planners are often not privy to the regulatory requirements that surround industries that are proprietary in nature. Over the years, bankers would joke about “Models and Bottles” when referring to their unlimited client expense accounts, but today, this is a joke that would not be taken lightly. Due to sudden downturn and heavy scrutiny of the finance industry, regulators have decreased these types of expense accounts and therefore keep a watchful eye.
Other industries that require compliance with industry regulations also tightened their reins and put strict demands on adhering to the rules. Working within the health care and pharmaceutical sectors for five plus years taught me that you must be compliant whether you are an employee or the event planner providing the entertainment.
For example, the pharmaceutical industry is highly dependent on doctors utilizing and soliciting their drugs. For this reason, history has shown physicians with a long list of items received: dinners, vacations, rounds of golf, and many other high priced gifts. In the past, event planners loved working with pharma; their budgets were endless and so was the frequency of their events.
Within the last few years however, regulations have stiffened, and a cap on the amount spent per doctor has been enforced. That cap is $100 – not exactly what they were used to in the old days. I’m sure people have found ways around this to maintain special relationships, but as an event planner and a venue, complying with the legal regulations has immense benefits. For example, if you are planning a dinner with doctors, it is wise to show that the food/beverage portion comes to around $100 per head. Even though it’s just dinner, dinner in this industry is considered a “gift” and spending well above $100/head is not kindly looked upon.
Both health care and finance companies want to work with venues that are “safe.” Once an event is “safely” executed, it provides the opportunity for your venue to be included in their preferred list, since they know the budget went through and the event was successful. As an event planner, you may strive for out-of-the-box creativity, but offering simplicity, limitations on liquor and NO gift bags will supersede your client’s and maybe even your own expectations!
Posted with permission of Erina Kim. Originally posted at http://www.eventwist.com/blog/event-planning/models-bottles/