The Complete Guide to Event Planning on a Budget
First and foremost, you need to know your costs before starting anything.
The basics are laid out in the list below:
- Rental Space
- Security Deposit
- Parking Passes
- Types of meals to consider (steak, vegetarian, vegan)
- Beverages and Alcohol
- Bartending Fees
- Labor Fees
- Gratuity fees
Music and Audio
- Microphone Rentals
- Wifi Access
- Specialty Equipment (speakers, set-ups)
- Tables and chairs
- Delivery and labor for setup and teardown
- Party Favors
- Travel time
- Employees Compensation
- Office Supplies
Ticket add-ons to increase your ROI
Ticket add-ons are a great way to sell merchandise,
Know your budget before you start spending
Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to create a budget to be your guide along your event planning journey.
Create a spreadsheet outlining all your costs, what you can spend on each item and add that to your total budget.
This budget sheet is your guideline and negotiation points when discussing costs with each vendor.
When your event has ended, you can return to your budget sheet and see if you exceeded your budget or not to help plan for expenses next year.
Go digital to cut costs
Going digital cuts down your costs substantially!
Electronic ads, newsletters, registration, and e-blasts reduces your use of print and keeps you organized.
You can even encourage your customers to participate in print-at-home tickets or using their smartphones to cut down costs on printing tickets for registration.
Start your planning early
Give yourself enough time to search out the perfect venue, catering, , etc. to compare prices and get the best option for you! Booking anything early is the best way to save money!
Most places offer an incentive to book soon such as “early bird discounts,” and by doing so, you’ll also have a wide selection to choose from with open availability before it’s too late.
Utilize free marketing tool
Because we are such a digital world, there are so many free options online to start marketing your event.
Social media scheduling, real-time analytics, websites, pop up tools, survey generations, email marketing, newsletters, blogging and so much more.
Here is a list of favorite marketing tools that are entirely free brought to you by Buffer.
Use volunteers and interns to save money on staff
There are plenty of people out there looking for experience, to grow their resume or community service by working volunteer events.
I can almost guarantee you won't have a problem finding volunteers to help out with registration, or internships looking for marketing and event planning experience.
Give college credit, references or free passes to your event, and you won’t have a problem finding extra hands to help out.
Reach out to sponsors
Promise a few advertisements or promotions during the event, mention them on your website, registration or pass out fliers ... whatever it is, it's easy to get a sponsor and a quick way to minimize your spending.
Start with saving money on your registration
If you're hosting a free/RSVP event, Purplepass