3 Ways To Stretch Your Event's Budget
Meeting professionals are often forced to make tough decisions in the name of coming in under budget while creating an event experience that feels new and keeps attendees returning year after year.
And while planning an engaging and exciting conference, meeting, panel, dinner, or awards show will always involve some number of trade-offs, there are a few tricks we like to keep up our sleeves to minimize cost and maximize impact.
Here are three tried-and-true ways to stretch your event’s budget, keep your organization’s higher-ups happy, and make sure attendees still feel that coveted “wow” factor:
- Be Up Front With Your Budget
Ever fall in love with an idea, then come to find out that its way out of your price range? The easiest way to avoid this heartache is to give your event partners your budget parameters up front.
Let us know what you can spend, and we’ll come up with creative, out-of-the-box ideas that you’ll be able to fall in love with and actually afford. We want to be able to work within your budget, so make sure to be honest with the amount you can spend in the first place.
- Watch People Like A Hawk
When it comes to saving money, one of the easiest ways to do so is to simply keep an eye out for things that you didn’t request. Look for items that are placed outside the requested timeframe on your BEO. Maybe it’s the all-day beverage station that’s out early, maybe it’s water bottles that you didn’t request. Also—don’t forget to double-check the invoices that you receive after an event.
We once worked with a meeting planner who was smart enough to second guess the consumption after she received the final invoice. When she realized the beverage tab didn’t seem proportionate to the amount of guests in attendance, she went back to the venue and asked them to double check the counts. Sure enough, the venue was happy to refund this savvy client $5,000.
There are a ton of ways you can get creative with your event to save lots of money.
First, staging is an area where a lot of our clients are eager to splurge. An awesome stage delivers a huge impact and is often an event’s focal point, while a lackluster stage can really make an event feel dated and deflated. But a stage that grabs your audience’s attention and imagination doesn’t have to use up a huge portion of your budget. Talk with your event team about ways to achieve the look you want for less.
You can also get creative with furniture. Sometimes the venue you’re working in has a stock of furniture you can use at your event – at no charge! Check with the venue and see if they have any furniture you can use on stage and during breaks, then you save on furniture cost and delivery/rental fees!
And, just like a great HGTV rerun, there’s a reason we come back to DIY-ing time after time. Whether it’s table numbers, giveaways, or floral centerpieces, there’s no design element our team hasn’t DIY-ed.
A few tips on DIY-ing your next event: Do the research before the project to make sure it will actually save you, if not both time and money, at least money. And look for pre-made components of your DIY project, like flower arrangements pre-organized by Trader Joe’s to place in your centerpiece
DIY-ing doesn’t have to be limited to design. You can also use apps to DIY your own event check-in, manage ticketing, help you build a website, take payments, and more. Click here to see the best event apps for increasing attendee enagagement and energy levels.
In addition to helping you to identify and use the best apps, here are a few more creative ways our team can help you to get the most out of your next event.
It can be hard to pull together a big event on a small budget, but a little creativity, preparedness, and thoughtfulness can save the day. We also always recommend planning early to avoid “rush” charges and being put in a position where you’re backed into a corner.
The LAI Live team has a proven track record of being able to help our clients to create a big impression on a small budget and we would love to help you to do the same. Here's just one example of how we recently helped a client to put on a wildly successful event for an audience of C-suite attendees on a limited budget.
Ready to get ahead of your next event? Contact us today.