Make the best of your meetings budgetI didn’t get to EIBTM this year, but I’ve been following the stories coming out of the show with interest and yesterday saw a pretty click-baity news story reported in C&IT Magazine online, with the headline ‘UK event budgets to decrease in 2015.’


This report comes from the American Express Global Meetings Forecast 2015 and therefore offers some gravitas. Reading through the article though, the reportage is kind of misleading – there’s good news too, and if you’re interested, the full report can be found HERE…


But picking up on issues that can be tackled in a constructive way, I’m interested to note that the article states: ‘Lisa Thompson, director at UK American Express Meetings & Events said, “Meeting planners in the UK will have to make the most of squeezed budgets next year. While the UK economy is improving, meetings activity is set to be more subdued in 2015, with only a small increase over the number predicted for 2014. Reductions in individual budget and overall spend in the UK are predicted, so meeting owners are feeling the pressure to get creative and extract maximum value from their meeting budgets.”’


Actually, I think it’s important to focus here on the ‘small increase’ part. That means meetings are still on the way up, right? The good news here is that there still seems to be a requirement for meetings and events, the issue is making the most from tightening budget.


So how can you make the most of what you’ve got? Well, the top answer – which I’m bound to suggest of course – is by using a venue finder like us. We find you the event space for free if you’re a client – and can often haggle the costs down for you. But I think you know that already, and if you don’t, have a nose round this site. But here are some more ideas that might help…


Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many event planners forget that bit. Haggle with the venue, haggle with the suppliers, haggle with whoever sets your budget! You don’t ask, you don’t get.


Use technology
Avoid printing costs at events. Employ event technology on site and pre-event, for registration, programmes, live linkups to reduce delegate travel, virtual and hybrid meetings – everything. Think techie.


Don’t travel so far
Stay close. If you need to fly, hotels and venues close to airports offer a really good solution for meetings that don’t involve expensive, extensive travel. We know a lot of them, and some of them are awesome.


Employ alliances
Can you split the event and the cost with another business? Another department? Can you even roll two events into one – the annual AGM for example, with the Christmas party to follow?


Emerging markets
London, Paris, Barcelona, New York… they’re all awesome, but they’re expensive. Check out emerging markets such as India or Indonesia for conferences and events – you’ll find they offer really good rates. Do your research though, as methodology and functionality will vary massively in these countries, from the way things run in, say, Europe or North America.


And finally – the venue finder
Can’t really go without banging our drum again. Apart from saving you a load of time both searching and viewing the wrong places, using a venue finder can save you money. We really know how to negotiate and ask the right questions – globally. If you want to know more (at absolutely no obligation or cost) hit us a contact HERE.


Whatever your event next year, there are ways round the whole budget thing and we can probably help. The important thing is to keep in mind the required and anticipated result. Everything else is just creative accountancy!

Events on a tight budget – top tips