Your Event Budget Got Reduced – Now What?
You’ve been hard at work putting the pieces of your next event together when – BAM! – your budget gets reduced. It happens to even the most seasoned of event professionals, but this setback doesn’t have to affect your event’s outcome. It’s even more likely that your attendees won’t even notice that you’re working with a reduced budget!
Don’t stress – these tips for working with a reduced event budget are just what you need to maintain the “wow” factor of your event without breaking the bank:
1. Understand what expenses cannot be avoided
If you’re working with a suddenly reduced budget, you likely already have the major event components sorted out. As you know, each event will always have the basic expenditures, which typically include the cost of venue, catering and service, and A/V equipment. However, it is possible to renegotiate some of these costs and do away with a few bells and whistles that aren’t detrimental to the overall event experience.
Common event items like table runners, centerpieces, an additional coffee break, and high-tech flat screens can bolster a budget quickly, but will go unnoticed by event attendees if they are eliminated altogether.
2. Reassess the catering package
Catering and service can add up quickly! Many event planners fall into the trap of ordering too much food and beverage; while the intentions are good and it’s common to want to provide plenty of food for everyone, the reality is that there is often significant waste as a result of over ordering. A great rule of thumb is to determine your overall catering budget and reduce it by 10%. You and your caterer can then plan a menu that is more budget-friendly without going overboard.
3. Go digital
Printing costs can get pricey (and let’s face it – you know you want everything on the nice, thick, expensive paper) but you’ll be doing yourself and your attendees all a favor by going digital. Printing off decks, schedules, and presentations not only adds dollars to your overall budget, it also adds bulk to your attendees’ suitcases, or worse – end up left behind in the conference room.
Consider hosting your event materials on a shared drive like Dropbox or Google drive, or better yet use an event app that can be updated in real-time ?. Your attendees will appreciate the simplicity of having all of their takeaways in one place and won’t notice that you cut your printing budget!
While getting hit with a budget cut can be stressful, making your dollars stretch further can be simple with some extra negotiation and creativity. Finding alternatives and less expensive options might seem like a daunting and impossible task, but you may find that the cheaper “plan B” you execute is even more effective and efficient than your original idea.