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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Oh Nuts, Budget Cuts

in: Event Planning Advice


Meeting planners are often called to do a whole lot with less – thank goodness we are rather miraculous and savvy beings! Here are some great ideas for how to stretch the dollars when you are in an oh-nuts-budget-cuts situation.

Shop Around: Talk to several vendors so you get a feel for pricing. Make sure to ask if they will match their competitors’ price! Score! You’ve chosen vendor at a great price.

Ask About Discounts: While you’re shopping around for vendors, be sure to ask if they offer any discounts. In fact, ask everyone who is going to be paid by you about discounts.

Know Your Peeps: Knowing past attendee behaviors will help you save money. Have you noticed the preset dessert has been consistently passed over by many? Make sure to order less next time. Also, consider offering free time to attendees to explore the city and eat out on their own.

Cut Down on Food & Bev: Limit the amount of drinks at an evening event, cut portion sizes and simplify menus – less choice mean less eating.

Cut Down on Print: Go digital whenever possible! Offer digital information that can be downloaded and stored on mobile phones and tablets.

Tag Team: Ask the venue about other events going on at the same time and see if you can mimic their menus. This can save time and money for the venue that can then be extended to your event.

Be Practical: A nice notebook and pen will be appreciated and used. As well it will cost less than the new tech-trendy item. Another thought is to allow one of the event sponsors to provide giveaways.

Speaker Savvy: Rather than hire a speaker, ask someone from your own organization to speak. Also consider asking a sponsor or attendee. Look for those opportunities and you may be surprised by what you find.

Attract More Sponsors: Begin early and woo potential sponsors with data showing how your audience is also their audience. Talk with them about how you will help them to be successful at the event. Offer to set up meetings with key attendees on their behalf.

Negotiate: Many things are non-negotiable on price, like these shoes (FYI, I wear a size 8. These shoes are a perfect addition to my spring wardrobe. Please call and I’ll send along my address). In the event planning world many things are negotiable and such negotiations need to take place before signing on the dotted line! Here is where I can be of great service to you!

For some more ideas check out my blogs on F&B, staying on track and on budget. Thank you and happy day to you, meeting planners!

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