Whether you're running a small convention or a huge trade show, every event has a budget. The tighter that budget is, the smaller your margins of error become. That's why it's important to evaluate every aspect of an event, and to find ways you can save money without reducing the overall quality of your attendees' experiences. If you've been scrolling through your budget trying to find areas where you can save funds and are yet to find something, here are a few things you should examine.
It takes a lot of communication to set up an event, and to get things running smoothly. There are emails to send, phone calls to make, and dozens of items to tick off your list. However, take a moment to ask how many of your communications are getting sent to a printer, or even a fax machine. Those costs might not seem like a lot individually, but add it up. The sheer amount of paper, toner, etc. that organising an event can eat up is not inconsiderable, especially if you print guide books or programs as well. Consider going digital as much as you can to ensure you aren't using up resources that would be better spent in other areas. You're also more likely to get information to people a lot faster by going digital over print.
If you're running an event, you need to have signs in place so attendees know where they should be at certain times - for instance in which room each breakout session is being hosted. Traditionally this has meant putting up stands, taping up signs, and generally guiding the crowds to their final destinations. However, those signs are an expense. What's worse is that you typically can't re-use them the next year, except to mark one or two of the event spaces (convention operations, registration, and other permanent fixtures of your event). Just like your communication, though, digital signage is often an option. Particularly if your event is in a hotel or convention center, which typically have digital signs outside the rooms. Work with your host to make sure the proper rooms have the proper schedules, and investigate if there are other superfluous materials you may not have accounted for - you'll reduce your printing costs substantially.
It's not just signage and event information that can be digitised - ticket purchasing, on-the-day registration, purchases at the event, and post-event follow up can all be done online and on mobile. However, while it might be tempting to shell out the cash to have specific software designed just for you, ask yourself if you really need it. We've previously discussed that there are all kinds of programs available for ticketing, checking-in, FAQs, and live social interaction. Not only can these give your event an edge, but they can often be implemented without a huge expense - just a bit of know-how. Don't skimp on your tech budget, but at the same time don't feed it more money than you have to in order to get the results you want.
#4: Focus on Refreshments People Actually Want
A lot of events will offer refreshments for attendees as a way to make sure they don't go somewhere else during the day. It's a sound strategy, but it's important to make sure that what you're setting out is what people actually want. That's why it's a good idea to focus on providing a few, premium items instead of spending big on a smorgasboard in the middle of everything. It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to satisfy the F&B needs of your attendees. Of course, if you're looking to go OTT and really put on a spread, then by all means - go for it. You will, of course, require a big budget.
That's one reason why people hire a Coffee On Cue cart for their event. You'll stop attendees from leaving the event to go to a cafe. It will also get people coming in early, instead of making stops on their way to the event for a morning infusion. Plus, it will satisfy your guests without breaking the bank. Rather than providing a dozen different snacks, do one thing well, and attendees will keep coming back for that one thing. This will decrease the overall amount you're spending on convention suite and green room costs, while at the same time making attendees feel like you're taking better care of them.
If you want to better track your budget, get the most bang for your buck and be able to better report on your event, consider using our simple budget planner. It's easy-to-use, effective and FREE. Just click below to gain access!