Corporate Events on a Budget
Have a Plan
No matter how small or large your event, make sure you have a plan of attack. Outline your event goals and objectives before you begin. What do you want to happen at the event? What do you want your event to focus on? What do you want your guests to take away from the event? And remember to consider your budget and location.
Be Flexible With Your Dates
Be flexible with when you want to host your event. February, March, October and Novemberare great times to get deals at hotels and convention spaces. Also, holding your event mid-week is a great way to save money.
Use emails to survey your guests before an event and to send out invitations. If you have the ability to survey your guests to find out what they would like the event to look like and what they hope to gain from it, you will be in a better position to achieve these goals. Send out an electronic save the date message and follow up with an email invitation that gives your guests a deadline to RSVP. Two days prior to the RSVP deadline, send out a reminder. From there you have your guest list and the guests’ pertinent information, such as their names, addresses, email addresses, food allergies, and more.
Going to a little-known venue can save you a lot of money. Large hotels and banquet facilities can be very expensive but getting creative with restaurants, horse ranches, hiking lodges, and tenting outdoor spaces can save you money and add a very unique touch to your event.
Not all events need live bands. Certainly, bands can add an amazing touch to an event, but if you’re putting together an employee conference or dinner your workmates are not going to get up and dance together. Simply plugging in an iPod to the stereo system can give you the ambiance you’re looking for.
Not everyone expects to have the booze included at an event. If you want to include booze you can save on costs by having a Toonie bar, offering just wine on the tables, or offering a couple of drink tickets to each guest and then a cash bar. Free booze is a luxury and usually one of the most expensive items on an event budget.
Get Out of Town
Going to smaller towns in and around your home city can offer considerable cost savings. A three course dinner in the city can cost up to $80 per person – but in a smaller town that price can be cut by as much as half.