Choosing the perfect event venue can be a time-consuming task in and of itself. But what about choosing the perfect venue when you’re on a tight budget? A small budget can force even the best event planners to get creative when picking out the venue: What city should you pick? How affordable are hotel rooms and travel for guests? Which venue can offer the best catering package at the lowest price? No doubt that all of these questions – and more! – run through the head of an event planner when putting together event logistics on a small budget. Fear not, these 5 tips can help you organize one of the biggest components of planning your next event without breaking the bank.
1. Location, Location, Location!
Where are most of your attendees located? If a majority of your guests are from the East Coast, it wouldn’t make sense to have your event in California, despite how tempting beautiful weather and accommodations may be. Keep in mind that your ultimate objective is to offer fantastic content and networking opportunities, and that can be achieved anywhere. Save your guests money by hosting your event in a city that allows for easy travel to and from the event site. You can take efficiency a step further by hosting your event in a hotel ballroom or meeting space and securing room blocks in that same hotel. Not only will your guests appreciate the accommodations, but you’ll ensure that everyone will arrive on time to the meetings – no excuses for getting stuck in traffic or issues parking here!
2. Know Your Audience
Event venues are not one-size-fits-all, and choosing packages that include several unnecessary bells and whistles will just add cost to your attendance fees. Many venues instill minimums for catering, number of guests, and room blocks, and if those minimums go unmet, you are still on the hook for those fees. Are your attendees more inclined to rent an Airbnb rather than use the hotel accommodations? Will they likely go out to lunch nearby rather than opt for the catered buffet? Think about these potential circumstances and customize your venue package to reflect the behaviors of your group. You’ll save a bundle by creating an event experience for their specific needs and wants.
3. Tech Is Key
Nothing aggravates attendees – and event planners – more than spotty Wi-Fi connections. Make this a key component of your venue negotiations and ultimately save attendees money and a headache by ensuring that your venue can accommodate tech needs on site. Ensure that tech support will be available for the duration of your event to rectify any IT issues that may arise. Go a step further by working charging stations or extra power strips in your conference room; it’s a small, simple request that will make a huge impression on your guests.
Tech Tip: If you are worried about spotty Wi-Fi consider using an event app that works offline ?.
4. Brand Awareness
Offering opportunities for branding is often a deliverable offered when securing sponsorship. Exhibitors thrive on creative opportunities to showcase their product or service, and this can be achieved at a low cost on your end. Make sure that your venue offers opportunities for signage, digital feeds, and logo placement so that you can add a great branding package to your sponsorships. With this brand exposure, you’ll be able to add additional cost to the sponsorship side and keep attendee registration costs to a more desirable price point.
Exhibitor Tip: Using branded registration kiosks will give your exhibitors a unique branding opportunity and exposure to all attendees as they check-in.
5. Get Up and Go
Will your attendees require transportation to and from an airport? Are you having an offsite networking dinner or a social hour after a day of meetings? Take the burden of transportation costs off your attendees by negotiating a shuttle with your venue or hotel. You’ll find that many hotels already offer shuttle service, so organizing one or two trips to get your guests from point A to point B will be a much-appreciated deliverable to your guests and save them money in Uber and Lyft fees.
As you already know, costs can add up quickly. Choosing a venue that will work with you and customize packages to your needs is crucial and may require a bit of creative negotiation, but will ultimately pay dividends later on. Your attendees will appreciate the effort in keeping their costs low and start your event on the right foot!