The Banquet Event Order, often referred to as the BEO, is a document that outlines all the details of a wedding or event at a venue or hotel. The hotel or venue uses the BEO as their set of directions for the event. As an event planner, you want to be familiar with BEO’s so you can ensure all the timing, logistics, and details provided by the venue are correct.
The hotel and venue staff live by the BEO on the day of an event. Every hotel and venue use some form of a BEO for their events. The BEO will typically be used by the kitchen, banquet captains, catering manager, staffing manager, front desk, parking department, audio-visual department, beverage manager, accounting, and the convention services department.
The banquet event order is prepared by the catering manager at a hotel or event coordinator at a catering facility. The BEO form will evolve and change throughout the event planning process. Information included on the form needs to be as accurate as possible to ensure the correct timing, layout, cost, details, and menu for the event day.
As a professional event planner, our job is to work with the catering manager or catering event coordinator to share event details, coordinate timing, ensure logistics are correct, and review the BEO for accuracy. The client will usually be required to sign the final BEO before the event. You will likely review all the details of the BEO throughout the planning process and with your clients and the venue manager at the final walk-through meeting before an event.
There are a variety of styles and templates that hotels and catering facilities use for their banquet event order. The BEO is usually broken up into blocks of information such as food and beverage, audio-visual, room setup, timing, and outside vendor information. BEO’s will also list terms and conditions and have signature blocks for the client to sign.
If you are planning a weekend of events for a wedding, there may be different BEO’s for each event such as the welcome reception, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids brunch, wedding, and the post-wedding brunch.
Once your client signs the BEO, it is a binding contract. It is absolutely critical that you, as the planner, and your clients meticulously review the final BEO. Do not assume that something will happen if it is not in the BEO, even if you talked about it numerous times with the venue or catering manager. Make sure every possible question is asked, answered, and documented in the BEO.
Here are a few BEO samples to give you an idea of what they look like: