25+ Ways to Save Money While Planning Your Next Event

Who are the most successful event organisers? They aren’t the ones providing the best services or those who are most focused on their guests. Nor are they those who consistently manage to balance their budgets.

They are the ones who recognise the multi-faceted nature of their endeavours, the ones who manage to deliver across the board, and most importantly

The ones who know how to save money on events.

Event planning is complicated. There are myriad reasons why an event might wind up costing a lot. But most events include three things;

1. Planning
2. Promoting
3. Organising

1. Planning

The following event planning checklist itemises everything you need to do or consider, while Money is the only thing that holds you back. Here, we’ve tried to assess the current trends of different events, activities and budgets.

Negotiate the Deal

Bargaining is not a need but a necessity. As event planners, we act on deal negotiations to make the event more responsive and efficient. Therefore, dealing with some of the most expressed expenditures would be tolerable.

There are unlimited ways to negotiate and nearly limitless things to bargain. Nevertheless, the following three hold the prime responsibility to cost you a fortune –

  • Venue
  • Speaker
  • Catering

Tackling any one of these deals with success can be the saviour you are looking for.

Pick the Package Offer

Package deals contribute to the greater good in a lot of ways.
In this competitive industry, event organisers are increasingly required to collaborate with others. An all-in-contract for a large event can give the organisers a breathing space. When you are working with suppliers, you can avail of their event packages as a cheaper option.

Smart event managers know how to build and maintain strong alliances & use them when they need help with venue arrangements or transportation for speakers and attendees. The good thing is that some venue has in-house catering services like easels, podiums, microphones & other stationary items. Be sure to ask for them before you decide to buy or arrange one on your own.

Care the Contingency Plan

Don’t forget the Murphy’s Law –

“If something can go wrong, it will!”

As an event planner, it’s fatal not to have a contingency plan. Sometimes, we must pursue such a farfetched idea, which initially seems unreasonable.

While different sections work side by side, they create all kinds of new and unexpected problems. A well-prepared plan helps to avoid the cost of conflicts.

Take Chances with the Start-ups

Remembering that there is no such thing as a flawless event is a good idea. While you are saving money on your upcoming events, underrated, or possibly too early to know better, start-ups are a perfect choice.

Be that for a sponsorship opportunity or using them to organise a specific portion of your event. Bring the best out of them.

Take a Chance on a Start-up

We all know two events are never the same. So, tracking event costs to save a bit is an excellent practice. Some of your efforts will be wildly successful, while some might fall short.

Try your luck here. You never know how much you can save!

Be Flexible

When it comes to event management, nothing is ever written in stone. Then, how do you act against protocol?

Always head out for several opening dates for venue bookings. The venue owner always tries to keep his booklet fully packed all year round. Your flexibility might pay you off here. While they are trying to fill up the date, you will argue for a discounted offer.

Open up to multiple quotes from your suppliers, and be prepared for any last-minute changes.

Be Precise with the Estimation

Event planning doesn’t follow a defined sequence. Sometimes, we have to guess. Moreover, each part of an event acts as an independent component. We have to estimate a lot.

For example, when you intend to save money, better go for fewer chairs if the guests are expected to mingle. You can offer cheap yet comfortable seating arrangements. Thus, your guest may overlook your compromise on overall arrangements.

Does going cheap always save money? You never know. But the rule of thumb here is to know your clients first.

Pick the Right Sponsors

A sponsor is a magic wand every event organiser looks for when arranging a cost-saving event. Finding a sponsor alone requires a tremendous effort. But, if it turns out your current sponsor seems unresponsive to your demands, try to switch to another.

You can take several measures aimed at stimulating competition among sponsors. You have to meet their requirements in creative ways. Offer their brand name or logo on materials like banners, posters, uniforms and freebies.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you might get a perfect sponsor immediately and can keep those branded materials for use the second time. It’s a total win-win situation.

Be ready for That Odd Speaker

Typically, speakers are the magnet that holds the total event together. So, selecting the perfect combination of speakers is necessary for any successful event. Fortunately, most of the speakers are regular and professional enough to know their activities at the event.

But, if you are out of luck, you may encounter that odd speaker who is not among the most professional ones. This speaker will undoubtedly give you a hurdle to save on your budget. He will drag you out of your budget limit if you don’t plan early. This is one of the scenarios we all least expect.

That means you have to be on their heels. Make an effort to get prior access to their speech materials early and persuade them to follow your direction and make the speaking accordingly.

If you happen to face this lousy speaker, set the deadline early. If possible, create a basic template to cover up an unavoidable speech.

Have you read this part through? Congratulations! These are the tips for planning a successful event with minimal cost. But we’re not even close to being done yet!

2. Promoting

Every event organiser claims “planning is the priority.”

But, no matter how flawless the planning is, without proper promotion and execution, it’s bound to struggle. Your superb plan might fail utterly if you underestimate the promotional part.

After creating a successful event plan, now it’s time to start promoting it with the least amount of money. Carry with us, let’s look at the tips on saving money in an event promotion.

Use Social Media

You don’t need giant billboards outside to get attention these days. Just go online and start a Facebook Event.

It’s not unusual for highly elaborate and vintage events to use social media as their sole promotional means. The power and influence of these platforms have evolved to the extent that they have become a business themselves.

Make sure you have the skills and tools to manage a Facebook event. Respond to Facebook questions or comments promptly. Clever use of other giant social media like Twitter and Google+ also results in greater benefits.

E-mail & Content Marketing

Email pushed promotional marketing to a new extreme. Your email database would come in handy to reach a broader range of audience. Email automation saves a lot of workload and a bit of your money.

As far as content marketing is concerned, they could do no wrong but the substantial success of your events. Online content would increase the traffic to your site and the number of audiences.

Above all, word of mouth is the cherry on the top. Try to spread the news of your event using that as well.

Utilise Free Tech Tools

Day by day, technology is taking event organising to whole new levels. A proper connection with tech trends is a must-have for any event planner.

Nowadays, most event organisers provide online ticketing solutions with special offers instead of manually.

Go for free apps to share event-related info. Some tools offer truly global audiences and purely sophisticated coverage without even taking a dime from you. Master the use of such free tech tools; you can save a lot of money and time and have the upper hand in many more areas.

There are loads of more ideas to promote your event. We’ll give it a pause here and continue to the organising tips during the event takes place. Interested readers might find this article about low-cost event branding ideas quite helpful.

3. Organising

Now, while you are in the event management industry, you have to plan for different types of events, ranging from home-based theme parties to large sports events. Here are some tips that might help you organise an event better in the time it takes place.

Be Creative With Venue Selection, Consider Outskirt

People pick event venues for different reasons. In our experience, most people go to a particular venue for one or more of these reasons:

  • For a better location
  • Bigger parking place
  • Community purpose

While there is no other way but to go for the most expensive services, like boutique hotels or highbrow localities, go to suburb, with a bit of imagination and a lot of logistical expertise, you can prepare an outside venue to accommodate any event (almost).

Just make sure the location infrastructure and your event blueprints are properly synchronised. It can be misleading to cite savings from the venue. As because of uncertainty about the venue’s effectiveness and the cost variation for different locations. Put your best efforts into enhancing the quality of an outskirt venue with tangible savings.

Buffet Catering

For a variety of reasons, buffet catering is the better choice. Concerning the complexity of people’s tastes and the wide array of choices, a self-serving system has greater potential for reducing waste and increasing savings.

While you are creating a buffet menu, ensure that you meet everyone’s needs. Finalise the menu, beverage and alcohol order, and plan for sudden changes and unforeseeable events.

We can go for local produce to be implemented locally cheaply.
Allocate the free bar tokens only for cheaper drinks.

Attendees Get the Priority

We are in the business of human emotions. We get to engage with the attendees at a very personal level. After a while, they are headed to scale up our event projects (somehow, the most complex shows on earth to us).

While we have the elderly attendees to deal with, the age gap between guests comes into the action then. Better to make your event registration, entry, and ticketing online. That would be both cheap and easy. In addition, you can draw the info out of the guests.

When you know them better, you can successfully navigate the dynamics of guests and attendees. Thus, it would save money wasted on useless things for a particular age group.

Influence the Attendees

This is especially for the group of reluctant guests. While you will likely sell as many tickets as possible, these attendees are always on your nerves. They don’t want to be there and it’s as simple as that.

It’s the perfect time to be online. Make a survey of your targeted audiences. You can use email marketing. Make sure to reach out to them. Clearly explain to them the value this event will add to their life. How they benefited from the event should be understood by them beforehand.

Otherwise, if you are waiting till the event starts, these guests are already a gone case.

And, of course, don’t exaggerate too much. Or, in the long run, you might lose both their trust and your ticket sales quota as well.

The Tricks of Intelligent Transportation

Each event has distinct characteristics, and so does their desired transportation. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, trick a bit. Thousands of planners have made before you.

Check out the possible arrival schedules and evaluate your available transportation facilities.

It is commonly said that – Most guests remember the entrance and the desserts. It’s important to make them remember the departure as well.
We have to explore care and creativity for their departure.

Try incorporating in-house transport facilities while doing the final deal with the venue.

Be the Master of Reduce & Reuse

Reduce and reuse would keep you from making costly and time-consuming mistakes.

Maybe going completely paperless is not feasible, but at least save some on mailing and printing costs.

Get used to reusing stacked-up old banners and placards, which are mostly generic. Practice in-house recycling and environment-friendly measures throughout the event.

Your event app will help you avoid many paper and printing expenses. Many of them are either completely free or charge minimal.

Value the Volunteers

One of the key triggers, in any event, is its volunteers. You can save almost all of what it would cost you to go for hiring services with many good volunteers.

Be explicit about your expectations, and they will articulate your needs.
Make a database enlisting your regular volunteer base and partners. You can create an online support group in exchange for brand promotion.

Volunteers can deliver tremendous performance and loyalty while managed properly. They are the least expensive employee to hire.

Keep Your Guard Up for Haughty Employees

While volunteers are ready to give their best efforts, another type of employee exists. You pay them from your tight budget, and they enjoy the event as a vacation. How will you save while it seems like a complete loss project?

There is no place for arguments here, as this group of employees of yours would inevitably turn to be a real-time burden. Make the event schedule crystal clear to them.

Be transparent about what the actual role they have to play and what your basic expectations are from them. Help them build smaller groups, assign a particular task to each group, and distribute them properly. Have a foolproof plan to keep them active throughout the event.

If you can’t use your resources properly, how can you save on it?

Headcount Matters

This is the work we all do. Yet, we all end up with a wildly contrasting number very often. However, a successful event organiser knows better.

He knows that organising an event involves hundreds, even thousands of guests and attendees. Better the headcount is made out in a realistic manner.

Free online event registration platform like EventBookings would enable you to see your attendees and help you determine the number of guests as well. Make the best use of them.

Wipe Out Wastages

Who would bother to get another T-shirt with a logo on it? Or can you remember where the free pen you got at the last event you attended is? Probably no.

Free giveaway is never going to make your event a success. Put a limit bar for free offerings. These are occasionally turned-out liabilities, not assets.

Present informative and educational event-related handouts online, available to download.

Use Lightings for Hideout

Pretty simple lightings could do a lot. They can convert any cheap-looking venue into a glamorous place. Use their illusion to cover up any last-minute mishap.

Get local help to get cheap generators, lighting and fans.

Balance the Room Rents

There is always something to do with room rent. You can easily find the loophole in it. When you are making group bookings, bulk room rent often tends to add some hidden cost.

Ensure to get the negotiated bedroom rate.

Go Off-season

Here’s the bad news: no client ever wants to miss the peak season of the ceremony. Weekday events are a big NO to them.

But remember, despite all of this, if you sit in a totally unexpected environment, you can both “surprise the eyes” and “surpluse your pocket”. Off-season events are incredible opportunities to exceed expectations.

How could you stick to the plan of off-peak time and weekday event ideas? Through effective relationship marketing with your clients and timely informative reminders by email, messages or direct mail.

Get Crafty for DIY Projects

Ask for creative partners for your event. These groups work on fixing the problems of a process with innovations. What you may consider impossible, they would offer you the result that simply unbelievable. Initially, you can ask for some unpaid hours in exchange for the course branding.

Green Your Event

“Be Green” is now the next big thing in the event industry. You better try to catch up as quickly as you can with this thread. Additionally, no matter what the budget of your event is, a green event would certainly make a huge contribution, savings-wise.

While you go for a greener event, you certainly approach public transport for attendees and speakers. Thus, minimise carbon emissions from travelling.

Save energy by solar, whenever practical and possible.

When Your Client Underestimates You

This is the most awkward moment an event manager has ever dreamt of.
It may get you off guard and make you nervous about doing the job properly. Don’t be such a naïve to start showing off.

Eventually, the budget will cross the limit and you will be the only scapegoat here. Be calm and professionally handle the situation instead.

Wrapping Up

These money-saving solutions are easily accessible. Adopting even one of the ways given above can make a real difference in the resources you consume and, therefore, a real difference in the budget for your event.

The challenges are obviously great, but by following this advice, you should be in a much better position to manage your event budget.

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