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Penthouse Expectations With a Ground Level Budget

What do you do when expectations are high and budget is low? You want to impress your attendees but the budget you are given is less than impressive. Here are 4 ways you can save costs on event planning without compromising the quality of your event:

1) Get people to participate rather than attend

Instead of hiring high price speakers use people with in your organization to drive content. Encourage your attendees to contribute to breakout sessions. The benefit for them is experience as well as being gaining recognition amongst their peers. Panel discussions and town halls are also great ways to fill your agenda with education components that will be customized to the attendees since they drive the content.

2) Utilize in house services

Many venues are now one stop shops. Decorating Services, Audio Visual, Food & Beverage, Marketing Services, Event Planning, etc. are all right at your finger-tips. Using a venue’s in house services could reduce your overall cost because they have 24 hours access to the facility. This could reduce rental cost for set up and tear down days as well as reduce labor cost for night and weekend events.

3) Plan ahead

On-site additions always come at a higher price and are ultimately not budgeted. Use past history to accurately order food and beverages for your event. Gaining dietary restrictions for your attendees in advance can also help you determine a menu that is suitable for all attendees. Thus reducing the number of costly specialty meals.

4) Do your research

Sure it is easy to use the same provider your company has used for the last 5 conferences but is it at the best price? Take some time to shop around to get the best value for your dollar.

Saving money on an event can be difficult. It is best to start early and be creative!

Angie Teel has been in the Venue Management industry for over 8 years. The majority of that time has been spent at the St. Charles Convention Center ( managed by Global Spectrum ( as an Event Manager and Director of Event Services. In 2011 Angie received her CMP designation through the Convention Industry Council. She is currently serving on the Region 3 Board of the International Association of Venue Managers and chair the 2015 Region conference.