Value-Added Tactics for Tight Budgets

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How to create value on tight budgets: Money-saving ideas from industry pros on Prevue’s 2022 Editorial Advisory Board

We recently asked members of Prevue’s 2022 Editorial Advisory Board for examples of value-added tactics that have helped them to achieve more bang for the buck at meetings and events.

One consistent recommendation: work with destination CVBs. “I’m very familiar with the value CVB’s bring,” said Dave Stevens, PMED, Director of Events, Alation. “They are literally paid by the city to bring business there. They will find you the best space for the best rate that isn’t commission driven. If I know the destination I want to go to, the CVB is my first call, every time. “

As well, our pros use various tactics to stretch dollars on tight budgets, while still creating value for attendees. Some additional top tips:

For entertainment budgets: Using local talent for entertainment can save money while also bringing fun, a wow factor and a relevant cultural connection to the group, advises Sherri K. Lindenberg, senior vice president, marketing communication, Crump Life Insurance Services. She suggests reaching out to local theater directors at schools and community arts venues for access to high-quality performers and entertainers, who can often be secured for nominal donations rather than fees.

For F&B budgets: “Start the event after lunch or end it before lunch and let people eat on their own,” advised Lindenberg. “In many cases, attendees appreciate the opportunity to explore the local culinary scene and independently connect with colleagues.”

After seeing that not all meeting attendees were eating breakfast, Steffi Kordy, owner/managing director Cocoon Incentives, now orders 25 to 50 percent less than the headcount, depending on the group. When selecting off-site dining establishments, she looks for restaurants within easy and scenic walking distance to the hotel instead of chartering a bus. “The money saved for a transfer—that no one will remember unless you provide something special and expensive—can be invested in an upgraded meal.”

For large international meetings: Leslie Zeck, CMP, CMM, HMCC, director of meetings International Association for Dental Research and American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research, works with CVBs/destinations that partner together to host groups who meet on a regional rotation. “These destination partners tend to share with each other the overall value of having hosted our meeting. This gives us leverage and advantage when we look to meet for the next rotation as our data on spend, attendance, and hotel pick up is stored and shared among these partner destinations.” One partner organization she recommends is the Best Cities Global Alliance, which represents multiple destinations worldwide.

Watch for more tips on creating value in the January/February issue of Prevue.

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