Claire Harrington

Tips to Stay Under Budget Without Sacrificing Quality

7144523dd-608x400.jpgThis post was written for etouches by Public Relations Manager of Social Tables Claire A. Harrington, CMP. The term “budget” drives even the most economically conscious planner into a state of anxiety. No matter if you’re managing a $5,000 event or one that runs into the millions, the bottom line is the perpetual elephant in the room – or in an out-of-control cost scenario, the proverbial bull in a china shop.


Affecting everyone from a DIY bride to the Director of Events for Forbes, from a third party planner to the Catering Director for Marriott – no one can escape from the stressors of closing an event at or beneath budget.

While event budgets are slowly increasing on the back of a strengthened economy, it seems that flat budgets are still the du jour in the industry. If you’re struggling, like many of your peers, to continue delivering impressive and innovative events on a budget, here are 5 quick tips that will assist you in keeping costs contained:

1. Catering.

A venue has one primary concern when it comes to food production, to keep costs at a minimum. If you’re looking to save money on a per-head event, instead of dictating the menu or asking for a multi-part menu, consider asking the caterer what the chef’s specialty is for the week.  By giving them the opportunity to use what they have in stock, you’ll be able to shave a few dollars off per-person, instead of paying a premium to have new ingredients brought in.

2. Staffing.

Consider using sites such as to find local organizations that are looking for exposure. To cut down on staffing costs, offer them sponsorship placement in return for volunteers to assist with your event.

3. Date.

Hotels can often offer significant discounts based on times of the year and day of the week. If you know a general time frame that you’d like to hold your event, present that to your hotel partner and ask them to show you a couple pricing options. Hotels have goals that they have to hit just like you, so develop a good relationship with your sales contact and you’ll likely find yourself in a positive financial situation.

4. Swag.

Kill the t-shirts. Ditch the koozies. Attendees don’t want another tchotchke to throw on their desk. Think about the last event you went to in which the item you were given added value to your day or influenced you to buy a product. If you can think of one, replicate it! If not, do your budget a favor and nix it.

5. Cash vs. Credit.

Ask your venue and vendor partners what type of discount may be made available if you purchase with cash instead of credit. Vendors have to pay processing fees the same way other businesses do, so by offering to save them money (and time), it’s possible that the gesture can be returned to you.

By considering the tips above, you will be able to produce a budget conscious event without sacrificing the standard of quality you hold yourself to.

What budget tricks do you employ when creating an event?


Social Tables, the award-winning provider of hospitality software, delivers the most dynamic diagramming and guest management platform on the market. The industry leading company consistently aids its 1,600 customers in achieving their sales and operational objectives. The company’s diverse list of clientele ranges from hotel chains such as the Hyatt Hotel Corporation to academic special events teams from Harvard Business School to corporate meeting teams such as Goldman Sachs. 

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This Post was Written by Claire Harrington

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