Planning any event can be stressful – both mentally and financially. When planning events in the corporate world, the pressure is that much greater. While there may be some advantages to planning a corporate event as opposed to planning one from a non-profit perspective, there are still numerous challenges.
Working within the confines of a pre-established budget is one of them. How can you get the most juice out of your corporate event budget? Thankfully, there are plenty of examples we can turn to for help in maximising event budget effectiveness. Let’s review a few examples of what you can do to get the job done with as little money as possible.
Effectively Outlining Your Budget
Before any corporate event can be planned properly – let alone in a financially-efficient way – a proper budget outline must be rendered. The creation of line-item budgeting is absolutely essential once the ball is rolling, but starting with a rough outline of things can help ground both the event and its budget in realistic terms.
Common considerations include travel and accommodation, food, staff compensation, facility expenses, marketing and miscellaneous costs (permits and contracts, applicable insurance for the event, etc). In order to more accurately plan this initial budget, using a corporate event budget template is crucial; this will ensure you assess all of the relevant budgetary categories are covered.
Keep an Open Mind About Venues
Corporate events often conventionally provide less leeway for venue selection than other types of events. This is a big mistake when it comes to saving money, as venues often cost 50 percent or more of your event budget. The more unconventional you are willing to be with respect to planning an event, the more money that can be saved.
For instance, the use of a public park or pavilion can easily save thousands of pounds on venue costs – but, of course, presents its own potential downsides.
It is also worth considering hosting a smaller event if it is financially viable. Generally speaking, venues exponentially increase in price based on max capacity: hosting an event for 200 instead of 500 may save the company up to 75% on venue costs, which can be used to accentuate other aspects of the event.
Book Well in Advance, and in Bulk
The earlier you can sign various contracts for your corporate event, the more likely it is you’ll get a great rate. Whether it’s a corporate event photographer, a motivational speaker, or a catering service, booking staff well in advance can provide negotiating room for overall costs. When a corporate event planner waits until the last minute to make a reservation, they are at the mercy of the service provider – and the provider knows it.
Additionally, being able to provide the vendor with more than one contract at a time can work wonders in lowering the per-event price. If your company is planning multiple events in the near future where identical services will be needed, negotiate the event rate based on this need.
Tap Into Sweat Equity
One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of any corporate budget is to utilise sweat equity. This is a very easy concept for non-profits and small businesses to utilise, but for bigger companies, more creativity may be required.
One of the best ways to do this is to provide free access to ticketed events to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. In exchange, ask them for assistance with setting up the venue or organising a particular task. Whether you need help with collecting tickets at the door, setting up and running presentations, or even serving food and beverages, this is an excellent way to stretch your budget further.
Is this an event that occurs on a regular basis? If so, then there is plenty of potential efficiency to be garnered. Whether you’re looking into reusing old items from previous events or planning the acquisition of new items that can be reused later, repurposing and recycling can dramatically reduce the amount needed for your event budget.
From podium signs to tablecloths and from centrepieces to banners, designing your seemingly disposable event materials and items in ways that won’t render them useless after one event is absolutely essential to efficiency.
Squeezing every last bit of efficiency out of corporate event planning is often essential. Even when it’s not, it just makes sense, as extra resources allow for more intricate and effective events. From repurposing and careful venue selection to smart booking and negotiation, dramatic savings can be generated for any event with just a little bit of foresight.