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Event Budgeting: 10 Fail-Proof Tips to Help Save You Money

Posted by Veronica Morozova on


Ask any event planner what their biggest pain point is, and we guarantee you they'll say it is budgeting. In fact, event budgeting is the number one priority for event planners in 2018. 

Industry research speaks loud and clear: budgeting is a unanimously difficult challenge for event professionals. While budgets overall are staying the same, if not increasing, expectations and costs are rising.

Naturally, this budgeting conundrum puts a extra pressure on you as an event planner to continually deliver events marginally better at a fraction of the price. 

While we can't magically build you a money tree, we can research ideas for the best money saving opportunities that make sense and deliver more value, while saving money. 

Nope, it's not too good to be true.

Let's take a closer look at 10 money saving tips without compromising on the quality of your event. 

1. Opt for Easy, Quick Food vs. Sit-Down Meals

Splashing out cash on big fancy meals or a buffet may be tempting, but there's few occasions were a nice selection of canapes won't do as a substitute. Canapes are (unfairly) sneered at by event managers because of their small size and allegedly unsatisfying flavours, but that just means you haven't found the right caterer. Canapes can be oversized and 100% filling. Trust us. 

2. Be Mindful With Choosing Your Venue

Shop around. Barter. Triple-check for full pricing transparency. Ask yourself the following questions: will my attendees be more motivated to attend this venue? Does a central location justify an off-the-scales price-tag? Can you opt for an edgier venue without delegitimising the purpose of the event? It's also worth checking websites like Hirespace for deals and discounts. 

3. Invest in Self-Service Check-ins

Save money on staff by investing in self-service check-ins. This is a real no brainer, as an automated check-in process is also faster than one manned by staff. Take a look at these check-in apps that help you with event registration and check-in. 

4. Streamline, streamline, streamline

We live in a digital age -- so make the most of it! Please scrap all forms of hand-written registrations, mailing badges and attendee leaflets by post. They're time consuming and waste paper as well as money. 

5. Cut the Travel Costs

If you're booking a speaker for an event, make sure you book them well in advance to get the most out of cheap travel deals. Don't forget to check out Speaker Hub, which connects you to nearby professionals and experts. 

6. Learn to Barter and Negotiate with Force

Whether you're working with several vendors or one supplier, make sure you're getting the best deal there is. Don't be afraid to barter for a package deal. Cost savings are in the details, but if you don’t have a thorough understanding of what can be negotiated and how much, you are already playing from behind. 

It is a million times easier to negotiate before any contracts are signed, so think carefully about everything you may need in advance down to every small detail; power sockets, furniture, table cloths, water on tables, early access, Wi-Fi and audio visual. 

7. Forget the Freebies

Unless the event you're organising absolutely calls for freebies, they are hands-down the easiest thing to bypass. Sure, freebies are a nice touch, but they don't in any way guarantee the success of an event. 

8. Invest in Tech and Digitalise

Cutting-edge, high-tech solutions are easier than ever to come by. Don't underestimate the power of digital. Whether you opt for Virtual Reality glasses for a stunning spatial experience, event information via an app, or Smart Watches as a teleprompter, investing in tech will help you cut costs while boosting your reputation in your client's eyes.

9. Reuse Expensive Materials

The Circular Economy is booming, and applying this reuse/recycle/repurpose strategy to event budgets and cost savings aligns perfectly with this trend. However, event managers, are often fixated on the event at hand and are often too busy to think about how the items we are buying for next month’s event can be reused/repurposed/recycled for next event. If, for example, you are hosting and event that requires large equipment, do make sure that these items can be used over a broad spectrum of events. 

10. Recruit Students and Volunteers

Have you ever considered offering people who can’t afford to attend your event a ticket in exchange for their work at said event? Students are the perfect example of someone who might want to experience the event with a free ticket. Ask any event planner and they'll tell you that there are virtually always people who ask for free tickets, so instead of rejecting them outright, you can have them do a job in exchange for attendance.

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