There’s no doubt about it: putting on an event is expensive. As much as you want to keep costs to a minimum, the last thing you need is for your event to come off as cheap. Here are seven ideas that can help you save money and not lose face with your attendees.
Create a Budget
If you want to control costs, you must understand what those costs are. Itemizing costs before they’re incurred ensures you will stick to a reasonable budget. Sure, unexpected expenses will pop up. But the point is to minimize these as best you can, and to have some padding built into your budget so you know exactly what you can and can’t afford.
Control Setup and Teardown Costs
There are a number of ways to control these costs. For instance, can you use an installation for more than one presentation? Can you create a schedule that allows you to use one area for multiple presentations? Can you save labor costs by putting limits on setup and teardown times? Can you re-use a setup at a different event, eliminating the need to tear down and set up twice? Any of these could potentially save a lot of money (and time, as well).
Choose Your Location Carefully
You want a great location, but if you don’t want to pay top dollar, consider holding your event in a non-convention city. That is, stay away from places like New York and Las Vegas, where everything costs a small fortune. And regardless what city you choose, consider holding the event outside the city center. Outer perimeter locations have amenities similar to downtown locations, but at less cost. And if you find a venue close to the airport, all the better for your out-of-town attendees.
Remember, Almost Everything is Negotiable
Don’t be afraid to ask for things. You’d be surprised how much you can save by simply asking hotel and venue owners to work with you on costs. You can leverage expenses from basic rental fees to meals to room prices. Let owners know how much business you’ll be bringing in, and they’ll usually be willing to offer discounts.
Use Volunteers Wherever Possible
Volunteers will often work for free admission and free meals. Just be sure they’re properly trained, and have backup in case a few of them don’t work out.
There are hundreds of online registration apps. They save costs (not to mention trees), and some apps can even integrate hotel reservations with registration.
Get a Speaker You Can Afford
While a big name can bring in attendees, they can also break the bank. To save money, you can hire a speaker who may not be a huge name, but can contribute great content to the event. Or, if you must have a big name, you can curb costs by finding someone who doesn’t have to travel very far. If someone has a product to promote, such as a book, you might also get a good deal. If you have a corporate sponsor, they might be willing to incur some of the costs, as well.
Clearly, this is a very broad overview of how money can be saved when planning an event. If you have more ideas on how cost savings can be achieved during corporate events, please share your thoughts below.
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