How to budget effectively for your events
If money was not an issue what would you do? This question gets asked a lot because we love to fantasize. But wishful thinking won’t help you save money or make your next event exceptional.
Unfortunately, money is always an issue, so we have to make our event a success despite that little inconvenience. The flipside? We can show you how to make your event better by saving more money. It’s the ultimate paradox in event management. But it’s absolutely possible if you identify areas where some smart optimization can improve the outcome of your event. Below are some of the tips we gathered on how to budget effectively for your events. Have a look!
1. Identify what creates the most value in your event
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What aspects of your event are going to make the most positive impact on your attendees? Is it going to be the speakers? Sound? Venue? Interpreting? What is the one thing that will make them come back to your events again and again?
Stop reading and think about it for a few minutes.
You should already know what that is, and if you are still not sure you can find out by asking for feedback, during, and after your event. Collect as much data as you can, and make good use of data you already have on past events. Once you know what creates the most value, cutting down on non-essentials such as leaflets will be a no-brainer.
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Unfortunately, many event managers still rely on outdated interpreting solutions. Such as having interpreters on-site, and relying on traditional hardware for audio. Hence making logistics much more complex and spending more than is necessary.
Switch to new, more cost-efficient technology
The good news is that now you can simultaneously translate any event using an app such as Interactio and stream it right into your attendees’ phone or tablet. How do you save money with this app?
✓ 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.
✓ Hence, you don’t have to rent and set up interpretation booths. And the sound quality is just as good, if not better than using traditional hardware.
✓ Why not save half of the costs related to simultaneous interpretation then?
3. Plan ahead
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A major aspect of your event planning that can shoot your event budget through the roof is time. Having an early start will not only potentially save you some good money but it will guarantee you haven’t missed any key detail.
Book speakers and venues early on
The same way as early bird ticket holders are probably saving money on your event. Take their example and become an early bird yourself. Savings are almost guaranteed if you book speakers and a venue early on. Remember to inquire about special offers for early bookings. An early start can also give you time to research unconventional venues such as rooftops or galleries and check out off-season dates as well.
Besides saving on important items such as venue and speakers starting early assists in checking off important details and wedging time in case you need to put out some fires along the road.
Embrace digital tools
Having the right tools can also help when planning an event. Dropbox can help you keep all your important files such as budgets and contracts in one place and accessible from any device. HelloSign for eSignatures so you can handle most paperwork online and Heytell that allows you to turn your smartphone into a walkie-talkie so you can communicate with your team during the event.
4. Use effective marketing channels
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You don’t need a major 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 but save you money.
Involve your audience
They are already there, they are excited, they are your main ambassadors! 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
An often overlooked aspect in the heat of the moment: 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 working and what not. Completely cut out channels that are not bringing results.
If you have organized events previously you most likely have an email list of attendees. Show ads to people similar to them using Facebook, Google Ads, Twitter. These ads have proven to have better results than average since they are hitting a more relevant audience.
For your next event challenge yourself to transfer most of your event´s deliverable info from print to digital. Already racking your brain on how to do this? Allow us to help.
✓ Everything from sign up forms to questionnaires, forms, and flyers can be converted into digital form, and doing this will usually save you money.
✓ Everyone is with their mobile 24/7 anyhow. Why not send them relevant info straight into the phone?
✓ Have a robust website, with a landing page designed specifically for your event (easily updatable), upload a PDF to the event website so your attendees can print at home. Send out personalized emails and well-designed landing pages as invitations. Use a digital ticketing platform, and check in guests digitally once in the event.
Besides saving money going digital has two other key benefits hidden to plain sight.
✓ Providing digital everything also boosts shareability. Once attendees open what you send on their mobile phone, they can instantly share it with other potential guests.
✓ And hey, being eco-friendly is also a good plus to consider.
5. Creativity doesn’t have a price tag
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Tim Ferris, one of the most well-known self-improvement personalities in the world, 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.
Be less perfect
Event managers tend to be perfectionists. And it does the job most of the time. But cut loose your perfectionism and start your day coming up with a list of ideas! You will most likely find some creative solution to something that you thought can only be solved by additional budget.
Everyone in your team can do this on their own and then convene to share the ideas they came up with. You would be surprised how much you can save and how many creative concepts you can come up this way.
You never know. Maybe your creative idea can spark a whole new trend in the events industry.