I recently had the pleasure of being a presenter for the FemCity Las Vegas Chapter's "Ask the Expert" event. It was fun and a character building experience as I haven't had many opportunities to speak thus far. Given the nature of the event, I thought it would be great to give some of my fellow professionals some valuable information to use towards their future events. At the end of the post I included a little cheat sheet for planning your event budget, but first here are the 3 ways to stay on budget in your future event endeavors!
It is 2017, use the technology to your advantage! One of the most useless expenses I see at an event is paper being printed. Everything from paper brochures to surveys to exhibitor manuals to meter board signage. The shipping alone can cost you thousands of dollars not to mention the labor hours spent placing the orders and printing. Its very common for longstanding programs and longstanding companies to do what was always done. But we do have the technology to make your planning easier and bring your costs down. Use email marketing vs mailers, electronic exhibitors manuals, conference apps rather than brochures and surveys, automate your processes as much as possible and utilize digital signage wherever you can!
Be selective with your venue
Another important factor in your event budget is your venue! It is very on trend right now to hold your event in a “cool” and “unique” space but it becomes expensive when you have to furnish and decorate an empty space in order to achieve your event goals. An empty space will still need tables, chairs, AV, decor, food and beverage which may require an outside caterer, lighting. I know sometimes when you look at the price tag of traditional spaces like hotels or convention centers it can seem pricy but truly add up the costs before you attempt to DIY your entire event. Choose a venue that speaks to your event goals, a venue that has useable furniture and is in need of minimal decor. Your best bet is to utilize a Food and Beverage minimum verses a rental cost which is honestly just a win-win! The venue gets the money they need and you get the food and beverage for your guests!
Hire a planner
And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a planner in the list of ways to keep on budget. It is the job of the planner to know every detail your event including your budget. A good planner will negotiate contracts with vendors and have the relationships to ensure the best pricing and that you stay on budget every step of the way. A planner will also eliminate a lot of the research which reduces your time and potential labor hours. Permits, pricing, decor, and AV needs these are all things your planner can answer and arrange.
Keep these budget saving tips in mind when moving forward into the holiday season!! Here is a cheat sheet when planning the budget for your next event.