Making the most of your event budget is more than a money saving exercise; it’s also about ensuring the highest possible return on your investment. To help you on your way, here’s our eight tips for making your funds go further.
1. Decide on and communicate your budget
The first step towards getting the most out of your event budget is understanding your upper limits and communicating them clearly to all agencies you work with. This may seem like an obvious suggestion but it’s one that is often overlooked.
Events are an exciting affair and it’s easy to get carried away at the ideas stage. This often results in the ultimate event dilemma: strip back or overspend. Discussing your top budget with your creative and production agencies from the start will allow them to offer the best solutions within your price range and avoid any disappointment or added costs further down the line.
For large scale events, it is advisable to factor a contingency into your budget figure, allowing for a certain level of flexibility.
2. Use an external AV company
Using your chosen venue’s in-house AV service may seem like a cost effective solution but it can often prove a false economy. Venues are often tied to specific suppliers and have no room for negotiation. Then there’s the additional mark-up that usually occurs when there is a middle man involved.
Choosing an experienced AV company that carry their own equipment is often the best way to ensure value for money, along with guaranteed quality.
3. Get Creative
The most impressive ideas are not always the most costly and with a little creative thinking, you can achieve incredible results for minimal spend. Picking a strong theme that reinforces your event message will see a much greater level of success than investing in the latest technological trend with no clear objective in mind, and it comes at a fraction of the cost. Choosing a creative agency that understands your event goals will often result in some truly unique and cost effective solutions.
Think outside the box when it comes to venue selection too. There are a wealth of impressive alternatives to the standard chain hotel option; museums, art galleries, libraries. Whilst the hire charge for these may be higher in some cases, you may find that it costs a lot less to achieve the impressive finish you desire.
4. Consider your Ongoing Requirements
If your company or organisation hosts several events per year, or if your event is an annual occurrence, don’t view each one as a stand-alone entity. Discussing your ongoing and/or future requirements with your production company will most likely result in a better deal, not just in terms of cost, but also in terms of quality.
Developing a strong working relationship with your supplier will ultimately lead to a deeper level of understanding. This can make the whole planning process of future events much faster and smoother, cutting down on project management hours and eliminating the potential for any unexpected costs to arise. Working with a company you know and trust not only offers lower rates, but gives added value through peace of mind.
5. Repurpose Content
If you’re an event veteran, chances are you’ll have amassed an extensive back catalogue of content. Before ploughing ahead with the production of new material, which can be a costly outgoing, consider carefully if there is existing material that you can repurpose.
If you are producing brand new collateral, approach it from a multipurpose perspective – this can be a particularly cost effective solution when it comes to event related video. Investment in high quality video production from a single event can provide fantastic marketing material for the future. Take a look at our previous post for ideas on how to repurpose your event video content.
6. Host a Hybrid Event
If your organisation operates on a nationwide or global scale, getting all of your delegates together at the same time and place can be an expensive affair. Attendee travel and accommodation, plus the time allocated for logistics all factor heavily into your overall budget.
Hosting a hybrid event that combines a physical main hub with virtual attendance is a great way to overcome these expenses whilst maintaining the buzz of a live event.
7. Plan your Breakout Schedule
Breakouts and workshops are a staple of the events world and rightly so; they can greatly enhance the event experience and help you achieve your goals. But they incur their own costs with extra room hire, additional equipment and potentially added crew.
When planning your Breakouts, consider them carefully alongside your overall event schedule. Can you time and rotate them in a more efficient and cost effective way? Could sessions be combined to eliminate the need for extra space? Above all, ensure your breakouts have a purpose; there’s no point in paying extra for session that serve little use.
8. Go Digital
There’s a misconception in the event world that digital solutions equate to higher cost. Whilst this is obviously subjective dependent on your event needs, if you’re printing large quantities of high quality materials the benefits of digital start to creep in. Investment in a single event app that contains all the information your delegates require may be more cost effective than designing and printing multiple guides, forms, tickets, badges and handouts.
By going digital, you can also vastly improve your ROI. Paper materials tend to be disregarded and forgotten after the event, and may not even be given attention at all. A well designed app will encourage engagement pre, during and post event, helping you and your delegates get the most out of the experience.
Then of course there are the analytical capabilities of digital that paper does not afford. A tool that allows you to measure the success of your event is the best investment you can make.
The Presentation Group offer full creative, production and technical solutions for both Live Events and Exhibitions. For more information on how we can help you deliver a fantastic event on budget call one of our experienced Producers today.
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