There are many costs attached to a meeting venue and every little cost adds up. If you are not careful, then an expense that looks like tiny on the budget sheet can quickly balloon into a dinosaur, thereby shooting your carefully-laid out plans to hell. Here are a few tips that will save you money on entertainment, food and lodging:
- Live bands are very expensive. Fees aside, you have to pay money for the heavy-duty sound equipment, glitzy lighting and technicians. You also have to pamper some monster egos. Instead of a live band, work with a DJ.
- Many meeting venues stage their own shows. You can buy into these shows – for cheap – instead of planning your own. Check with your resort about such events.
- Can any one of speakers entertain? If yes, hire him as an entertainer too as it will cost lesser than hiring two professionals.
- Offer a consolidated fee to entertainers and speakers. Otherwise, the travel will start counting in a big way.
- Communicate your food and beverages budget to the caterer and ask him to get creative and plan for great meals, snack and beverages within the financial limits. Ask him to come up with 3-4 menu options to choose from.
- Don’t go overboard with the number of courses. A two-course meal is as filling and fulfilling as a four-course meal, and it costs lesser too.
- Go with dips and chips instead of something fancy.
- Decrease hotel employee-to-guest ratio. In any case, most guests can look after themselves at meetings.
- Find out if the hotel is hosting another event at the same time. If yes, check the other event’s menu and try and incorporate the same items into yours. It will help you save money.
- Go with basic spoon and linens. Avoid fancy stuff.
- Always, always, negotiate on food. Every caterer keeps some elbow room.
- You will get very hefty discounts during off-peak periods. Schedule your meetings in and around times like these.
- Choose destinations where room inventory is high. When hotels compete fiercely among themselves, you stand to benefit.
- Every hotel has “fillers.” Fillers are rooms that remain vacant after a major event or after major holidays. Hold your meeting around these times to get fabulous discounts.
These tips will help you save up on meeting venue expenses without compromising on hotel quality and attendee satisfaction.
Adele Adler is a event planner and meeting advisor who likes to blog about ways companies can save money on their events. Her most recent discovery is a CBV search engine that helps meeting planners locate venues in the cities they are in.
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