20 October 2022
Events On a Budget
There’s no doubt about it, things are tough out there at the moment with the growing cost of living crisis and uncertainty. For many people and businesses, events are very much part of what they want to offer but budgets just don’t allow for using a service such as mine or going all-out in terms of what they would like to do.
First of all, let me let you into a secret. The best events are never the most expensive ones. Yes, the ones with the big budgets have the wow factor, the incredible images and ensure their guests have the most amazing time, no doubt, but the really amazing events, and the ones that stay with you, have one thing in common – heart.
By this, I mean that every element has been nurtured and cared about, always with the guest central to that delivery. So, what I am saying is, yes, you need budget, but it’s not the be all and end all.
I am all about paying it forward and sharing my expertise when I can, so I have put together my guide to hosting events on a budget and if you just need an expert eye, please do get in touch as, if I can, I would be more than happy to help.
Set and stick to budget – learn the art of the haggle
This is the first and foremost rule if money is limited. You need to be strict about what you spend where and keep a close eye on all expenditure. Going over budget to deliver your event is not an option, so the key here is researching the best deals and start haggling. Now, I am not saying haggle with fellow small businesses, that doesn’t do anyone any favours, but there is no harm asking your venue and your suppliers if there is any wiggle room on their pricing. Even a small reduction can really help. As long as you ask in a polite way, often people don’t mind the question and it never hurts to ask.
Are there any swaps on the table?
When budget is limited, it is worth thinking of any other ways you can work with suppliers to get your event off the ground and a good start is swaps. For example, could you promote their brand at the event in return for a discount? Or could you offer a service or goods as payment instead? This can really help reduce the spend and keep both sides happy.
Sounds obvious but do spend the time researching venues and suppliers and really assessing what you actually need to make the event sizzle versus a ‘nice to have’. Do a list of what you have to have for it to happen (venue, food, drinks etc) to what additional things you would love (entertainment, features etc). Do you really need a photo wall, for example? What would it add to the overall event? Be brutal and get external opinions as much as you can, especially from the kind of guests you will be inviting.
Avoid brand new if you can
There is not a lot of reason to buy anything brand new for events and most of the time you can get used bits that are just as good. So, go online and search! There are fab sites such as Second-Hand Prop Shop, Event Prop Hire, Party Prop Hire and loads more where you can either buy second hand or hire. From a sustainability perspective, hiring is so much more attractive – and this can be communicated to your audiences too.
Could you perhaps hire a sustainable food supplier to come and cater too? This is fabulous promotion for them too and allows you to showcase your values.
Reach out to your network and promote talent
If you are looking for entertainment for your event but don’t have the budget, are there any people in your network you could ask to come and perform, or even someone from the guest list itself? Another idea is to host a photo competition for the guests to post on social media during the event as this gives you free social coverage and imagery at the event for minimal cost!