Corporate Events on a Budget

January 24, 2015

4:00 pm

Coordinating the perfect corporate event isn’t an easy task, especially if you are working on a tight budget!

You need to think about where you can compromise and cut costs but still put on events that appeal to everyone.

Whilst your manager may have asked for a posh water feature, if it is going to eat a large chunk of your budget is there some way you can compromise? In the following paragraphs we’ll breakdown everything that you will need for a corporate event and how you can to do it on a budget without sacrificing the enjoyment people get out of it.

conference meeting

 

What is your objective?

Before you even think about what you’ll spend your money on, you need to think about what your core objective is. Is it to communicate a critical organisational message in an entertaining way or is it to have all members of the organisation coming together and integrating well?

Your objective will dictate how you will budget and you’ll be able to identify areas where you are can compromise to cut costs.

 

What you’ll need

A Venue

If your event is to be held off site you’ll need to start looking at possibilities right away. Contact a wide range of prospective venues in the area and ask them for the following information.

· Is the venue available for your preferred date?

· What rates do they charge?

· Examples of food and rink they offer

· The size of the venue

Once you have the answers to the above, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which venue provides you with the most for your money. Be specific with your budget, if you have a figure in mind let the venue know. If they can’t host your event within your budget, they may well come back with a suggestion about how they can lower the cost – maybe one or two less drinks per person would do it.

Décor

Your décor will largely be dictated by the size of the venue and the theme of your event.

Décor is the one area where it is extremely easy to overspend. It’s important that your venue looks appealing but do you really need silk tablecloths when you could easily find a cheaper alternative that looks similar?

Chairs are another area where you could spend a lot of money if you aren’t careful – especially if you are hosting an event for a few hundred people. Banqueting chairs come at a variety of different prices, so make sure you select ones that will leave you plenty of room in your budget, if you want to make cheaper chairs look more appealing you could easily make chair covers using affordable materials.

Entertainment

Entertainment can quickly eat up 50% or more of your budget if you aren’t careful. Yes entertainment is key at a corporate event but do you really need to hire a premium musician?

There are many other alternatives that will provide people with just as much, if not more entertainment! A popular option is photo booths. We are in the age of the selfie and people love having wacky photos that they can upload to their social media for all to see.

Why not think about hiring a photo booth or two for your event? People will enjoy having something a bit different and you can bet it will come at the fraction of the cost of some of your other ideas – you might still have some budget left over to add other pieces of entertainment as well.

Food and Beverages

If your event is hosted off site your venue’s catering services manager will take over from here, but if you are hosting an event on your business premises, food and beverages is something you’ll need to think about.

Buying in bulk from a wholesaler is often a cheaper alternative to heading down to the local supermarket with a few empty trollies.

Make sure you know your crowd and what drinks they would like – the last thing you want is to waste money on drinks that nobody wants. A good idea would be to email a short survey to attendees in advance.

So there you have it, the key components to running a corporate event on a budget. We’ll leave you with a parting tip, make sure that you create a schedule for the event itself so that everything runs smoothly on the day, your hard work will diminish quickly if there isn’t a tight schedule to stick to.

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I\'m James, I live and work in Hertfordshire (just outside London), I have a cat and live with my wife. I am a self-confessed geek and spend my days online primarily for both work and pleasure.

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