In the business world, we’re asked on many occasions to be paramount at being budget-savvy without appearing cut-rate, bargain-basement or just down right as cheap. Trinity Creek Consulting shares some cost-saving tips and trends that might help your organization save as you coordinate the next corporate gathering.
Accessibility and Walkability
When researching the location of your next function, make sure the lodging is within walking distance of the meeting. For example, downtown Atlanta boost over 11,000 hotel rooms in the downtown Convention and Entertainment District. Indianapolis has 7,000+ hotel rooms within walking distance of the (750,000 square feet of space) Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium.
Learn if host hotels can provide complimentary ground transportation. In addition, many cities offer convenient light rail transit service from the airport to downtown. Metro Transit trains connect the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP) to downtown Minneapolis and its often the fastest and cheapest way to get from MSP to the city center.
Consider the Off-Season
Explore less popular dates. Hotel rooms are typically more economical during the week than the weekend. Negotiate to obtain better pricing on meeting space and even amenities. Remember, to avoid dead-zones like the last week of August due to vacations or the beginning of the school year.
Save On the Eats
Forego the bone china and use what is provided at no additional cost. For instance, use standard white linens instead of renting a specific color. For receptions or networking functions, use a 7-inch plate instead of a 10-inch one. This also helps control food waste and consumption.
Writer Hannah S. Ostroff, of Capterra, a software directory company, suggests saving on eats as “…cupcakes are a frugal alternative to a fancily decorated big cake (plus they’re cute and you can get a range of flavors), or food trucks can show off local culinary flair while being delicious and cost-effective.”
Know your group numbers. Many hotels or venues charge fees for any last-minute group size changes. Provide a head count number that is a just little over.
Networking vs Keynote Speaker
If a guest speaker is not in the budget, consider a casual networking lunch with double-line buffet stations. A unique function room or outside space can be utilized for a creative backdrop and to stimulate conversation. Kevin Dana, executive director of marketing and product development at CORT Events, suggests unconventional venues like a rooftop venue or warehouse. “These alternative meeting spaces allow planners to establish breakaway areas to temporarily unplug or experience a change of scenery, empowering attendees to take a mental pause, regroup and remain productive.”
Greg Jenkins of Bravo Productions encourages planners to turn evening functions into luncheons. “You’ll save money on the luncheon, which is often less expensive than a dinner menu,” Jenkins says. “Plus, if you’re providing a hosted bar, attendees tend to drink less at luncheons than at evening functions.”
Valuable vendors make wonderful sponsors. This gives industry purveyors an opportunity to showcase their products, earn goodwill and in some cases achieve their charitable goals. In exchange, offer to provide significant sponsors visibility (banners, logos on material, written or spoken acknowledgement) or cobrand the event. All of these suggestions can be incorporated to defray function costs.
Add extra manpower by utilizing volunteers. This option can be beneficial to the budget. Yet, you need to invest in training volunteers to answer basic questions and how to respond to emergency situations.
We hope these basic tips and trends can help reduce function costs and provide some cost-saving measures to your meeting budget.