The answer seems obvious. Who doesn’t want to save money? Once you get past this fact however, the real question becomes—how can you save and still expect to receive the essential services you require?
To answer this question, I’ve compiled a list of some money-saving practices that can be used in preparation for your company’s next event (meeting, incentive, etc.). Here they are in no particular order:
- Book Either Last Minute, or Years in Advance
This advice may seem contrary, but you can usually get the best hotel rates and concessions if you book 2+ years in advance, or within a year. When booking last minute, you probably won’t have as many options, and you do run the risk of not finding any availability at all. Many properties will offer fantastic last-minute deals if rooms and meeting space are still available.
- Reduce the Duration of Your Event
Consider your objectives and try to be efficient with your time. Is it possible to accomplish your event goals with one less day? Cutting a day could save your company a lot of money without having a negative effect on your event ROI—if the change is implemented strategically.
- Consider Using Public Transportation or Free Hotel Shuttle Service
If it’s available, reliable and easily accessible from the airport and event venue, consider having your attendees use the local public transportation instead of arranging private transportation and/or taxis. Also, some hotels provide complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport. You would just need to have a conversation with your hotel contact to find out about capacities and scheduling to make sure the existing service could accommodate your attendees. Whichever form of transportation you choose, make sure you provide your attendees with detailed instructions for using it. As fun and enlightening as an impromptu “city tour” might be, we do not recommend that you provide transportation that requires spending hours on a bus or “riding the rails!” That is not a good use of your attendees’ time, or your event time!
- Include Meals at Leisure in Your Agenda
Schedule some meals to be at leisure and/or offer a cash allowance or voucher to limit food and beverage costs. Not only will that save you money, many times your attendees will appreciate being able to have a meal on their own!
These are just a few practical ideas you can incorporate during the planning of your next event. Perhaps the best advice I can give, however, is to seek out the experts who can do the strategizing for you. Although it may sound counterintuitive, hiring an event planning company like HMI can actually save you money overall. While there is a cost for the services provided, there are also additional savings that can be negotiated for you based on the company’s experience and buying power. Contact us for more information on how we can negotiate the best deal for your next event.
Find out more about balancing client and participant expectations!