The good news is that many companies are again investing time and budgets for corporate events. Still, there are a number of scenarios under which event planners may need to be creative and come up with affordable ways to package their services. For example, while many companies once again have healthy budgets, in some organizations, event spending has not returned to the levels of 5 years ago. Small companies or departments may not be in a position to afford the full suite of event planning services.
It makes sense to work with organizations that are growing as, eventually, they are likely to require more assistance with event planning and they will remember firms that displayed flexibility.
While it is never a good idea to significantly discount your services, many industries offer services at various levels (e.g. airlines: economy, business an first class and hotels: standard, deluxe, luxury rooms). Event planners can also come up with flexible ways to package services. Here are a few strategies for making services more accessible and affordable.
Offer early bird or early payment specials.
Cash flow is essential for any business so by offering a small discount for fast decision-making and full payment, it is possible to help out a client facing budget constraints and also maintain healthy cash flow for your own business.
Offer consulting to help the client fine-tune a plan for an event that they have designed.
Use an existing plan or template.
Web designers use this strategy very effectively. Sometimes, instead of planning an event from scratch, you can offer a client a more affordable option by using the design for another event that you have offered. You can either customize that event or, for greater savings, offer the event the same way you did the last time you offered it at the same location.
Plan the event and provide the client with the tools and training to execute the event internally.
One of my company's clients recently held an even that followed this model. The client was originally offered pre-existing routes (strategy 2) but, as these all involved travel downtown, this did not meet their needs. Custom routes were designed close to the client's head office. The day before the event, a briefing was held for the team leaders. They were provided with the team packages and tools for the event. The team leader practiced the briefing that they would conduct with their own teams. Score and answer sheets were provided and one of the employees scored the sheets, determined the winners and awarded the prizes.
Suggest that the client team up.
By teaming up with another small department or even another company and offering an event on the same day and at the same location, the per person price of the event can be more affordable.
For more tips for making events more affordable, also read 15 Sure-fire Strategies for Stretching Your Meeting Budget and 15 Tips to Trim Event Budgets on the Cvent Event Blog.
Photo Credits: asenat29