How To Maximize Your Event Budget

Can you imagine a world in which you didn’t have to take budget into consideration when planning events? It might seem like every planner’s heaven, but I truly feel it’s akin to giving creatives no direction.

People tend to work better when they have some constraints and budget is a great one!

I am a firm believer that everything’s negotiable. If you have a budget, state that budget to your vendor and see if they’re willing to work with you within your means.

Look For Economies Of Scale

When budgeting for corporate events, I try to look for economies of scale. This kind of bulk purchase greatly reduces cost, here are a few tactics I use often to shave costs off programs.

  • If you’re using a vendor like a caterer or production agency, see if they’ll cut 20% off their fees if you guarantee them multi-program or multi-year business.

  • If you need to order lanyards for badges, can you order a larger quantity that can be used for the entire year’s events rather than just ordering one at a time?

  • Can you see if your hotel or venue will do away with venue rental in exchange for a slightly higher F&B minimum?

Get Creative!

When planning my own events, I always keep budget in mind.

  • When hosting an open house type of party (holiday party, house warming, etc.), consider making a batch cocktail like sangria rather than purchasing cases of expensive wine. It’s festive, and will save you a ton of money!

  • Instead of hiring a florist, buy flowers from your local flower mart and arrange them yourself. I will often get as many flowers as I can in the same color and mix them in varying vases. It’s elegant, effective, and costs so much less than hiring a florist.

  • Rather than hiring an event photographer, see if you can get a Taskrabbit to come use your own camera and shoot photos at your party. It’ll not only keep you from having to stay on top of capturing pin-worthy moments, but it’ll only set you back a hundred bucks or so!

If There Is A Will, There Is A Way

I’ve worked with multimillion dollar budgets where I still have to trim and shave every last bit of fat off the project to come in within my allocation.

In general, if you find yourself over budget, you either need to find ways to supplement that budget (ticket sales, sponsorships, donations) or find ways to shave budget.