When it comes to cutting planning expenses, there are two types of event professionals: the 'resourceful' ones and the smart ones.
The resourceful planners are desperately trying to downsize the event expenses by saving on planning tools or human resources, marketing, catering, audiovisual gear, ... Their main philosophy revolves around the idea: Why spend money on something they can do without anybody else's help. From creating an event web page to writing a promotional Facebook post, this type of planners feel capable enough to execute most of the tasks, saving on outsourcing.
The second group of event professionals, instead, has more of an entrepreneurial mindset. They cut expenses by... investing more money. Yes, you read that right. They outsource logistic assignments so they can focus on important matters, such as the overall event vision, promotional materials, the business plan, ... They invest more money in marketing strategies to assure a higher attendance level. They also aim to boost the quality of the event, this way guaranteeing its success and overall impact.
The biggest difference between these two types of event professionals lies in the strategic mindset each group has about event planning. The 'resourceful' ones obsess over cutting the expenses on everything. The smart ones, instead, focus on investing more money, this way enhancing the quality of their event and subsequently attracting more attendees and sponsors.
Here are the (counterintuitive) tips smart planners follow to cut the (real) expenses for their events:
Stop using free tools
"What's the problem with free applications or software?" you might be asking. First, consider all the accounts you must create and manage. If you use a free tool for every single logistic- or event marketing-related task, think about how much time you'll lose trying to figure out how these online apps or software work.
Apart from that, if something goes wrong (imagine losing your attendee list or other important data), you can't just email or call the software help desk. It's a free tool, which means you’ll have to use it at your own risk. Sure, you're saving resources, since you didn't pay for it. But considering the risks, you might lose time and even money.
Purchase event management software
Sounds counterintuitive, doesn't it? You want to cut expenses, yet here we are advising you to spend money on digital tools. Yet, don't skip this part - there's a reason we’re telling you to do so. By purchasing all-inclusive event management software, for example, you can outsource your problem to an algorithm that will help you overcome all the planning challenges.
Need a web designer to help you build a webpage? Why hire one, when the software you purchased can do it in less than five minutes? Do you want to send massive mailing campaigns? Why lose hours on sorting the invitation lists when a digital tool can do it for you in matter of seconds? The only thing you should be careful about is making sure you research the software market carefully, weighing all the different options, before purchasing the right software package for your needs.
Never skimp on human resources. You want to work with the best and transform your event into a high-quality experience for your attendees. Really invest in the individuals you're working with (marketers, moderators, audiovisual personnel, ...), and let them apply their best skills and knowledge toward skyrocketing your event. Can you imagine working with people who don’t seem to care one way or another about your event? You’ll run the risk of looking unprofessional, plus you might lose time and money.
Negotiate personalized deals with event suppliers
Don't hesitate to master the art of negotiation and find the best offers for your event. When working with different event suppliers, be sure to discuss the rates and ask for a deal.
Invest in marketing
"What's the big deal? I can just use Facebook and Instagram to promote my event?", you might be thinking. Wrong. You won't be able to break through all the social media noise without paying for Facebook ads, for example.
How do you plan to apply inbound marketing strategies without knowledge in this field? Or worse, do you plan to write the event web page copy by yourself? Bad idea.
You need a strong, professionally executed marketing strategy. By investing in marketing, you'll increase your event’s attendance rate, boost its popularity, and even attract more sponsors to sustain your endeavor.
Call to action
When it comes to cutting expenses on planning events, act as an entrepreneur, not a penny pincher. Think about events as a business model. Your main goal is to increase your revenues, and to do that, you must deliver a flawless event. You can't achieve high-quality results without actually investing money in your event. Be a smart planner and don't cheap out on things that will influence the core of your event. Save by spending money wisely.