Meeting costs can add up quickly, especially if you’re unsure of where to save. Here are six ways you can trim your meeting budget without taking away from the value of the event.
Be Smart About Food
Offer heavy appetizers rather than a big sit-down dinner. Set up action stations in lieu of a buffet (to allow more control over pricing). Or replace a sit-down lunch with a box lunch. All three options help save. As long as no one goes hungry and there’s enough variety (especially for picky eaters or those with dietary restrictions), attendees won’t notice the difference.
Think About the Future for Event Branding
By keeping branding generic—no specific date, venue or hash tag, for instance—that means that banners, staff uniforms and other signage can be used year after year without having to be replaced. The specifics can be displayed on screens or the front cover of your event program.
Compare, Compare, Compare
Instead of just getting three quotes, get 10 or even 15. Also, go directly to the supplier source to ask about alternative options. A wide banner in lieu of a sponsor board, for example, can be significantly less expensive.
It’s important to negotiate before contracts are signed, so think about your event costs upfront. Everything from furniture to tablecloths to water to Wi-Fi and audiovisual will be cheaper the further out you discuss rates.
Forget the Gifts
Will handing out a gift to attendees really make or break your event? If not, opt to do away with the gift-giving tradition. A lot of handouts end up in the trash or left in the attendee’s hotel room anyways.
Partner with Sponsors
Work with sponsors to help them promote their product while also paying for something that normally you would. For instance, a lot of sunglass companies work with event planners to give sunglasses as a takeaway. This is a great option if you just can’t drop the idea of giving attendees gifts.