Planning an event on a tight event budget can be a challenging task. When you’re having trouble making ends meet, it might not seem possible to invest in an event and promote it. With the uncertainty of the pandemic still looming over us, virtual and hybrid events are both the ‘new normal’ and your solution to hosting the most cost-effective events.
Virtual events are more affordable because they don’t require a physical location. A hybrid event is one that mixes in-person and online components to meet the needs of each audience. One benefit of adding a virtual component to your in-person event is that it works for people who cannot attend in person. This could be due to their busy schedules or being miles away from an event location. Plus, you attract more attendees without exceeding your event budget.
An event strategy consists of many moving parts and costs, all bound together by the overall budget. A successful event relies on an event planning budget, which you will need to create and maintain throughout the process.
The bottom line is that everyone wants to have a fabulous event but doesn’t always have the amount of money they’d like to do it. In this article, our goal is to help you get the most of your event budget by providing cost-effective ideas and tools for both event planners and businesses on a budget.
6 Essential Steps for Event Budgeting
Step 1 – Lay out the foundation
What’s the foundation? It’s what makes everything gel together to create a pathway to success when done correctly. Take the time to start on the right foot by properly planning out the entire process.
Step 2- Decide on the type of event you want to host
The kind of event you are planning should be clear to you. Make sure to think about and know who you want to attend before spending a lot on it!
Step 3- Establishing a budget for your event
Now that you have decided on the type of event, it is time to establish a budget with some important considerations in mind. With so many options and expenses involved in this process, planning ahead will ensure everything goes smoothly.
Step 4- Learn from your past events
Of course, this may not apply to you if this is your first event. If you have hosted events previously, they can provide you with an opportunity to understand the areas where your budget was over or underspent. Evaluate these and adjust accordingly so that next time around, it will go as planned.
Step 5- Educate yourself on the going rates and new vendors
It’s crucial to research the going rates in the industry when planning for your event. You may even find that you can afford a higher degree of quality and service than you expected for your budget. If not, at the very least, you will know where you stand because you took the time to educate yourself and found new vendors that might give you a better deal!
If hosting a virtual event, a company like Everytale can offer more advanced features on its online events marketplace. With more features, state-of-the-art technology, and affordable pricing, Everytale is not only poised for growth but super affordable, and who doesn’t love more for less?
Step 6- Use data to start creating a game plan
Now is the time to start mapping out your event budget plan. You should have decided on the type of event you want to host, established a budget, and gathered data on past events. Use this data to establish what worked and what didn’t for your next event. You should also know the what’s what and who’s who in the industry after your research.
What you should consider when planning a budget for your event
First, you need to list out the elements you need when budgeting for events. Your list will vary depending on the type of event you are going to host. Here is an events budget breakdown:
In-Person Events –
- The venue
- Food and beverage
- Signs and branding
- Promotions and marketing
- Event technology
- Furniture and equipment
- Post-event surveys
- Goody bags
- Miscellaneous (for the unknown)
- Platform provider
- Staff/Team costs
- Promotions and Marketing
- Post-event surveys
It’s budget time. There are some elements that may be more expensive, while others will cost less. The tips below show you how to make them fit into your budget. As tedious as it may seem, planning an event on a budget, any budget, is essential to the planning stage.
Keeping tabs on every dollar spent can help you manage your cost-effective reach and event budgeting more effectively. Creating and managing a well-planned budget is also key to having a commercially successful event. We have some great money-saving ideas for events that anyone can use!
The following 10 tips can help you get more out of your event budget:
1. Host a virtual event
Unless you are new to the industry, you already know that virtual events are popular. Not only can hosting a virtual event save you money, but time and energy as well (not to mention stress!)
When looking at the items in the list above, the difference in cost between hosting an in-person event and a virtual one are clear. There is no need to travel, find an expensive venue, hotels, worry about food and beverage, and so much more.
Virtual events are easier to host since all you have to do is pull up an online virtual event platform, like Everytale, sign up, and get started. You can save thousands of dollars by hosting an event that people can join from the comfort of their own home or office globally. They can even come back to watch it again at another time, which is one of Everytale’s great features. Virtual events can also give you increased attendance and lower overheads.
2. Look for package deals, money-saving coupons, and off-season deals
Finding the cheapest deals for each expense category can seem like an excellent way to save money, but it is not always the case. While your venue may be able to supply your equipment and even food and beverage, mandatory in-house catering can sometimes be an attempt at increasing your bill without giving you any other options. Make sure that you research everything before making decisions about what services are best for you.
3. Be Flexible on your dates and other elements
Set on a date? Don’t be! If you can be flexible on dates and other elements of your event, you might be able to score a great deal. Sometimes being flexible is best for both you and your vendor, so see if there is a “slow time” or other ways to save money on your expenses and book off-season if you can!
4. Use free stuff!
There are many ways to use free tools and do-it-yourself tactics that can reduce your costs. Here are some ideas:
- Social Media – Posting on social media is essentially free, so why not ask people to help you out and share information about your event?
- Email Marketing – Email your list. The fortune is in the list!
- Free Event Management Software – There are several free event management software deals out there to choose from.
- Create your own flyers and images – Both free and low-cost platforms are available and super easy to use. Canva has a version that is free forever.
5. Ask for volunteers
Volunteers are an invaluable asset to any event. They help with cost and staffing without the need for a formal budget, but you’ll have to invest time in properly training them. Also remember that their skills must meet the needs of the event, like bartending, setting up, parking cars, cooking, and more. Offer an incentive and even some goodies if you think it will help!
6. Find Sponsors or partners
Sponsorships or partnerships can be an excellent opportunity for organizations to gain visibility for them and support for you. This will give them an opportunity to get their name out there on banners, logos on material, or through written/spoken recognition.
7. Negotiate for better deals!
Don’t be afraid to shop around and even haggle for a better deal. Get your best price, then go to the competition and ask for an even better deal. Sometimes you just have to ask. It’s a part of business and most businesses have some wiggle room.
8. Stay local
If you are hosting an In-person event, stay local. In addition to saving money on travel, dining out, gas, and staying in a hotel, you are supporting your local businesses as well. Local businesses love their locals, so stay close and save money.
9. Serve Light
When choosing the time of your event, select one when your guests won’t expect a meal to be served. Offer light snacks, maybe just beverages, or even only water. Costs for food and drinks can easily add up, especially when you have a large crowd. You can save a ton of money by being mindful of the time so your guests don’t feel slighted.
10. Less is more!
You know what they say – less is more! Think carefully about your goodie bags and don’t send anything that’s not necessary or wanted.
When trying to get the most out of an event budget, having a detailed and organized plan can help.
A comprehensive list will give you enough information to allocate funds wisely and calculate accurate ROI for it all to work out. There are many ways to run an event on a limited budget using a little creativity. Virtual and hybrid events are one of the best options because, put simply, they offer more opportunities at less cost.
You don’t have to worry if this is your first virtual event, Everytale can help you plan and run your virtual event easily, and it’s newbie friendly!