Corporate events play an important role in building relationship among employees, clients as well as providing substantial opportunity for networking and building a strong business portfolio. Yes, a successful event would require some spending, but it doesn’t necessarily have to put a dent in the bank account. All it takes is a little imagination, some creativity and a lot of research.
Research and Planning
A lot of the work has to go into research and planning. Poor planning means poor execution and may result in more spending than saving.
First off, brainstorm ideas and research for options. How much food is needed? What kind of venue do you want? Can you do it in your building or do you need to rent another venue? Sometimes even the tiniest details can save you a lot of money. It may take a lot of time but it will serve a better purpose in the long run.
When you think you have ample research done and made your decision for resources, plan your execution and track it. The easiest way to over-spend is by making mistakes. Detail what needs to be done and who is in charge. Set a clear dateline and do a weekly meeting to discuss and changes or update on progress. Remember to set up a clear communication between your team members and your resources.
Choose your location wisely
If you have a big office enough to entertain your guests, than you would definitely want to host your event there, especially on a tight budget. There are a few perks when hosting an event in-house:
- Most likely the office already has your business brand theme, so you don’t have to fork-out more money for things like banners and décor.
- Cutting cost on venue hire and cleaning cost. If you already have a cleaner contracted once a week, then host the event one day before the cleaning takes place.
If you don’t have any space to host an event, then choose your location wisely. Your venue will set the entire mood for the event and you do not want to spend more on décor. A simple trick would be to choose a venue that already has a nice interior so you can cut on décor cost.
Have a theme and work around it. If you are doing a sports theme, you would not need to host it in a grand ballroom. If you are doing a casino night theme, you might have to use a ballroom, and spend more.
Look out for amenities that comes with the venue. Does it have a projector? Does it has catering services included? How many waiters will you get? Small details like these add up, and they may add up to bigger bucks if ignored.
Take advantage of social media
The cheapest way to send out invites or advertise your event is via social media. Not only is it cheap, but it is easier to target your audience. If you have an in-house designer or a co-worker that is good with designing, ask them to design a simple invitation fit for different social media platforms. The best part about social media is you can get creative about it. It doesn’t need to be e-cards, it can be a short video or a slideshow, depending on your event.
Social media would also help you forecast how many people will be coming so you can predict a good venue and set up enough refreshments. Using social media not only saves you money on invitation, but it enables your audience to RSVP their attendance with a click of a button. Less time, less money.
If you are inviting VIPs, send them a professional email requesting their RSVPs and highlight that you need the confirmation latest two weeks before events. VIPs usually have a few demands and when you are on a tight budget, you want to ensure you have sufficient time to cater to those needs and prepare for any changes that needs to be done.
Look for sponsorship
This is where your networking skills will be put to use. Depending on the kind of businesses you are doing and the kind of event you are organising, aim for companies that suit the theme of your event and offer sponsorship. Sponsorship would be handy for take-aways like goodie bags and lucky draw prizes. If you are hosting a sport event, chances are you would be more likely to get sponsored by Adidas than you would by Zara.
Do you have and stake holders that are willing to sponsor or reduce their price for your event? Or maybe even a colleague that has a florist business on the side? Use your internal networking to your advantage first before you start outsourcing other companies. Remember that when you are using sponsors, to invite their representative. This may look tacky but it would save you a lot of money for your future events, considering they love your current event and the relationship they have with you.
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