There are number of reasons that organizations may need to trim meeting budgets this year, as a number of international destinations are feeling the pinch of economic challenges.
Likewise, it's important for meeting planners to be proactive and deliver value in an affordable manner, to avoid cuts down the road.
Here are 10 tips for savvy event planners.
- Bring all or part of the meeting onsite.
- Select a hotel, resort, or venue near your home base.
Suburban hotels and inns in small towns nearby are a great bet. If attendees can commute, this can trim meeting budgets significantly. Often employees live in suburban areas so the commute will be easier than driving to the downtown core.
- Select a destination where your currency will go further.
- Begin your meeting earlier and end later.
This can save a night's accommodation.
- Ask the airline to have its revenue department review your group rate.
Especially if your client is a repeat customer of the airline, additional savings can be realized.
- Let the catering manager know your food and beverage budget.
Often chefs can come up with a special menus to help you meeting planners on a budget hit their targets.
- Replace alcohol service with mocktails and soft drinks with infused water or juices chased with soda water.
Alternatively, opt for a cash bar.
- Seek sponsorship, including in-kind sponsorships for some items and corporate sponsorships for others.
Even for private corporate events and incentive trips some suppliers welcome these opportunities.
- Use local facilitators and keynote speakers to save on travel and, sometimes, accommodation.
- Use emerging entertainers and caterers.
Colleges that train chefs and performing artists are always looking for opportunities to provide real-world experience for their students. By holding auditions, you can uncover some really talented young professionals.
Photo Credit: Nick Ares