Part 2 – Event Materials
While logistics are an integral part of any event, the outcome of the event doesn’t stop with booking a venue and planning meals. All event planners know that a good event becomes a great one with care to detail throughout the event experience. However, the cost of providing “extras” can add up quickly and blow your budget before you announce your keynote speaker.
You’ve already seen our first part of our “Spend or Save” series which discussed the major logistics that come with hosting an event; but you know that the execution of an event doesn’t stop with a great venue and seamless equipment. In part two of this series, we’re taking a look at event materials and discussing once again whether they’re worth spending our saving.
We now live in an age that offers a wealth of technology – take advantage! Gone are the days of stacks of stapled packets for each speaker, attendees feverishly scribbling notes in a yellow notebook, and stuffing those papers into a briefcase. Plus, printing these materials isn’t cheap. Relieve your attendees of piles of paper (and save a few trees!) by going digital. Having an event app is a great way to distribute materials and attendees can access the information throughout the event in real-time. This also helps in cases when those last minute updates occur.
Bottom line: Spending your budget on event handouts is unnecessary when you can offer them digitally at no cost to you. Plus, do you really want to carry boxes of handouts (or the more costly option – ship them to the venue) with you to the event?
How many times have you given out swag items only to find them left behind or thrown away? Save funds used for stress balls and USB sticks and allocate those dollars to an experience like a happy hour, an off-site activity, or even a charity initiative. While swag items certainly offer branding post-event, nowadays it takes more than your logo on a mousepad to ensure your attendees remember you. Eliminate the swag items in favor of an additional networking opportunity and give your attendees an extra chance to build connections with solution providers and fellow attendees.
An added bonus: foregoing swag means less for you to carry and less to ship! You’ve got enough to carry, don’t bog yourself down with more than what’s necessary.
Bottom line: Attendees don’t need another mousepad. Dedicate that money elsewhere or use it as a cushion for unforeseen costs.
While it’s important to effectively budget each logistical aspect of the event, the biggest measure of success is the attendance. How are you planning to get people in the seats? Knowing exactly how you’ll be reaching out to your audience is imperative and can make or break the outcome of the event.
Working planned marketing expenses into your overall budget eliminates the possibility of misusing funds or even worse – running out of money for marketing initiatives. Ensuring that budget is in place for social media campaigns, banner ads, paid social, and email campaigns is a great idea that can provide a quick return.
A great way to get the most out of your marketing dollars is to have event sponsors and exhibitors supplement a few marketing initiatives. In addition to providing an extra tool in your promotional arsenal, you can provide your exhibitors with more exposure and add more value to your packages. Offer more deliverables by adding a sponsor to your check-in screens, on badges, or even on the event app welcome screen. Have a great vendor on board? Ask them to send out information on your event along with the embed code for your registration form.
Bottom line: You can’t have an event if people don’t know it exists! Ensure enough money is set aside to execute an effective marketing plan leading up to the event.
Event materials are an important component, but with a little editing, you can still provide be a memorable experience sans “stuff”. Sure, it’s fun to leave an event with a souvenir, but do you have any idea where the stress ball from 2016 is today? Likely not, but we bet you’re still connected to people you met and perhaps have done business with them.