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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I'm going to a major conference where there will be people from a large number of local clubs for my organization. As the president at the local level I am obligated to attend. I booked a suite, knowing I'd be sharing it with a friend who is significantly older and I made some inquiries about hosting a hospitality suite with my friend. The deal we made was that I'd supply the booze and my friend will supply everything else.

My friend thinks serving chips and trail mix is sufficient. I purchased eight large bottles of vodka including Finlandia, Grey Goose, Absolut and Stoli. I can't remember exactly what they all are. The theme for the room is "Vodkas of the World". I will also be serving pop and there will be a large amount of other mix. My friend is buying the pop and mix and the plastic glasses required and anything else we wish to serve.

I was thinking of serving perhaps something more substantial for food. When I attend a conference and there is a hospitality suite, there is typically a great deal of good food.

If you were having a vodka themed suite, what would you want to serve for food? I was thinking maybe some individually wrapped cookies and some kind of cheese and crackers? Breadsticks or some rolls? Croissants? We will have a fridge in the suite, but no stove. How about bottled water or sparkling water.

What do you usually find at places like this. There will be a lot of people moving from room to room and they'll be going to places with various themes. Nobody is going to sit down for a meal, but I'm wondering what we can serve as snacks.

One option would be to have those little bags of peanuts/pretzels which you get on the airplane. Or little bags of chips, maybe little bags of trail mix (which would encourge people to take them without having to reach into a bowl).

Also is it acceptable to serve nothing but vodka in such a situation. We'll probably pick up some Kokanee and maybe some fancy sodas?

Do I need to closely measure the vodka? Or just leave the bottles out and have people help themselves?

Keep in mind I'm flying and my friend is likely loading up his car and driving. So I can send whatever I want with him, and we'll go to a grocery store when we get there.

One other question has to do with timing. I want to be asleep by midnight, is it okay to post a sign on the door saying, "Vodkas of the World : 8PM to 10PM"? Or is it more suitable to say. "8 Till Late"?

My friend thinks we have enough vodka, he doesn't think anybody would mooch too much, we've got 4 nights to get through it. I'd rather have people remember us as having a really good suite instead of the guys with fancy vodka, with nothing else.


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I have done many of these types of events. My advice, schedule an appointment with the hotel Food and Beverage manager in advance.

The F&B manager will be able to make a number of recommendations based on your taste and budget. The kitchen will prepare, deliver, restock and remove the items for you. This makes life easy since all you need to do is show up and be charming. Finger foods are relatively cheap and when serving liquor it is good to have food at hand that is a bit more substantial than cookies, nuts and potato chips.

The hotel will probably charge you corkage on the liquor you bring in. They can supply a barman as well.

I suggest a more expansive bar than vodka, but vodka, other than in a vodka martini, is not my cup And you need vermouth.

It is perfectly acceptable for you to put an end time on your event. This way you will avoid having to don your PJs and parade around the room yawning to provide the subtle hint to lingerers that the party is over.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

I thought I'd make a post (late of course) about how last year went and how we intend to do things a bit different this upcoming year.

The suite was a hit. We didn't have to coordinate with the F&B manager, all we had to do was rent a suite (I was sleeping in the bedroom, the party was in my sitting room) and we could bring our own drink and food. No corkage and no barman.

What we did was purchase several (I believe the figure was 9 bottles, several of which were 40oz bottles) and just put them on the counter with a bucket of ice, a fridge full of mix and a stack of Solo cups. People just helped themselves. That might sound terribly trashy, but people actually came up more to socialize than drink hundred year old brandy and eat lobster. I think the most expensive bottle of vodka was about 60CDN, purchased at Costco (a 40 of Grey Goose) and the rest ranged from 22 to 55 CDN.

Next year, we'll do the same, provided I can get my hands on a suite, I'll have to book early, as soon as I know what's happening.

We will have a greater focus on interesting vodka than super high end bottles. Of course we'll have Grey Goose, some of the Eastern European bottles, but today I was shopping for spirits and found an unusual item, bacon flavored vodka. I also picked up a Ukranian and a Polish vodka for a great deal (they were on sale) and I am looking forward to serving it next June. I plan to have about 15 bottles by that time, as the conference can be much larger (next year it will be in Calgary while last year was much farther north, requiring members to fly or drive 12 hours) and we're going to devote more time and money to having a hospitality suite, it is really a good thing for the group, not only in that we'll have a really good party, but also we had a great deal of people pass through. I even had people come by with their own booze, so it wasn't a matter of just showing up and drinking my Van Gogh.

Last year, we had a great deal of people come by and they were impressed, not only that we had excellent vodkas from different countries, but that we trust people to serve themselves and serve in moderation. There was only one suite I knew of who had a dedicated bartender, and we served much better booze.

For food, we basically had chips, nuts and chocolate covered nuts.
Nobody came for the food, they came for fun.

As I'm a bit on the younger side, I was fortunate enough that I have an older friend who helped me out with keeping the suite in good shape.

Next year, I'll have some cards made. They will have the name of my group on them, my room number and that the party is, "Thursday and Friday, 8PM - 1045PM and Saturday, 5PM to 11PM" so I don't have to walk around in my pjs yawning.

We have some stuff left over from last year. Mostly mid-range bottles which have several ounces remaining. To the point that they are worth taking this upcoming year, but not full bottles. I'm going to ask my friend to do a quick inventory (there is no point in getting another bottle of Stoli if we have a mostly full bottle), but I will probably be spending in excess of 300 dollars this upcoming year.

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