HR & Management

Corporate event planning tips: How to save money like a boss

4 min read

25 September 2015

It’s a tough world out there, especially in the current economic environment: with businesses looking to cut down on spending, there remains a pressure to create something better than last time – having spent less money and without compromising on quality.

There’s no exception when it comes to organising corporate events, like the office Christmas party or a team away day. Your employer will want to keep an eye on the budget but will still be looking for a successful outcome.

If you’ve been tasked with organising a corporate event, here are some top tips on saving a few pounds – while keeping everything professional and top-quality.

Date and location

Think carefully about the date and location of your event. If you are going to need to hire a location, try to get it booked as far in advance as possible – check the times when the hire is less expensive and see if that fits in with you. See if you can find locations which are less expensive – out of town locations, for example, tend to be cheaper, have ample parking and help your guests to avoid the rush-hour traffic. You can often haggle on the price of a venue if you are well informed about their normal prices and offers.

Food and drink

Although it is often expected to give your guests food, it is not absolutely necessary. If you keep them occupied, and the event isn’t too long, they probably wouldn’t even notice if you’ve given the mid-morning pastries a miss. 

However, if your event is longer, then you really should be providing food. Think about offering simple snacks or a buffet instead of a sit-down meal – it allows you to still give them high quality food but at a lower price and without extensive preparation. 

Similarly, consider a limited bar service – if you offer a choice of wine and soft drinks, you can minimise expenditure and keep people happy.

Always negotiate

If you’re buying in bulk, it’s always worth negotiating. Companies might lower the price or throw in extras for free. You can also offer event exposure to the company if it helps with the negotiations.

Five alternative corporate away days to shake things up

Technology makes it simple

The internet is here to help us, so use it. Almost everyone has email, so why not send out invites this way, saving you money on postage? You can also email any follow-up documents that might be necessary. 

Free online tools such as Eventbrite can make this process even simpler – super handy for the promotion, management and coordination of your event. Explore this handy list of examples to perfect your planning.

Team-up with your local college or university

Collaborate with the local college or university to help out students and cut your event costs in the process. Offer talented students support, exposure, practice and a fair fee for their creative contribution to your event – from live music and performance to event photography, these are talented people, eager to impress. The chance to engage with an audience can be invaluable to students looking to build a career in performance or event-related industries; it’ll save you money and make your event a reflection of the community and its creativity.

There are cost-cutting opportunities in almost every area of event planning and execution – it’s just a case of being a little creative. By following some of these tips, you will be well on your way to hosting a great event at a much lower price.

Daniel Le Grange currently works for Better Venues as the company conference and events manager.