Cost Saving Tips

This week we are exploring ways to cut costs when planning an event. Cost-saving measures are often necessary, and there are plenty of ways you can reduce your costs without sacrificing the quality of your program. Here are a few:

Food:

  1. Cater a continental breakfast rather than a full breakfast meal. Not everyone eats breakfast, so providing something like this can save money, especially for those who will not eat.
  2. Is there a fee for bringing in outside food? If you can bring your own snacks, this could be a cost-saving measure. Not every venue will allow outside food, so make sure you know the policies before you plan.
  3. Instead of a plated and served meal, can your guests go through a buffet line? This is a way to cut costs yet keep the quality of food the same.

A/V and Conference Set-Up:

  1. Does your venue allow you to bring in your own sound technician? If you have a qualified person on hand, this could provide a big cost savings.
  2. Does your venue have items you can use for stage design? Props, lighting, and furniture can add to your stage set-up, and they might be included in your venue price.
  3. Rent vs buy: Can you simply rent a piece of equipment you might need rather than buy it? On the other hand, if it is something you will need repeatedly for other events, investing in it initially may save you money in the end.

Housing Accommodations:

  1. If you have a large conference staff you will be covering the costs for, consider asking them to room with another person rather than each person having their own individual room. If they do not wish to do this, ask them to cover the additional cost for an individual room.
  2. Can your event conclude after an afternoon session rather than an evening session? Many times the only thing the final morning of an event is breakfast, so if that is the case, is there a way you can shorten your event to avoid an additional night of housing?
  3. Save your nicest rooms for your platform speakers and VIP guests. In addition, if you have a room block consisting of deluxe or standard rooms, place your event staff in standard rooms. They typically cost less.

Program:

  1. Consider putting all the material you would typically print in a digital format for your attendees. Create an app to showcase all of this information including handouts, schedules, venue maps, and other details.
  2. Platform speakers and worship bands can be expensive, depending on their levels of familiarity with your audience. Look at the schedules of those you are interested in and see when they might be close to your event venue. You could possibly share the costs with another event to lessen travel expenses.
  3. Is there someone you know in your church or local area that could serve as a speaker or worship leader? Don’t discount the fact there are qualified people right in your backyard!

What cost-saving measures do you take when planning an event? Comment below!