If your event budget is getting a little out of control, one of the first places you may want to look is the venue. Not only is the venue usually one of your largest cost items – it’s also ripe for finding ways to save money…as long as you know where to look. Here are several tips to consider when looking at the bottom line.
Negotiate – Within Reason
This bit of advice can be tricky, but it’s still usually a good idea. Many venues are willing to negotiate on prices or throw in extras if available. However, there’s a fine line between getting a good deal and annoying the venue, so you need to be careful how much time you spend haggling. This sort of strategy is most effective when venues are in an off-season and have extra rooms they can offer. Also take a look at any available discounts that venues are offering before you try to negotiate – sometimes they are trying to make your job easier!
Keep the Rooms, Change the Purpose
For highly adaptive and imaginative event teams, try to focus on a few largely customizable rooms at a venue, and work on a schedule that allows you to switch between several different purposes based on the day/time/needs of the event. A sufficiently large, empty room can be converted into nearly anything with a little work, and sometimes the best way to save on costs is to add a little bit more team labor to the scene…but you’ll need enough experience and energy to handle the project.
Talk to Approved Vendors
Many corporate venues have an approved vendor/sponsor list. This is understandable because they don’t want to let in vendors off the street who may ruin their venue and cost them money. However, it’s usually more expensive for companies holding the event. We suggest going straight to the approved vendors and talking with them about discounts, negotiable rates, and other ways to save money. If you find a vendor willing to work with you, both you and the venue can win on this one.
Try Not to Rent Anything from the Venue
Some venues are very good about rentals and offer you a great deal…but it’s hard to count on. Venue rentals can be filled with complications and often cost more than is necessary. If you do need to rent, always remember to compare prices with third party rental agencies (many of whom work regularly with venues anyway). Renting in general is expensive, and we encourage you to avoid it if possible, but sometimes it’s necessary, so make sure you’re getting a good rate.
Talk with Your Own Sponsors
If sponsors are really invested in your project, then they may be willing to chip into cover some of the broader venue costs. Reach out to vendors that you have a good relationship with and see if they can help lower your expenses.
Plan Food Carefully
If you are going to serve food, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to save in this area. Using buffets, going easy on the open bars, providing limited menus, and looking for ways to save on place settings can all yield valuable savings.
Still looking for more ways to save? We can help! Contact us at Fourth Wall Events and let us know what your goals are.