No matter whether you’re a seasoned event professional or new to the industry, there are always better deals to be had and different ‘hacks’ to saving a bit of money in event management. We’ve shared our biggest tips to reduce unnecessary expenditure at your next event.
Getting your event sponsored not only enables you to form new relationships with relevant businesses, it can also help to alleviate some of the costs of your event.
We’re not suggesting that you find an event sponsor just to get them to pay for parts of your event – the right sponsors can truly enhance guest experience with additional value and services that they may not have been aware of otherwise – a real selling point for getting your sponsors on board, too. Ensure that your sponsors are well-aligned with your event’s values and purpose so that they’re really relevant to your delegates and their interests, and think carefully about who the best businesses are going to be for your particular event and how best to pitch to your prospective sponsors.
It’s a common thought that the location of your event is vital to how your delegates perceive their experience of your event, and this isn’t untrue – but ultimately, if your content is exceptional, that’s what your guests will remember.
Of course, you don’t want it to be a difficult journey for your delegates. But think carefully about how the location of your venue may be affecting its cost and shop around lots for the right venue: city central venues are usually popular because of their locations and they have the price packages and DDRs to show for it. As long as you have some decent travel links (a mainline train or tube station nearby), you can opt for a venue that’s a little further out of the city, maintain a good level of travel connections and reduce costs.
It’s nice to be able to provide your guests with a little something extra to take away from their day(s) with you. Plus, it’s a great branding opportunity.
However, we’ve all got desk drawers full of old pens and notebooks and, let’s face it, the leaflets in your goodie bags probably haven’t made it home. The trick here is to either provide truly unique and highly relevant mementos within your gift bags, or focus entirely on providing an exceptional experience.
Sure, everybody loves a freebie, but if you’re looking to reduce the costs of event management, it’s a ‘nice to have’ that can you and your delegates can live without – plus, if you choose the right sponsors, they’ll be providing lots of added value for you.
Another useful tip for reducing the cost of your event is to also reduce paper and printing. Printing costs are high and don’t usually amount to much: name badges get binned; schedules get left behind for you to clear away at the end.
Instead, try using digital name badges or emailing your event schedule to delegates prior to the event. Not only does this cut unnecessary costs, it’s much better for the environment.
Free marketing? Yes, please!
There are a few digital marketing channels which work really well for events and don’t require anything but some smarts and your time. Maintaining a social media presence is completely free and you can extend your reach into new markets with minimal budgets when you advertise on platforms like Facebook (if it’s relevant to your event) by ‘boosting’ posts. You can also set up a Facebook Event, and should utilise social media throughout the duration of your event to share what’s going on and generate interest for future events. You can also try email marketing which only requires your time – and some GDPR knowledge!
Having attractive lighting, music or immersive experiences are sure to enhance your event – but only if you get the rest right.
Ultimately what matters most is the content of your event and whether your delegates find it useful, valuable and interesting. If they don’t, it doesn’t really matter if you can change the lights in your venue from blue to green because it suits your brand better. The more branding opportunities your venue can give you, the better – but the price needs to be right and think about what you should prioritise.
Focus on getting the basics right: ensure that your delegates have natural daylight, opportunities for breaks, interesting content, a logical schedule and refreshments that will do just that: refresh.
At W12 Conferences we’re quite particular about the catering that we provide and believe that it should be healthy, nutritious and supportive of what an event is trying to achieve. Stuffing your delegates full of carbs and fizzy drinks is going to make them uncomfortable and unfocused for the remainder of your event. Simply choosing some healthier options can hugely help to keep your delegates feeling fresh.
In addition to this though, the type of catering you choose can help to reduce your costs and provide just as much value to your delegates. For example, do you really need table service? It’s expensive and requires more staff, whereas a buffet minimises staff numbers (and it’s east to clear up!).
Similarly, don’t provide too many options: you simply don’t need them. It’s nice to give your delegates lots of options but this is, ultimately, another ‘nice to have’. As long as you have a sufficient number of dishes to meet varying dietary requirements, you can provide just a few options for your guests – they get a boost from a nutritious meal and you get reduced costs. Win, win!
W12 Conferences provides competitive Day Delegate Rates from just £29+VAT. Find out more about our venue hire packages or get in touch for more information.