As a new and emerging event planner, you would have realised that the most asked question while planning events is how you can help in keeping the clients’ cost low, while not compromising on the quality. Yes, this is a double-edged sword but very soon you will realise that this is a skill that can be a differentiator. Clients need to believe that you have their best interests in mind and your skill at efficient budgeting will help you retain your customers.
Further reading – million dollar budgets on a shorstring:
Here are a few tips you can leverage on to keep the bottom-line of the event low.
The event brief should be clear about the objectives for the event, budget available and any special considerations. At the onset, even before you start to plan the event, understand the available budget. Separate out the maximum budget for each item or service (entertainment/catering/AV) will be. This would be a good time to also clarify which parts are up for compromise and which are mandatory. This gives you the flexibility to put in more for the visible touch points and go low on the “back of the house” items.
Scout the venues in your areas of work. Look for offbeat venues like old warehouses, old churches, public gardens, Community centres etc. Ask them for cost-effective rentals and use your creativity to put these into best use for your events. Your negotiation skills are useful in getting good rates from these venue managers at the barter of better publicity and revenue for their locales. Newer local restaurants can also be used for smaller and intimate events. Some restaurants also throw in decoration etc for small to mid-sized events. Once you empanel these venues with you, make sure you market them aggressively with your clients. This will put both your creativity and negotiation skills to test but will be an effective payback.
Local And Emerging Talent/Vendors
This is a tip close to my heart and something that has never proven me wrong, when executed properly.
Collaborate with good art and hobby schools like photography, music and dance schools and call for work from amateur and part-time enthusiasts. An amateur photographer, dance/ theatre group, DJ, Stand-up comic, can do the work at a fraction of the cost of a professional. If you have a bunch of smaller events that culminate into one grand final event, you can enlist amateurs for all the smaller events and use a professional one for the larger events. After a couple of times, you could even ask them to cover a whole event, if you have tested their capability.
The most important thing here is that you have to audition the emerging talent to understand their worth as you will be putting your career on line whilst promoting them. But, I have often unearthed a lot of good cost-effective options this way.
If you are event planner, the biggest blunder you can do is to shop retail for any decoration, collateral or printing. Go to the wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors and you will be amazed at the price difference.
If the event is a corporate event, ask the organizers if you could put a call for volunteers to take on smaller responsibilities of a reception committee, help desk, ushering, etc. This helps in cutting down a lot of paid hands.
Similarly for a personal event, a lot of friends and family may be interested in participating in the event; hence their skills could be used to make it both cost-effective and an intimate event.
The above given tips are pointers on how to kick start your imagination. Creativity and negotiation are skills that will go a long way in making your event cost-effective.
This post is written by Chaithali Sharma, inspired by the eventjuice event blog.