Six ways to save the day – and your budget

Expert Opinion
Six ways to save the day – and your budget

by Ben Gray, chooseyourvenue

When the pressure to secure a ROI for every penny in your already-tight event budget builds to bursting point, you’ll be glad you read this – it’s your release valve, helping to ease the load, with a handful of real-world ideas to reduce the cost of your event and get more from your budget.

Set your standards

Before we get started, let’s not forget there are expectations of the quality of your event. There really is nothing to be gained in saving money if it means you have to compromise these. Know the standard you need to achieve and only make decisions that protect it.

Seek out special offers

We’re great advocates of specific search. Use special offer and promotions as a filter or search term on search sites such as and you’ll be surprised what surprisingly generous discounts you can find. Bingo, you’re saving money from the outset.

Book as soon as possible
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – a vendor wants to know they have business in the future, if you can help them by booking early, you’ll find you can negotiate a healthy discount on the price.

Build relationships

Like all aspects of social and business life, knowing people pays off. Building relationships is a long term aspiration, so it will not save you money immediately, but if you become the sort of person that is good to work with, is fair, understanding and appreciative, the people you build relationships with will be happy to work with you. You are a low risk, high value client to them and they will price their services accordingly.

Find sponsors
There are many companies that need to raise profile, but cannot afford to pay advertising fees. Consider your event topic and audience members, then approach companies that may wish to reach them and offer them the chance to become sponsors. They can sponsor anything, the building, the catering, the menus, the brochure, the floor – anything – be creative – pick up a few sponsors and your event costs will be substantially offset. You may also find highly knowledgeable speakers in companies that sponsor your event too – book them for free.
Remember buying cheap can cost dear
Haggle a bit with venues and suppliers too, but remember you’re looking to achieve a set standard, so don’t seek to drive all the profit from your suppliers. Buying cheap can result in problems, such as unreliability, poor workmanship and unsuitable standards – all of which could cost you more in the long run. Ask your suppliers how they can add value, explain what you’re trying to do and ask them to suggest ways they can help. Perhaps they have partnerships with companies providing other services you need and by working together they can offer you a better price.

Search suppliers
The Internet has put buying power firmly in your hands. Using sites like you can find hundreds of venues and suppliers of all kinds. These sites provide an opportunity to compare the market for price, facilities and value to name just a few options. Using these facilities you can very quickly create a benchmark cost for the services you need in the region you need them in. Do this and you’ll always know which companies are offering great value and which only offer high prices. Make your choices accordingly.

Conference & Meetings World is published for the international conference and meetings industry. It tackles the issues facing organisers of international events. The editorial is independent, fresh and news driven, with a global reach.

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