Budget planning for an event is almost always a battle for each hryvnia. High expectations require appropriate investment. But at the same time, the customer wants everything to be “inexpensive and good.” Smart planning is the basis of working on the event’s budget. Let’s see how industry professionals solve this problem.
Savings on equipment – the risk of losing respect
Technology is the foundation of a modern event. When planning equipment costs, you need to adhere to the principle: “pay now or pay much more when it’s too late.” Adapting the location for the tasks of the event in advance is easier than trying to catch up in the process, losing time and money. If during the speaker’s speech the microphone begins to give feedback (echo) or the image on the screen becomes blurry, the audience concentrates all attention on this, and not on the speaker’s words. Conclusion: all items of technology costs must be funded in full.
A detailed discussion of tasks.
Negotiations are the most important part of the preparation process. The higher their effectiveness, the less extra and unexpected expenses in the event budget. Every detail needs to be discussed with suppliers, contractors, and partners: from the menu (and ways to reduce its costs) to the booking of the rooms. If partners understand the goals of the organizer, they will be able to identify priority funding points, eliminating all second-grade issues. Why not try discussing cost optimization options with every contractor? Not all attempts will be successful. However, you will not get what you want without doing anything for it.
Useful experience, not “wow effect”
At first impressions, you can go broke: trying to surprise a satiated audience is expensive. However, the event is judged by the results and experience. And sacrifice them for the sake of a fleeting “wow effect” is not worth it. If the budget is limited, it is better to concentrate on a clear organization and high-quality service. It is necessary to fully finance those key areas that will be remembered by the participants. Everything else that you believe is secondary can even be ignored. For example, instead of the cost of decorating a room, choose a location with a suitable interior that does not need decoration.
A poor menu is remembered better than perfect service. And it’s not just the quality of the food. Considering that healthy and proper nutrition is a trend now, it is important to ensure the full availability of dishes for vegetarians, vegans, people with food allergies, etc. You can, of course, ignore this and save a lot of money, but the disappointment of the participants will cost the organizers much more.
That is not all. A good option for optimizing costs is informal dinners. If the event allows you to organize meals in casual style, “in jeans and a relaxed atmosphere”, it is worth doing it. Such meals are not just eating food. They create a comfortable atmosphere for communication, team building.
Another way to save the budget is to organize a morning break after breakfast. Without strict time limits, participants can eat properly. As a result, the amount of waste is reduced. You can use other ways of optimization, inspired by the experience of organized catering in large hotels.
To create a relaxed atmosphere during a meal or coffee break, you can find the appropriate location. For example, taking participants to a local trendy bar would be cheaper than trying to create a similar “party spirit” in a hotel restaurant.
Saving budget and saving the planet – is a whole
Many event managers find opportunities to save by introducing environmentally friendly solutions. For example, they encourage participants to use reusable water bottles instead of disposable cups and take water from coolers rather than plastic bottles.
You can save a budget by combining technology and affordable modern solutions. For example, some professional organizers moved away from using printed materials at events, replacing them with mobile applications. For each event, they develop separate software with full content. It is available to all participants. This technology is already considered as the future of the event sphere.
Among the eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for organizing events, there is a “live decor”. Natural materials are durable. They can be reused and recycled safely. Stands, holders for name boards, signboards and other products made from natural materials can be purchased once and used for several years.
The more information about the location – the more significant savings you will get.
Experienced organizers try to use the resources that are located next to the chosen locations. This reduces the budget. And sometimes you can even count on free bonuses. For example, organizing an event outside the capital, you can engage a local advertising agency. Its specialists are more familiar with the audience and methods of influencing it. And they can also provide discounts (for example, for the manufacture of branded souvenirs). The same goes for volunteers: engaging local active people will be cheaper.
There is also the practice of mixing events. For example, combine an event within the framework of corporate social responsibility with a cocktail party. You can do this non-trivially: build a golf course from cans and interrupt for a game between cocktails. Of course, this is not a universal recommendation, but a general trend. Priorities in budget planning are individual: and they should be a starting point.
Protection from “imposed services”
What if contractors are trying to give more than what is required by the contract? For example, a restaurant without approval includes more drinks on the menu, requiring the organizers to pay extra for them? To avoid risks, some event teams adhere to the principle of “one leader”. This is a person who makes all decisions with responsibility for each of them. And if the contractor has done something that goes beyond the budget and is not agreed with the leader, the organizers are not obliged to finance it.
Evaluation of investments effectiveness
Return on investment is a key indicator of the effectiveness of the event. But methods for evaluating effectiveness are different. Accordingly, the indicators also differ. Most event teams use the methods of surveying the participants after the event. Others evaluate the achievement of goals, indicators of the number of participants registered for the next event, conduct online surveys. It’s important to know the audience’s reaction: it helps to evaluate which steps in reducing the budget were the most effective.
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