Everybody has a budget, whether it be the food shopping or purchasing a new property, there is always a limit on the amount you can spend. Event planners have more than just an event budget – they quite literally live and breathe the budget. They will do whatever they can to help reduce the cost of your event.
Do I Need An Event Budget?
Of course, you do! Most event companies are anticipating the expected budget increases for next year, but not nearly enough to cover the proposed increase in pricing for meeting spaces, venues, hotel rooms, catering, and travel.
For those struggling to budget, we’ve devised a list of the best tactics for you to use to minimise the spending of your event budget, without feeling like you’re left without anything. So keep reading!
The narrower and more specific your requirements for the things needed for your event, the tougher it will be to accomplish them on a small budget.
Sometimes it can be as simple as making use of what’s provided to you free of charge as well as your surroundings. Opt for the traditional white cloths included by your chosen venue instead of renting a specific colour. (You can always feature your colouring in table decor.) Your guests most likely won’t even notice what chair they’re sitting in for their meeting, as long as it’s comfortable, so you don’t always need to splash the cash for the expensive items.
You can also use items that you can use for more than one event – think binding folders with your company logo, without the date or location – to save a few pounds. Or, reuse pieces like directional signs and display materials to stretch your investment.
Search For Package Deals
Not Always True
Your venue might also have equipment or catering supply options, and cut you a deal because you’re using so many of their services – you should consider this unless of course your client has certain requests. Mandatory catering from your venue can sometimes be a way for them to tie you into extra expenses, without giving you an option of going elsewhere, so do your research.
Make Use Of Free Tools
The time we are in now, you don’t have to pay for a newspaper advertisement, or tv adverts to become noticed.
As your event is approaching you should advertise and regularly post on social media about your event and consider email marketing, free of charge! Social media is a great way to keep your guests engaged during the event and receive feedback, and it won’t cost you a penny.
Look For Volunteers
Volunteers are an effective way to add workforce to your event without adding extra costs.
You will have to have free time to invest and properly train your volunteer’s dependant on the event you’re planning, and they need to have quick access to someone management level for any queries, or in case something should go wrong.
You can attract volunteers with freebies, for example, an hour to taste before guests arrive, or free entrance to a conference session if they staff the registry table.
Volunteers sometimes fit better for certain events than others. If you need someone with a particular skill set, e.g. someone to run complicated technology or machinery, hiring a professional is most likely the way forward.
Don’t Travel Far, If Not At All
A conference doesn’t have to be in a beautiful setting, most event management London use simple meeting or boarding rooms. Of course, it might sound nice to ship the board to a stunning location, but you have to think smart, and practically if you’re going to be spending 95% of your time in a hotel and meeting rooms, the locale will be lost on attendees.
There’s nothing wrong with a few days though. Your conference may run for a few days and if it makes sense, pick a location close by.
Save The Trees
Printing is expensive, especially for large-scale audiences, guests like having a printed programme or information leaflets, but you should limit your printing to what is essential for attendees.
Technology is already beginning to replace the standard sheet of paper. Include helpful information like check-in details, the schedule, and places to dine close to the area on your event-specific website or social media. Make sure it’s suitable for mobile!
Cut Down On Catering
Catering doesn’t have to be such a huge expense if you’re open to straying from the traditional options. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Instead of paying more servers to pass fancy dishes and expensive cocktails out, why not allow your guests to attend food stations if they’re hungry. You can skip the multi-course, plated dinner in favour of a buffet, which also skips the expenses of hiring lots of waiting staff, your attendees will love the freedom to choose their meal.
Think about the food you will be serving – black-tie isn’t necessary for casual events, and lunch doesn’t have to be standard sandwiches. Change it up! A jacket potato bar has been used previously and was a huge success (and vegetarian), cupcakes are a great alternative to a big cake (available in many colours and flavours). Or food trucks can be a crowd pleaser, in the past event planning London companies have used things like paella food trucks which have been a big hit.
And unless this is an evening event or more sophisticated, then an open bar with wine and beer is generally enough.
Don’t Waste Money On Things Guests Aren’t Bothered About
When it comes to goodie bags, you should be very thoughtful on what you include. No one is going to appreciate another ballpoint pen with a logo on it, so think tactfully about what you’ll send your guests away with.
Things that serve a helpful purpose work better than pointless frills. Consider snacks – things like cereal bars and treats to fuel attendees through a lengthy meeting day, or provide a branded notebook they can find useful during a conference.
Ask For A Helping Hand
Sponsors can be the key to financing and increasing awareness of an event, especially large-scale ones.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to other companies – local people are more likely to feel they have a stake in your event– and ask what they can do.
In exchange, offer to give them free brand awareness via banners, logos, or speeches and talks).
A contribution doesn’t have to be in the form of cash, a sponsor in the office supply and stationery industry may provide you with notebooks to put in your guest’s goodie bags, or a caterer could donate services in exchange for the chance to give out business cards to diners or food chains.
In almost all situations when you ask for a lower price, the worst that can happen is someone says no, and then you’re in no different a place than if you hadn’t asked. And the best case scenario saves you money.
Pay Attention To What You’re Spending
Take control of your event; you’re in charge of the event management after all. You’ve set your budget, so now is the time to stick to it.
Keep good track of your expenses, as things slip through the net and many items can pop up that you weren’t accounting for.
If you see something you don’t think is right, say something. You should find out the reason for the discrepancy, don’t let charges get added without explanation, and don’t pay for something that you didn’t purchase or agree to.
There are so many other ways that you can save money when planning your event, but use these steps to help perfect your event and make sure that you spreadsheet everything you’ve brought to keep track of costs.
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