When the words “event” and “budget cuts” are used together, other words can spring to mind: “cheap” and “lacking.” In reality, however, it’s possible to reduce the budget for your function and still deliver great attendee experiences.
Follow these 5 tips to save on event costs:
- Be open-minded. Just because a conference is traditionally held at a certain hotel around a particular date doesn’t mean it’s written in stone. Check out other affordable venues and even adjust the dates to further reduce costs.Also play with the event schedule. You could, for example, start the conference in the afternoon to eliminate breakfast and lunch from your budget.
- Prepare early and communicate. As soon as the venue’s booked, immediately reach out to vendors and suppliers. Make sure early on that everything will be available for the event dates. Last-minute panic situations can cost extra if vendors have to adjust their schedules to accommodate your needs. Also arrange a kick-off meeting with all the vendors and suppliers involved so the planning is organized and there’s no duplication of efforts. Host regular follow-up conference calls leading up to the event.
- Invest and reuse. Purchase staging that can be arranged several different ways and versatile lighting elements to create a unique feel for each event. In addition, produce graphics that can be reused for annual functions.
- Save on power and Wi-Fi. Electricity isn’t cheap. Opt for the latest battery-powered lighting and energy-saving audio systems.Also compare the venue’s Wi-Fi with the price of other providers. There might be more affordable options with better equipment. If the venue has an exclusive provider, ask if that part of the contract can be waived.
- Go paperless. Mobile apps ‒ particularly those that can be reused for future events ‒ are one way to share event schedules and information while saving on printing costs. Registrations and follow up surveys should be online to save on mailing costs. And for the bigger items, consider replacing banners and posters with digital signage – which will also help save on last minute changes should speakers need to be swapped or rooms adjusted.
Using even just one of these five cost-saving tips will help you cut the budget for your next event.
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