A corporate conference is the ideal platform for business people to network as it brings people together, while adding tremendous amounts of value to the various companies involved. However, it’s no secret that in order to make money, you need to have money, which is where the million-dollar question comes in. How do you organise a conference during a recession, when your company is desperately trying to save costs? When planning a conference on a budget, innovation is key. Here are a few of our own tips and tricks on how to plan the perfect conference, without having to dig deep into your company’s overall budget.
When developing a conference budget, it’s incredibly important to scrutinize it at every step of the process. Spending the odd buck here and there can have detrimental effects on your budget so be sure to jot all expenses down and monitor the list as you go along.
Catering is undoubtedly one of the biggest expenses when it comes to conferences. So, why not reduce costs by reducing the amount of attendees? This may seem like a miniscule cost saving, however, if it costs you R50 per head, you can save a total of R10 000 if you cut down by 200 people. Another benefit here is that your conference may seem more exclusive.
Reduce the length of the event
Try your best to fit your conference into a shorter time period. If your conference is usually 3 days long, cut it down to 2 days. By doing this, you’ll save money on venue hire, equipment rental and a whole lot more!
There’s no doubt that traditional advertising is still the most expensive marketing tool. Rather promote your conference on Social Media and send invitations and reminders out via email marketing. Not only will you save on costs, but you’ll probably also reach a broader audience.
Outsourcing certain services is key to saving money on conferences, especially when it’s a service that your company only requires during events. This could include everything from Graphic Design to photography to equipment hire.
The time of day, week and year in which your conference is held can greatly affect your costs. Slower periods = lower costs, whereas busier periods = higher costs.
Find a venue that speaks to your budget. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of each possible venue, while understanding how to spend your money wisely at the said venue. Ask questions such as:
• What packages are available?
• Is the venue able to meet your conference needs in a cost effective way?
Look at possibly having multiple speakers in one room with a silent meeting setup. This lowers the expense of having multiple setups in a variety of rooms. By doing this, catering can also be consolidated, which is another cost saver.
The biggest highlight of many conferences is the delicious food. While this is a plus, this isn’t what you should be aiming for. The biggest goal of your conference should be for your message to have a long-term impact on your delegates. In order to ensure this, you need to make use of high quality AV and communication equipment. Simultaneous Interpretation equipment is also important when it comes to effectively delivering messages in a variety of languages.
Try something out the box. Try an abandoned warehouse, a bar or a university lecture hall. If it suits your conference theme or brand, it will definitely offer a stand out appeal at a lower cost.
It’s clear to see that it is indeed possible to plan a conference cost effectively, however, we’d like to stress the importance of not skimping on the value that your conference is set to provide your delegates. Each person has taken time out of their busy lives to attend your event, so it’s important to place emphasis on meeting the discerning needs of each delegate.