Event costs can add up fast, and if you don’t have the proper focus, it can be easy to exceed your budget. But, with a little extra attention, you can stay within or below your anticipated costs and be the champion of the event for your boss!
Take some of the necessary steps below to ensure the final bill is what you expect it to be and not a penny more.
Once your budget has been finalized, begin taking care of essential event requirements as soon as possible. There is a higher percentage chance that your ideal venue will be available for booking, and travel costs are typically lower when there is a longer window from purchase to the time of departure.
There’s also more time to overcome any challenges that arise from time to time. Has the venue or a vendor ever thrown a curveball at you that was easy to recover from with more time? By being proactive, you can make sure you have the important details worked out and allow time for your event’s promotion to take hold as well.
Learn From Past Events
It helps to review data from past events while putting your budget together. There may have been areas that cost more than initially forecasted, if forecasted at all. Plus, there may be resources that were not taken advantage of but can now be utilized with proper planning. Identifying these areas from past events will help you make a more accurate budget for this year’s event.
Guest feedback from previous events can also provide great ways to improve your event. Attendees may have highlighted areas of your program that they enjoyed the most, reflecting the type of content you should add more of. You can also get clues on what didn’t work and what should not be repeated.
Feedback from guests can help you get ahead of issues and problems before they come up. Plus, it can help you find advantages for improvements or savings.
Get Multiple Vendor Quotes
Costs for service vary by provider, so it is best to determine what costs and from whom. By comparing price information from different service providers, you’ll be able to find pricing similarities and areas that could help or hurt your final price. Shopping around for audio-visual, catering (food and beverage), and presenters/entertainment will give you additional confidence that you will get the best value (cost and service), even if you have a long-time provider of choice
Don’t forget… hotels receive a “kickback” (commission) if you use their in-house provider. Partnering with an outside Audio-Visual provider will often allow you to receive a much better deal and service that the Hotel’s Audio-Visual department can’t match.
Keep Your Team Engaged
Loss of team focus and productivity is another way you can lose time and revenue. If your team can take advantage of the gained time from being proactive and the resources available to them, you will ensure a better event. The costs to deploy a large-scale event planning team can snowball as the planning process progresses and the unit increases. Creating a strategy to keep everyone on task and within the budget is advised. It’s best to communicate clear priorities and outline procedures for dealing with concerns and changes. If your team can book venues and decide on dates early, everyone can be involved with working to keep the costs down. Incorporating a spreadsheet or event planning software into your team’s workflow is a great way to ensure everyone stays focused on their task, the final product, and the budget.
Have A Backup Plan
Events don’t always go as planned, so it’s a good idea to prepare for the unexpected from the start. Monitor event spending and remain ready to deal with any issues that will save you from having a wrecked budget at the end of your event. Vendors don’t always come thru as needed, the catering may not be what was planned, and the audio-visual technology available at the venue may not be what you require for your presentation. Leaving additional audio-visual funds in your budget will give you the resources to deal with potential issues that come up. Information from past events can help you find areas where you might go over budget and plan accordingly. Can you allocate more funds to that area just in case? Do your presenters need specific technology that isn’t commonly available at the events?
In addition to reducing expenses, working with sponsors to meet their goals and secure funds is a great way to bring in more revenue for your budget. Ensure the event goals match your sponsors’ goals, so they’ll be excited to partner with you and the event. Offering extras and incentives will go along way to entice sponsors who will work with you and provides more revenue for you to work with. Make sure to utilize business relationships by having sponsors help you promote your event to their followers and contacts. With their efforts, you’ll be able to widen your audience and bring in more people than you could reach on your own.