When working with a hotel to plan your event, you'll likely end up working with a Banquet Event Order, commonly referred to as a "BEO." A BEO is a document that outlines the details of your event and serves as a guideline for hotels to execute and communicate logistics to all necessary departments. The onsite event or catering manager builds the BEO and will typically send it to the event planner for review before the day of the event.
What Is a BEO (Banquet Event Order)?
An essential part of the planning process, a BEO is a contract that includes the critical details of your event, including dates, timelines, catering needs, and more. BEOs are used by hotels to ensure everything you need is outlined and agreed upon in advance.
Each event hosted at a hotel needs its own BEO, so if you're planning a multi-day affair, you may need to work with multiple BEOs. No matter the complexity of your event, you'll likely receive any and all BEOs a few days before your event kicks off to ensure you have time to review and make adjustments based on last-minute changes.
5 components of BEOs You Should Expect
You should expect to see a few standard components in a BEO. Of course, not all events are alike, which means BEOs can include more or less than the details below.
1. Order of Events
Down to the minute, the order of events organizes the timing for the evening. You won't usually see this listed on a corporate BEO (unless there is a gala or complicated reception) but rather for weddings. Your order of events will include everything from the introduction of the bridal party to the cutting of the cake to the opening and closing of the bar.
Each menu item should be listed in the order it will be served (e.g., appetizers, dinner, dessert, coffee) regardless of whether you are having a buffet or plated meal. Vegetarian options and children's menus should also be included.
3. Set Up and Equipment
Expect to see a diagram attached to the BEO or at least a note about how the room will be set up and what types of tables and arrangements will be used. Audiovisual equipment should be included in this section as well. Make certain that every screen, power strip, internet line, or microphone needed is listed.
4. Vendor Information
For social events especially, expect to see the names and phone numbers of any vendors, such as florists, DJs, or caterers. This denotes that the hotel or venue is expecting them and approves.
5. Special Requests
Noted next to each pertaining section should be any special requests that you've made. This is especially important with regard to menu items.