Even though the economy is in full-roar and things are looking great with regards to the number of meetings and events, study after study shows that meeting budgets have not increased in the same fashion. Add to it the pressures of virtual meetings and you wonder why most event and meeting planners are more stressed than ever.
But there is hope. In the Fall 2014 edition of BizBash Magazine, they highlighted some great ideas on how to cut cost at your next meeting or event. Taking it one step further, I will give you a few of my own ways to cut cost.
6 Ways to Save Money
1. Give Yourself Oodles of Time
Without a doubt, this is where most meeting planners get squeezed. You want to pull off a major event in 60 days, have great speakers and loads of sponsors. But the truth of the matter is most everyone is slow to commit from the attendee to the sponsor.
Give yourself a year to plan the best event ever. You can compare destinations and suppliers and negotiate effectively with your partners. Last minute changes are what kill your budget every time.
2. Be Flexible
Look at a variety of days of the week, times and seasons. I think you will be amazed at the price differential when you open yourself up to the possibilities. This runs for all suppliers, including your audio visual rental company.
3. Combine Meetings or Co-Locate
If you have meetings and events that are within 100 miles of each other, perhaps they can be consolidated into a central location.
Or if you are holding a larger event with a trade show, co-locating can save you a lot of money with setup and striking of audio visual equipment, meeting room fees and room blocks. Exhibit halls can also keep their footprint longer, even if booth vendors move in and out of that space.
4. Be Transparent About Your Budget
Even though you may wish to hold this to the end, it is wise to disclose your budget range early on for two reasons 1) If you and the destination/vendor are miles apart, there is no sense in continuing your talks and 2) Suppliers can start to get creative with solutions if they know what you want and how much money you are authorized to spend.
5. Reduce, Reuse and Rent
Look at reducing or eliminating all paper products and replacing them with tablet rentals, digital signage and other event rentals and exhibitor rentals. Reduce the amount of food and beverage ordered by having an accurate RSVP process. Reduce power charges assigned to your conference by turning off the lights and AV power at the end of the night. Eliminate goody bags.
Reuse and rent all other items for your conference and encourage your vendors to do the same.
6. Don’t Sign the Contract Until You Understand It
Once your signature goes on the dotted line, all negotiating power is lost. You can’t negotiate after the fact. Read and reread your contract and ask a lot of questions. Make sure all the verbal commitments made it into the contract. If you are confused, take it to your legal department for review.
About Hartford Technology Rental
At Hartford Technology Rental, we are committed to help you make your meeting or event very special while keeping your budget under control. We offer monthly rental specials that highlight our cost commitment to your organization! Give us a call today!