Hosting a Banquet on a Budget

Times are tight for some right now so we thought it may be helpful to compile a quick list of tips and tricks for hosting your next event on a budget.

1. Know your audience and keep your focus on the essentials.

What are the crucial elements for you to create your functioning memorable event?  Is the focus on the food, or perhaps your hired speaker?  Aside from the venue determine where your money is best spent to draw your audience and keep them happy.

2. Hire an event planner.

Planning and hosting an event yourself, especially if it is your first time, posses unexpected monetary challenges.  An event planner will foresee these challenges long before they arise which could save you more than the difference of not hiring a professional.

3. Set a budget and stick to it.

Keep a fixed cost budget and a variable budget.  Your fixed cost budget should include; your venue rental, power fees, talent services, advertising, audio visual equipment, floral displays, internet provision, linens, insurance and permits, photography, printing and signage.

Variable costs may include; staff, catering, parking, gratuity’s, tables, chairs, prizes and gift bags.

Go over your budget and then go over it again.  Leave some wiggle room and when unexpected purchases or fees come up, determine if they are a necessity, or if you can live without them.

4. Ask for sponsors

Ask your services providers, such as your caterer or audio visual company (ahem) whether they would consider providing their services at a discounted rate in exchange for advertising at your event.  You can also connect with local business’ to see if they will offer prize giveaways or donations in exchange for advertising.

Consider whether your market is appropriate to your potential sponsor and if your clients are likely to become their clients this will make for a much easier sell.

5. Utilize a third party audio visual supplier.

Sure we are a little biased here but often if you are hosting your event in a hotel ballroom or at a trade show you could save money by hiring an outside company to provide your AV equipment.

Many times venues will charge higher rates for their in house AV company but if you do hire a third party (ahem) be careful in the budgeting process because likely the hotel will still charge a fee for the onsite audio visual company to oversee the third party’s set up.  Generally even with this fee you should be in a good position for savings.

6. Automate and advertise digitally

Use social media to promote directly to your audience for free or near free by content marketing through Facebook, posting on Kijiji, tweeting, Instagram etc. by now you already have an audience for your event no?

You should also most definitely utilize digital means to automate everything from the ticket buying process to confirmation and follow up emails.

7. Ask for Help

Does your event appeal to a specific community?  Of course it must because you followed step one.  Find volunteers who fit the mold of your events niche.  Are their people in your niche looking for experience, comradare or adulations? You can provide this to them in exchange for their services at your event.

Hopefully this has been helpful.  Please comment and share.