Hosting a successful corporate event requires a great deal of planning, proper allocation of resources, choosing the best people for individual assignments, and, of course, a budget that offers you ample freedom to execute your ideas. However, you won’t necessarily get that freedom every time, which give you an opportunity to go creative and prove your event planning skills.
Here are a few even planning best practices that can help you host an event with a tight budget.
Budget First, Plan Later
Before you start planning for your corporate event, it’s important to know your budget so you can determine the cost of each and every aspect such as catering, entertainment, venue, guest speakers, decorations and other aspects of your event. It doesn’t make sense to plan for event items that you can’t afford.
Consider Promotional Expenses
Event planning can be so overwhelming that it’s easy to overlook some of the most common items that fall outside the scope of your core event. For example, event planners should consider allocating budget towards promotional items such as printing costs of handouts, signage and banners and other promotional materials related to your events. Likewise, while working on the budget for your event, you might need to set aside some money for on-site registration services.
Find the Right Venue
Finding the right venue for your corporate event is one of the most stressful tasks associated with event planning. You want to find a venue that is large enough to accommodate your guests and affordable enough to fit your budget. There are a couple of best practices that can help you book the best venue as per your budget.
To begin with, consider a few important things such as your budget, number of guests, the date of your event, and the features you need at the venue. Sometimes, an overestimate can lead to incorrect pricing and you may reject venue options that are actually right for your event.
Secondly, look for multiple venue options in your area including non-hotel venues because they usually cost less when compared to hotels which usually cost more in terms of food, beverages, and rooms. Start out your venue hunting well in advance in order to get the best venue available for your corporate event. This also allows you to weigh your options and evaluate several proposals before choosing the right one for your event.
While checking out a venue for your event, see if the venue offers common event facilities such as accessibility and audio/video equipment.
Moreover, if you keep flexible dates for your event, you’re more likely to find a venue that matches your event needs and fits your budget.
Think Through Food Arrangement
Planning to cut down on food expenses for your corporate event? When you’re organizing an event on a shoestring budget, it’s possible to keep a reasonably small budget for food without making it appear too obvious to your guests.
For example, you can choose to host a buffet rather than a sit-down meal. The buffet is less expensive in many ways. It eliminates the costs of waiters and table service, and allows your guests to engage with one another. Similarly, instead of a full open bar, consider limiting your options to juice, soda, beer, and wine.
Search for Guest Speakers Early
No corporate event is complete without motivational guest speakers. However, when you are working with a small budget, booking guest speakers for your event needs some planning in the first place.
Booking guest speakers is a lot like booking flights and hotels – the closer you are to the scheduled date, the higher they charge. Therefore, you should start searching for your potential guest speakers in advance and more importantly, try to find if there are any guest speakers available close to the event venue. This can help you save money on transportation and lodging costs of your guest speakers.
Book the Right Sponsors
Even though hosting a corporate event can be expensive, it does allow you to partially offset your expenses by using sponsors. However, finding and choosing the appropriate sponsors for your event is critical to your business. As a business, you want to use sponsors who are closely associated with your industry and whose interests don’t clash with those of your clients. In fact, your potential sponsors also see to it. Furthermore, you need to showcase the potential sponsorship benefits in order to partner with the right sponsors.
Track Your Expenses, Use Prepaid Business Cards
If you’re a corporate event planning company, you’re likely to have a team of professionals who are assigned to specific tasks and working on a budget. Keeping track of the expenses made by different team members is crucial to saving money on your corporate event. While planning an event can be stressful due to overwhelming deadlines, you can use expense management tools to keep the expenses under control. Similarly, you can use prepaid business cards for each individual event and keep track of your expenses throughout the event.
Recommended Reading: How To Plan Events Like A Pro: 4 Best Event Management Practices
Planning a corporate event can be stressful, but it can be even more taxing when you are working on a stiff budget. However, by following the best practices and using the right event management tools, there’s no reason why you can’t host a successful corporate event within the available resources.