When it comes to event planning, who doesn’t love saving a little money for your budget? However, that can be easier said than done when it comes to actually figuring out realistic ways to limit your spending.

To get you started, check out these three simple ways that you can start saving money for your next event today.

Negotiate with vendors

Often a touchy subject, negotiating prices is a skill that most professionals (regardless of industry) find a little uncomfortable. Thankfully, you can use this to your advantage by being one of the few partners that a vendor may work with on price solely because you asked! Most vendors typically have a little wiggle room built into their prices, so what’s the harm in trying to haggle a little? Remember – it’s not personal, it’s business. So be respectful and be okay with getting a “no” back.

That said, check out these questions to ask:

  • What (if any) is the discount for repeat customers?
  • Are you willing to take x% off for y service?
  • Do you offer a referral discount?
  • Is it possible to do a custom package for less?

Be flexible on times and dates

Piggybacking on the theme of negotiating, have you considered looking at off-season dates and times for your events? Venue prices in particular will typically decrease during weekdays, months that have extreme weather forecasted for the area, and over non-holiday weeks. Most venues will have these reduced prices included in their event package, however it never hurts to ask either way!

Take a look at the standard times and dates that typically have deals:

  • Days / Times:
    • Monday through Thursday (all day)
    • Friday (morning / early afternoon)
  • Months:
    • January through March (post-holiday season, could have delays due to weather)
    • June through August (vacation season, could have high temperatures)  

Obtain event sponsors

Like we talked about last week, gaining sponsors can be a huge help in cutting back on your event budget. Why? Sponsorship funds allow you to cover some of the more expensive aspects of your event in exchange for advertisement for your sponsor’s company.

Consider some of these areas that would be a win-win to both parties:

  • Hosting a networking event (such as happy hour, lunch, breakfast)
  • Hosting a speaker (covers travel costs and speaking fee)
  • Providing a custom swag item (branded with both logos)

We’ve talked a lot about planning your event budget but have you budgeted some event time for yourself? It’s important to continue to attend new events to learn new practices and see event methodologies in action. Check out our Conference Survival Guide to see how you can get your time (and money’s!) worth for the next event you attend.