As we head into the final stretch of 2017, many event planners out there are using this time to plan for the year ahead. It’s a time for goal setting and operational changes, as well as a time to reexamine a crucial part of event planning: your budget.
And for most event planners, a healthy budget for a new year includes trimming the fat and cutting costs where it makes the most sense. While you may start to go line by line to make several small cuts, there is another way to go about it. When you take a step back to look at the big picture, making investments in event technology can be the key to cutting costs and reducing your budget for years to come.
Check out just some of the ways event tech can save you money while making event planning more efficient:
Examine your event data
If you don’t know where to start when cutting your budget, look back at your data from the previous year. If you think you just need to look at your raw finances, think again – finding out what was successful and what wasn’t goes beyond dollars and cents. What did your attendees respond well to in your surveys? What were some of your highly trafficked or well-attended areas of your event? Did attendees use the new onsite technology you introduced this year? These data points can tell you a lot about your event successes and what is worth spending money on and what’s worth ditching in 2018.
If you’re not able to measure this type of data with the tools you have now, consider investing in new and engaging technology, like a mobile app or digital badges, that can help step up your event ROI game.
Are you using several different tools to plan your meetings and events? Is nothing consistent and data is in different silos? Using a variety of costly tools can certainly add up and if they are unable to talk to each other, then it will cost you in terms of time wasted trying to bring everything together. By cutting out tools that are underused or are no longer meeting your needs, and finding everything you need in one or two solutions will be worth it both financially and in terms of efficiency.
This is by no means an easy process, so focus on the long-term benefits and take your time to shop around to find a solution that has everything you need to plan your events from start to finish.
Utilize your event management software
If you’re just using your event management software for the basics (registration, websites, email, etc.), you may want to make sure you’re taking advantage of all they have to offer. Along with tools you may be underutilizing, something like an in-house professional services team can help you customize and take your event elements to new heights, without having to work with and pay for an additional party for help. Say you want to create a more engaging, interactive website. Who better to work on that than the people who are already experts with your website building tool.
Your current solution may even have ways for you to increase revenue at your events. Monetization options for sponsors can be utilized on your mobile app, event floor plans, websites and more!
From attendee badges to business cards, to brochures and fact sheets, eliminating paper products at your events is not only good for the environment, but it can save you money. Start small by printing badges onsite instead of printing them ahead of time, reducing room for error and re-printing. Then you can consider adding a mobile app or implementing digital badges with capabilities to share and store contact information, presentation slides and all other marketing materials you and your sponsors want to provide.
Along with saving money, your attendees will appreciate not having to carry around extra papers and going green is good for your event’s reputation.
Overall, your annual budget will adapt and change over time, but by making even just one of these event tech investments now will help your organization in the long run in terms of your budget, event planning and attendee satisfaction. Consult with your stakeholders as well as your event tech providers about your priorities before pulling the trigger.
Written by: Lauren Williams