How to budget effectively for your events
When it comes to organizing an event, working inside a tight budget can sometimes seem limiting. But with these 5 simple tips from us, you will see how having a strict budget can really stimulate your creativity and help you deliver the best results.
Tip 1: Identify the main value drivers for your event audience
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What part of your event is going to make the biggest impact on its participants? Will it be the speakers, the sound, the venue or the interpreting? What is that one thing that will keep them coming back to your events again and again?
You probably already know the answer, but just to make sure you can reach out to your clients for some feedback. If you’re not doing so already, it might be an idea to collect as much feedback from clients as you can. The more data you have, the clearer you’ll be able to understand your clients’ needs. For example, if all your clients tell you they never read event leaflets, you can cut them from the budget.
Tip 2: Save on interpreting costs
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Interpreting is one of those expenses that can get out of control pretty quickly. There is no workaround, you just need to provide interpretation for guests that don’t share the same language as your speakers.
Unfortunately, many event managers still rely on outdated interpreting solutions like on site interpreters and traditional audio hardware. This leads to over-complicated logistics, higher than necessary costs and wasted resources. So, what’s the solution?
Switch to new, more cost-efficient technology
The good news is that now you can simultaneously translate any event using apps like Interactio, streaming it right into your attendees’ smartphone or tablet. So, how does this app save money?
✓ You don’t have to rent or buy traditional interpretation hardware.
✓ You don’t have to fly in interpreters – they can work remotely from anywhere in the world.
✓ You don’t have to rent and set up costly interpretation booths. And the sound quality is just as good, if not better than using traditional hardware.
3. Plan ahead
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Time is always of the essence in the world of event planning. That’s why it’s essential that you always plan ahead. This way you’ll avoid major headaches and save on those costly last-minute fixes that can balloon your budget.
Book speakers and venues early on
To ensure the best prices, you should try to book your venues and speakers well in advance. You might find that the earlier you book, the better the price you can get, so always remember to check beforehand if the venue or speaker offers such deals. What’s more, the earlier you plan, the more you’ll be able to take advantage of some of the more unconventional event locations out there, like rooftops and galleries.
Embrace digital tools
There are a lot of digital tools out there that you can use to make your life as an event planner so much easier. Dropbox, for example, is a great place for storing all your important files, as you can access it from any device, wherever you are. HelloSign for eSignatures, meanwhile, allows you to handle most of your paperwork online. And then there’s Heytell, which will allow you to turn your smartphone into a walkie-talkie so you can communicate with your team during events.
Tip 4. Use effective marketing channels
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You don’t need a big budget to promote your event if you do it right. Optimizing your marketing with the following techniques will not only get more people to your event, it will also save you money.
Involve your audience
Utilise the combined social media power of your event attendees. For example, you can create a special hashtag for your event, promote social media contests for attendees, and give them incentives to live tweet what is happening during the event.
Track your results
Optimize your marketing by setting up tracking links on posts, ads, and every other online communication method you use to promote your event. Once you have started promoting, you will have a clear picture of what is and isn’t working. Then you can completely cut out channels that are not bringing results, which will free up some of your budget for more other activities.
Use the email lists you put together for each event to help you build customer profiles. You will then be able to target people fitting that profile using Facebook, Google Ads, and Twitter. These ads are proven to have significantly higher success rates as they are targeted, so you are always guaranteed to hit the right audience.
Let’s face it, most printed material goes unread, ending up either under chairs at your event or at the bottom of a drawer. So, before committing a part of your budget to printing, ask yourself if you we really need all those printed materials.
After all, these days you can go digital for almost all of your event materials. You can:
✓ Use mobiles. Everything from sign up forms to questionnaires, forms, and flyers can be converted into digital form. Everyone is connected 24/7 to their mobile, so why not send them the info they need straight to their phone?
✓ Make the most of your website. Design a landing page specifically for your event that’s easily updatable. Here you can upload PDFs that your attendees can print at home. You can also send out personalized emails and well-designed landing pages as invitations. What’s more, you can use a digital ticketing platform which will give your attendees the convenience of being able to check themselves in digitally once they’ve arrived at the event.
Besides the obvious boost to your budget that reduced printing brings, here’s another two incentives for you to consider:
✓ Increased shareability. As all your materials are online and available online, they can be easily shared.
✓ Eco-friendly. The less you print, the smaller your effect on the environment.
Tip 5. Creativity doesn’t have a price tag
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Tim Ferris, the renowned self-improvement expert, swears by the habit of writing 10 ideas first thing in the morning. And if you can’t come up with 10 ideas, come up with 20.
So let loose and be creative.
Being a perfectionist is all well and good, but by always focusing in on the details you can lose sight of that creative spark that allows you to create truly memorable events. Try to take a step out of your everyday working process, especially in the morning, and give yourself the freedom to explore new solutions. You might just find you discover some novel ways to improve your event management processes that will cut your budget, and deliver even better events. And, while you are it, why not invite your colleagues to do the same.
So, there you have it. Some tips that will not only help you to cut your budget, but also optimize your processes, making you more creative as a result.