10 Creative Ideas to Stretch Your Event Budget
10 Creative Ideas to Stretch Your Event Budget
When on a frugal event budget, creativity is your best friend! A small budget should never be the reason why an event fails because the success of an event depends only on your imagination, resourcefulness and a little flair for planning events. Always have an idea of what you have to work with. Think of spending the money you don't have yet. Keep the budget in control by regularly reviewing decisions and helping the team cut down on overhead cost without a loss in quality.
Do not let shrinking budgets spoil your events again. Here are some resourceful ways that stretch an inadequate event budget and squeeze the entire juice out of it!
1. Consider Unusual, Inexpensive and Plain Venues
Multi-purpose venues may have just what you need at a much lower cost such as schools, golf facilities, museums and of course, restaurants. Grab these at even better prices during the times or days when they remain closed or choose less popular times to utilize the off-peak rates. Outdoor tents or spaces can also be a great event venue. Do your research, look up the booking charges at your area for different venues and the occupancy rates to negotiate the price and get significant discounts. Also, discuss future association for hosting more events at the venue for potential long term savings. The huge money thus saved on your economical venue can then be used to revamp the interiors. The plain rustic halls can be transformed into exotic interiors with a little research, smart event design services, and imaginations. Props, flowers and plant decors, drape materials, candles, and various other lighting transforms the entire look and feel of an otherwise dull room like a school or museum hall. Consider using handmade, cheap decors to give a natural yet classy look. Find ideas on cheap DIY event decors for transforming event venues on Pinterest and other similar sites.
2. Recruit Volunteers to Save on Staffing Costs
Cut down on staffing costs by outsourcing your event tasks to volunteers and freelancers who want to attend the event, give them free tickets in return.
3. Consider Sponsorships, Co-Operations or Partnerships to Share the Cost and Benefits
There are different types of partnership opportunities with businesses that have been trying to access your same niche, to share the event expense, exposures, mutually beneficial marketing and more. For instance, find a local restaurant who might be willing to sponsor the catering if there's a possibility that the restaurant will get enough publicity and attendees will consider visiting their restaurant. Look out for public or community funds to help with your event budget, seek sponsorship in kind for expensive items like prizes which can’t be avoided. Make sure you have the proper data and audience information to make the pitch interesting. Similarly, cut vendor costs by allowing them to exhibit at the event, plug in their services and gain the audience attention. Or if there’s a celebrity coming at your event, consider talking with the venue to strike a deal.
4. Drop the Unnecessary Elements of Your Event
Anything which doesn't really influence the attendee experience or affect the mission of your event can be omitted, even the full course meal for that matter. Unless a sit-down meal is absolutely crucial for the event's success, rethink and replace with simple snacks, appetizers, or goodies. You will get to save a great deal on food, table and linen rentals, waitstaff, logistics and more.
5. Raise Money Prior by Selling Swag
Sell swag or a useful item on your event registration site to get an additional revenue beforehand. This also creates excitement among attendees and helps them prepare for the event much before the actual event.
6. Forget Traditional, Embrace the New Age Digital Planning and Marketing for Events
Save on expensive signage and printing by using free digital or online event apps for several aspects of event planning and execution, go paperless to save on printing costs, leverage social media influencers, and exploit social media marketing to the maximum rather than traditional marketing.
7. Venue Furniture Costs vs Renting Furniture
Some venues come with tables and chairs, while you will need to rent out furniture for others. Price out both options and choose which one best suits your event budget.
8. Share the Cost of Speakers with Event Attendees Through Extra Sessions
Try to spend less on your guest speakers by using in house subject matter experts as group leaders and speakers. Or consider charging your attendees and VIPs for an extra private learning session with the speakers or for the opportunity to meet your keynote in person. This way you can recoup at least part of your expense on speakers.
9. Get Better Prices by Either Early or the Last Minute Booking
Last minute bookings limit the choices and increase the stress level, but if your event is flexible enough to be hosted anywhere you can take the gamble of booking it the last minute to enjoy the best prices. Another option to enjoy lesser prices is to book it way ahead and early.
10. Always Negotiate on Price
Some charges might as well be etched in stone, while others can be negotiable. Always negotiate or find an opportunity to barter with all your suppliers, be it the venue, AV, caterers or anyone associated with your event for that matter. It never hurts to ask about the price or lose anything by negotiating.
Planning the right event budget is the major thing to do as an event planner. Creating a successful budget, prioritizing event attributes, cutting down on unnecessary things based on the event budget, finding cheap alternatives, and avoiding the common mistakes will take you a long way. Start with the macro expenses and then go micro. This approach helps to plan the big and major expenses first and then evaluate each of the smaller expenses in detail later. Once you have this plan, its then just a matter of prioritizing, researching prices, negotiating and finalizing. Try out all the tricks and tips mentioned here to go easy on the budget. Good luck with your event and happy planning!