Small businesses with a limited budget always find it challenging to organize corporate events. There is so much to consider and prepare for. The key to a perfect budget planning and stay within the boundaries is to plan. If you have ever lived on a budget, you must know how hard it is to manage things.
When I moved to New York and started my first office job, I was always looking for a bargain or discount to afford the essentials I needed. One of the items on my list was getting an affordable Internet connection. Cox Internet deals came to my rescue. Of course, I had to plan everything out before considering these deals.
How to have a Budget Planning Creating an Event
Start by creating an event plan. Use the wide array of free tools available online to stay on track. This might help:
Create a Budget Template
It’s very similar to writing a book. The best budget planning template is the one that can be easily adjusted before, during, and during the event. Your first template might require a lot of rewriting and adjustments. Keep on improving it with time.
Prepare a Contingency Plan
A corporate event always needs a contingency plan to prepare for if things go wrong. This plan is a written commitment (or plan of action) for something unexpected such as a natural disaster.
Tips to Help You Stay on Budget
Ok, so you have a budget ready, but how to make sure you stick to it? That’s the real pain. These proven tips will help you stay on track:
Research the Cost
You must have a good budget planning of what items on your list would cost. Make some calls to get estimates based on the standard details (catering, photographer, food). You can also get ballpark figures by doing online research. This will give you a rough idea of what you would be spending on each item.
The chart below shows the breakdown of the common expenses in corporate events:
Create a Budget Amount
Determine how much you can afford to spend on the event. Set the amount you would like to spend and you could spend. There should always be a cushion in between. When you have a budget range, it gives you room for unexpected expenses.
Reserve the Venue Early
The venue is usually a major item on one’s budget list. Therefore, consider it the first item to be crossed from your to-do list too. Last-minute bookings always make you end up incurring an extra cost. Take your time and choose the venue wisely. The earlier the better.
Off-season reservations are usually cheaper. If you can adjust your event during those dates, it would be great. Whenever possible, choose less popular dates. Sometimes, choosing a rooftop or balcony location can also cost you less. It can work wonders and save you money at the same time.
Food and Beverage Costs
You don’t always have to keep the catering fancy. Those with a small budget should consider it an opportunity to think out of the box. Look for a simple yet crowd-pleasing way to serve food and beverages to your audience.
A salad bar, DIY pita, cupcakes, and coffee would go great. Instead of having a full shelf of liquor, you can choose limited signature cocktails. Similarly, instead of distributing bottled water, you can also set up a water station.
Printing costs can take up a significant portion of your budget planning. Take advantage of the digital world by displaying your schedule and venue information on social media pages. You can also send emails and text messages for an invitation.
Don’t forego the opportunity to negotiate with your suppliers. Before negotiating, know the market value of the items and services you are requesting. Don’t ask for an unfair bargain either. It won’t help.
Some suppliers offer package deals too. Look for them. You can get a discount if you choose the in-house catering from the venue provider. If their deal is economical, go for it. Do your due diligence before settling for any offer.
Prioritize your spending. This will allow you to know where you should be flexible and where not. If there are some supplies in your office storage that can be recycled, use them.
Create a volunteer or internship program to get extra manpower for organizing the event. You will just have to guide them and they will be of great help. Interns are always in search of opportunities like these. Tap into their expertise without incurring extra expense. At the end of the event, give them a volunteering certificate.
Final Words By settling for Cox packages, I was able to afford not just the Internet but cable TV as well. All it takes a little research, planning, and commitment to stay within budget. Make use of these tips to control your corporate event’s budget.