Yes, it is possible to cut costs for events and still have a lavish touch according to Lindsay Krause of Special D Events. We rightfully agree. Check out a combination of her tips combined with a few we researched.
1) Use local destinations or smaller cities that can offer you more for your money.
2) Switch from a dinner event to a lunch or from a lunch to a breakfast meeting.
3) Limit authorization. Only key people should have the ability to increase food and beverage orders on site.
4) Communicate your budget information to the convention services manager. His or her role is to work with you.
5) Provide cocktail napkins verses small plates at receptions to reduce consumption
6) Always budget at least 10 percent of your expenses as “contingency.” This will take care of unforeseen costs such as – labor strikes – bad weather – overtime – extra postage and mailings – phone and computer hookups – cancellation insurance – speaker substitutions.
7) Instead of a full open bar, offer just beer and wine or soft drinks. Also consider one signature cocktail.
8) Learn the tax laws for both your organization’s location and the location of your event. You could be eligible for tax breaks that you aren’t claiming.
9) Develop long-term relationships with properties and chains you use often. Negotiate volume discounts.
10) Hire now. Speakers and entertainers often raise their rates every year. Lock in at this year’s rates.
11) Order as much as possible “by consumption.” Uneaten food and drink can be returned and not charged. This works well with soda and packaged foods like potato chips.
12) Offer water stations or pitchers of waters on the tables’ verses water bottles.
13) Ask which other groups are using the hotel at the same time. You may be able to have the same menu, thereby gaining economies of scale that can be passed on in cost savings to you.
14) Avoid salty foods during receptions, as they encourage people to drink more.
–Lindsay Krause of Special D Events