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 activity and budgets.

Negotiate the Deal

Bargaining is not a need but a necessity. As an event planner, we act on deal negotiations as a way of making the event more responsive and efficient. Thereby, 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 holds 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 their event packages as a cheaper option.
Smart event managers know how to build and maintain strong alliances & use it while they need help with venue arrangements or transportation for speakers and attendees. The good thing is, some venue comes with in-house catering service 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 to not to have a contingency plan. Sometimes, we need to pursue such a farfetched idea, which initially seem 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

It is a good idea to remember that, there is no such thing as a flawless event. While you are onto 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 costings 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 to act against protocol?

Always head out for several opening dates for venue bookings. Owner of a venue always tries to keep his booklet fully packed for all year around. Your flexibility might pay you off here. While they are trying to fill up the date, you are going to 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 just 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 sitting arrangements. Thus, your guest may overlook the compromise you have made on overall arrangements.

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

Pick the Right Sponsors

A sponsor is the magic wand every event organisers are looking for when they try to arrange a cost-saving event. Finding a sponsor alone requires a tremendous effort alone. But, if it turns out your current sponsor seems unresponsive to your demands, try to switch to another.

You can take several measures aimed to stimulate 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 right away and can keep those branded materials to use the second time. It’s a total win-win situation.

Be ready for That Odd Speaker

Typically, speakers are the magnet which holds the total event together. So, selecting the perfect combination speakers is a must for any successful event. Fortunately, most of the speakers are regular and they are 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. If you don’t plan early, he will drag you out of your budget limit. 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 on planning a successful event with minimal costing. 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 how you can save 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. Response to Facebook questions or comments promptly. Clever use of other giant social media like Twitter, Google+ also results in greater benefits.

E-mail & Content Marketing

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

As far as the content marketing is concerned, they could do no wrong but the substantial success of your events. Online contents would not only increase the traffic to your site but also 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 the tech trends is a must thing to have for any event planner.

Nowadays, instead of ticketing manually, most event organiser provides online ticketing solutions with special offers.

Go for free apps to share event related info. Some tools offer truly global audience and purely sophisticated coverage without even taking a dime from you. Master the use of such free tech tools and you can save a lot of money, 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 useful.

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 which might help you to organise an event better in the time it takes place.

Be Creative With Venue Selection, Consider Outskirt

People pick event venue 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 locality, go to suburb. With a little 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 effectiveness and the costs variation for different locations. Put your best efforts to enhance 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 taste and the wild array of their choices, a self-serving system has the greater potentials for reducing wastage 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 of course, plan for sudden changes and unforeseeable events and so on.

We can go for local produce, so that it can be implemented locally at a low cost.
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 come 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 obviously save money being wasted on useless things for a particular age group.

Influence the Attendees

This is especially for the group of reluctant guests. While you are likely to sell as many tickets as you can, these bunch of attendees are always on your nerve. They just 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 is going to add to their life. How would be 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, so do their desired transportation. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just 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 to incorporate 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 the costly and time-consuming mistakes.

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

Get used to reuse 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 to avoid a great mound of paper and printing expenses. Many of them are either completely free or charges 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 a bunch of good volunteers.

Be explicit about your expectations and they would articulate your need.
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 a tremendous performance and loyalty while managed properly. They are the least expensive employee to hire.

Keep Your Guard Up for Haughty Employees

While there are volunteers ready to give their best efforts, there is another type of employees. You are paying them from your tight budget, and they are enjoying the event as a vacation. How are you going to save, while it seems like a complete loss project?

No place to 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 on and what is your basic expectation from them. Help them to build smaller groups, assign a particular task to each group and distribute them properly. Have a full proof planning to keep them active throughout the event.

If you can’t use your resources properly, how would you be able to 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 in the last event you’ve 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.

For informative and educational event related handout, present them online available to download.

Use Lightings for Hideout

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

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

Balance the Room Rents

There is always something to do with room rents. 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 your site into a totally unexpected environment, you can both “surprise the eyes” and “surpluses 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 idea? 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 bunch work on fixing the problem 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 branding of course.

Green Your Event

“Be Green” is the next big thing of the event industry now. 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 for 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 to do the job properly. Don’t be such a naïve to start showing off.

Eventually, the budget will cross the limit and you would 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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