It's rare anymore for me to work with a meeting planner who doesn't represent a corporation with budget concerns. The economical upsets of 2009 spawned increased hesitations in 2010 with regard to overspending for corporate events. Small cutbacks can make huge financial imprints. Consider the following:
1. Seek out volunteers to man registration tables, exhibit booths and monitor room set-ups. No sense in paying for additional help for these simple tasks. Providing a list of expectations should suffice.
2. Coordinate equipment rentals yourself, rather than falling victim to the common up-charging that hotels will require.
3. Pay close attention to bartender fees, keeping in mind that they are staffed based on your numbers. Guaranteeing a lower attendance will mean fewer bartenders at a certain point. For example, a hotel may require one bartender per 50 people. If you have invited 60 but anticipate no-shows, cap it at 50 and save a few bucks.
4. Share laptops and internet lines, especially if your event requires an office space. Avoid paying for additional internet lines by sharing computers or internet cables. I so often observe unused laptops in office spaces that burn cash just by sitting there unoccupied.
5. Request smaller coffee breaks. Coffee breaks are typically set for the exact number of attendees at your event. But at 2 pm in the afternoon, are you truly confident that every guest will enjoy a beverage of sorts? Think about it. If not, cut the break down by a third. This will lower your per-person costs.