The cost of planning events can soon spiral out of hand if you don’t keep a close eye on the budget. You obviously want your event to be memorable, unique and of course, successful – but that doesn’t mean you have to go wild and bust the budget on a champagne bar, ice sculpture and Hummer limo transport.
Planning cost-effective events which seem expensive is something of an art form, but we can let you in on a few handy money-saving secrets…
- Always, always negotiate. For most events and particularly for larger shindigs, you will usually be ordering a lot of things. Buying in bulk gives you huge power to negotiate, so make sure you never agree to a price for anything without at least an attempt at haggling.
- Go digital for invites and marketing. Print invites and marketing can be effective, but they also cost a lot of money to design, print and distribute – whereas a lot of your target audience will be online and you can market your event to them much more cheaply and possibly more effectively via email and social networks.
- Book everything miles in advance. If you’re super-organised, you can nail down everything from venue to catering well in advance of the event. This has the major benefit of getting you a cheaper price, whereas if you leave it until the last minute you’ll pay virtually any price out of desperation.
- Take on volunteers, apprentices and students. Free or cheap help can be a great way to keep costs down, but remember to offer something worth having in return so that you aren’t exploiting your volunteers. For example, work experience, support and exposure, plus a fair fee will all go a long way while also saving you money.
- The buffet is always a good choice. Food and drink costs can be extortionate when planning corporate or other events, but a buffet will always be a cheaper option than a sit down meal. Make sure it’s good quality and that you order properly – you don’t want masses of food left or anyone going hungry.
- Shop around. It takes time to compare prices and find the best deals, but it’s well worth it. Don’t settle on a price until your 100% that it’s the best one around, but also bear in mind that some prices really are too good to be true and that you do get what you pay for.
- Be flexible on dates and locations. If you’re planning in advance and you can be a bit flexible on where and when you hold your event, you can find cheaper deals. For example, some venues are cheaper at different times of the year, month or week, and if you use something like a SaddleSpan event tent then you can look outside expensive city centres to erect your venue in a cheaper outskirts location.