Serving alcohol at a meeting or event tends to be a boon for guests, but it can also add stress for planners. Luckily, Complete Beverage Service, a Minneapolis-based beverage company, has spent more than 20 years perfecting the art of beverage catering in the metro area.

The small, family-owned and -operated company, which specializes in beverage catering for any type of event from a small office happy hour to corporate events with thousands of guests, is run by Melissa Glancy, her brother and her father. Glancy, who is also the sales manager, sat down with Minnesota Meetings + Events to share some tricks of the trade from her years of experience.

"The first rule of thumb when it comes to planning an event with alcohol is that the number of guests is the most important aspect."

Pricing out the alcohol for an event isn’t usually negotiable and is almost always based off the number of attendees, so getting these numbers right can ultimately save money.

"Plus, you never want to run out of the product at an event," says Glancy. "I always plan for one drink per person, per hour. That always leaves us with more than enough."

Glancy advises to opt for a keg with larger groups because bottled beer is more expensive. Additionally, assess the needs of your event. If it’s a dinner, it could be beneficial to stick with beer and wine-leave the mixed drinks for a happy hour. But remember, nonalcoholic options need to be provided, too.

Finally, plan ahead and talk to experts, like Glancy herself or other seasoned event planners. Permits are dependent on each city, so Glancy always looks into them long before the event starts. It’s important to make sure the company and the venue are in understanding of each other-this is where speaking to an expert can come in handy. "Don’t be afraid to ask," she says. "A successful event can happen when you trust the expert’s opinion."

With the fast-paced speed of events, follow-up is often forgotten, or the effort put forth is minimal. As the event host or planner, devoting more time and resources to the follow-up offers many benefits yet to be tapped by the broader event planning community. Professional event planners are experts in logistics, details and the experience, and often solely focused on executing a flawless event. Their engagement ends when the event ends.

 

Your meetings and events aren't confined to one place, so why should your bar be? Take your tap to go with a mobile bar at your next shindig.
 
Hitch & Sip
Hitch & Sip first opened its restored 1970s trailer in May 2018 and has been serving corporate happy hours, trade shows, client appreciation events and more ever since. The cash bar can be set up indoors or outdoors and is entirely customizable.

 

Meeting Notes: Key takeaways from the spring 2019 meeting.