When hosting a conference, costs can quickly escalate and a revenue generator can quickly become a costly decision. The below suggestions are some helpful ways to keep your costs low without decreasing the quality of your event.
- Choose items that can be charged upon consumption. Do you often have large amounts of food remaining after breaks or meals? Work with the location’s catering manager to choose items that can be purchased based on consumption. More items than you think can be purchased this way. These items tend to be individually packaged such as yogurts, granola bars, and bottled juices and soft drinks. Ordering this way can save money and food waste.
- Serve Water in cambros or jugs. A great way to save money on bottled water service is to request cambros or jugs for water service. To still allow attendees the convenience and portability of bottled water, you can still easily and (most importantly) affordably provide cups, lids, and straws. You can purchase in bulk from companies that supply items to restaurants. Check out http://www.webstaurantstore.com/ for some great prices and tons of options.
- Transportation can be extremely costly with expenses such as fuel charges and shuttle coordinators. If your locations are close to your venue and are not running for multiple hours, ask your transportation provider if they will charge you the shuttle rate as opposed to the hourly rate.
- Is your event on the smaller side? If so, maybe rethink hiring shuttle coordinators and assign a trustworthy volunteer to that responsibility.
- Are your members’ experts in their field? Invite them to facilitate a session. Be careful to choose speakers who are engaging and that will bring interesting and educational content.
- Reach out to your members and vendors and encourage event sponsorship.
- Below are a few resources for fun and innovative sponsorship options.
The most important aspect of running a well budgeted event is to make educated decisions and consider the risks and benefits of the choices that you make.