Planning a successful event requires a delicate balance between providing the right blend of entertainment, services, and venue all while staying strictly within budget. And while many of the costs associated with putting together such a production are fixed, some can be negotiated or offset by potential profit. Essentially, if you can save money, it means you’ll end up making more money.
But where do you find those variable costs and how can you save money when planning your next event?
Take Advantage of Venues
Venues are competing for your business—not the other way around. Big venues have high overhead and need a constant flow of money just to keep the doors open. Use this to your advantage by playing multiple facilities off each other.
Key metrics to know are:
1) Booking rates for a variety of venues
2) Occupancy rates over time
3) What “bonuses” or perks one venue offers over another
If you play a little hardball, venues might be willing to undercut their competition.
Sponsorship is an effective and affordable way to market products and services. It puts money in your pocket and builds buzz for the sponsor. Think small though. Larger corporations don’t need as much exposure but smaller, budding businesses are hungry for it.
Narrow your scope to companies marketing to the same sort of consumers as you. Next, craft a proposal that sells them all the benefits of the affordable opportunity you’re offering and reach out.
Many ticketing providers (like PayPal) do not allow event planners to pass fees to the ticket purchaser. This can add a significant amount to your up-front costs which effectively decreases your overall profit for the event.
Ticketstripe is different. Our easy online ticketing service lets you shift all the fees to the ticket purchaser. By shifting the up-front cost to the buyer, you have more money to reinvest into the event or simply mark as profit.
Fine Tune the Food
There have been exhausting social studies about the importance of food—including the creation of Maslow’s theory in the 1950s—that conclude humans unconsciously place tremendous amount of importance on food. It’s something your event goers will be talking about long after the last presentation has wrapped. But that doesn’t mean you have to burst your budget on catering.
- Table service is expensive—buffets minimize staff, limit choices, provide easier prep/cleanup
- Eliminate/limit open bars—offer cash bars or limit free beverages to non-alcoholic (alternatively limit alcoholic beverages to a small selection)
- Consider the setting—opt for less-expensive linens, cutlery, and place settings (spend that money on food)
- Limit the menu—you don’t need a host of offerings to impress, just a handful of quality choices
- Trade marketing for food—use public exposure to entice start-up catering services to decrease bid prices
Sweet Talk Speakers
Speakers can eat up a significant portion of your budget and they won’t often decrease their personal asking price. But you can minimize the overall cost of bringing them to your event.
Plan for times when they’re already within a short flight’s distance to significantly decrease the travel costs. Next, find lower-cost accommodations that meet their needs. You could also consider lumping venue and accommodations together at a hotel/convention center for a package deal.
(Hotels make excellent sponsors—levy advertisement for better rates!)
Advance ticketing is really the lifeblood of any event. But many ticketing services (like PayPal) hold the entire amount of your sales until after the event. This creates a cash vacuum and puts you immediately in the black. If you’re already starting with a limited budget this can put a serious pinch on the quality of service you’re able to provide your event goers.
Ticketstripe processes payments quickly and has partnered with Stripe to allow event planners to collect money within two days of each transaction. That’s money that you can use to decrease your initial investment or reinvest back into various aspects of your event (like marketing or catering).