As the age old saying goes, “you’ve got to spend money to make money” but what if you simply don’t have the event budget? Price tags that adorn vital elements, such as venues, speakers and performers, are ever increasing, but remain crucial to ensuring your event is a success. With such a long list of non-negotiables, what can we as event managers do to ensure we’re making the most of our budgets?
1. Learn from your mistakes
We’re only human, we all make mistakes from time to time. It’s the choices that we make thereafter that really count. Successful event managers see the importance in harnessing their professional indiscretions, turning each learning curve into growth and development. Experiencing the repercussions of opting for a free bar? Over order on delegate meals? Besides having a large chunk bitten out of your budget and thrown out with the bins, what you’ve actually done here is accumulated crucial information that will benefit your next event.
2. Increase accuracy through data
Never underestimate the power of accurate data. As technology rapidly increases, there are more and more ways for us to store and monitor key event data. This is important, as it enables us to streamline the way we plan and run our events. Keeping track of all outgoings, no matter how little they may be, will help identify elements that are producing the highest ROI. Whether it’s a rise in profit margins you’re after, or just a little more ‘budge-room’ for your event budget, using this collected data as an all important guideline will help you to achieve your financial goals.
TEDx: Business Intelligence and Data Science
3. Utilise your workforce
We’re sure all senior team members will agree, it’s heartbreaking when we as managers must delegate mind-numbing tasks to our talented junior co-workers. Apart from the ‘been there done that, hated it’ that crosses our mind, it is tough to see them mimicking a production line when they are capable of so much more. Taking control of manual time consuming tasks will not only enrich your employees’ work life, but it will make your payroll budget go the extra mile.
4. Get thrifty
One person’s trash is another’s treasure, right? Well, websites like Freecycle, Gumtree and Craigslist have gadgets and gizmos aplenty! Keeping a regular eye out for what’s available is a great way to boost creativity too, and could inspire your next theme, venue design or entertainment. What started life as “100 free copies of What Car of the year Magazine 1979’, could turn into the perfect backdrop for an awards panel, or the ceiling of your backstage bar! Just don’t spend too much time scrolling – the lure of procrastination is real.
Could you make your own?
You need cost effective event signage, gumtreeuser72 needs to giveaway spare wood – it’s a match made in cyber-space!
5. Talk to your peers
One of the many perks of working within the events community is that there are so many wonderful people in it…and we can guarantee we don’t all approach the same task in the same way. When working with lots of teams and people from varied disciplines, you never know what kind of skill sharing opportunities may present themselves. How to design your stage to maximise crowd control? Where to get the best deals on equipment? Whatever it is, word of mouth is wonderful, so get talking and you’ll soon discover new tips and tricks from your peers that can work for you too.
6. Embrace new technology
All good event-tech brands are centred around providing an experience that supports, and ultimately benefits the user. As an event manager, you are no doubt also known as champion multitasker, full time jack of all trades and permanently rushed off your feet. Help is out there, so go into the world and find the tools that will make your job easier and your budget go further! Whether that be giving you back precious time to power through your to-do-list, helping to add the finishes touches that make your event personal, or enabling you to make continuous improvements to the work that you love. Project management tools like Workfront, or Trello are a good place to start when organising your workflow.
It is likely that you are already doing two or more of the tasks that we’ve just mentioned, maybe without even realising it, so why not map out how they can all work in harmony? When thinking about how best to assign your event budget, consider the following:
✓ Do I have insights from previous events to help with planning?
✓ Am I effectively delegating tasks that make the most of my employees time?
✓ Is there technology to improve efficiency, without compromising on quality?
✓ Do I have a contact with the required expertise?
✓ Is there a free solution available?
✓ How can I embrace technology to help achieve my goals?
Try it next time – you’re guaranteed to find something that works for you! Keep an eye on our blog for upcoming industry insights.