Associations and charities we work with are gleefully reinstating in-person events.  Most venues have been forgiving and thoughtful about previous down payments and are only unsure about what state mandates may be in place at time of event. But word to the wise: Watch those F & B costs. While some say it is probably only temporary, the 2.6% rise in consumer prices is showing up in ways you might not be watching. For instance, corn, while used in many ways in our economy, is up 50%.

The ripple effect of shortages in many areas of supply and manufacturing has hit the grocery aisles and restaurants near you. That includes hotels, golf courses, and convention centers. Suppliers and venues will surely be trying to make up for last year’s income calamity. Who can blame them? But associations and charities are too. I firmly believe that some changes in how boards and their management operate will be forever altered. Flying people around for a one- or two-hour meeting will not return – not if the boards are tending to their fiduciary responsibilities.

The good news is that if sponsorship and donors have remained at their previous level of support, that money can now be used to give members more benefits and charities more money focused on the cause. And in-person events will return with gusto over the next year to explore what the new normal, the refocused services look like.

From computer chips to corn chips, there’s a bit of chaos right now. Just go over the venue contracts and make food and beverage selections on items with little or no increase from the previous order, if possible. Cheers!

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