5 Tips for Planning an Event on a Small Budget
It’s the era of cost saving in business, and at home too! Whether you’re running a corporate fun day, or looking to put on a wedding without breaking the bank, we’ve put together some great tips for pulling off the event of the century, without it looking cheap.
There are places in event planning where you can save a lot of money, because it’s not worth going for the expensive option – save your budget for the most memorable things that you shouldn’t compromise on – entertainment and music, then your guests will really have something to talk about!
Don’t forget to take a look at how we can help you with your event planning too!
1. Remember Location isn’t everything.
When it comes to events, the venue hire can be the biggest single expense you’ll have to pay – wedding venues can charge thousands for just one day, and they often also place limitations on where you can source other essentials like chairs, food and entertainment.
It’s just not worth it if you’re working on a small budget, try looking at less popular venues like village halls, school halls and company spaces. If it’s already owned by the company, it’s a huge saving already!
At the end of the day, £500 of decorations is going to look a lot more appealing than £2000 of bare hired venue, so spend your budget on cute and creative chair covers, table decor, wall hangings and bunting instead!
2. Focus on Key Areas.
If you’re planning a wedding and you don’t have a big budget, you can compromise on spend by creating a few gorgeous displays that catch they eye, rather than spreading your budget thin across the whole room. Try creating a gorgeous photo opportunity around the cake, with bunting, beautiful homemade nibbles, favours and a guest book. Decorate it with props, which you can get from hire companies or charity shops.
The same goes for corporate events, create one fun area where people can congregate, or a great stage area, and it won’t matter too much about the tables or the rest of the room.
3. What’s Going to be Memorable?
If you’ve got a small budget, you really need to think if people are going to be too bothered about beautiful place cards, expensive invitations and gimmicks. Try focusing on the key areas instead – food, entertainment and atmosphere. Food can come from a caterer, or you can buy in bulk yourself from a wholesaler then spend a little time jazzing things up – cakes can be made more expensive looking with fresh fruit and edible glitter, pizzas can be strewn with fresh basil, and pastries look ten times more expensive when you dust with a little icing sugar!
A great entertainer will also pay for itself, trust me, if you book your dad to do karaoke, that’s all people will talk about, but if you spend a good portion of your budget on a great band, people will be having so much fun dancing that they won’t remember any compromises you had to make.
4. You Don’t Need To Hire Help
An event planner is important, as a manager can take a huge amount of stress away on a day where you should be enjoying yourself, but you don’t need to hire staff to decorate your event. Try hosting crafting days with cakes, nibbles and drinks, to bribe friends and family into helping make the decorations for free. You can also offer little benefits to company staff who help set up corporate events, like a nice bottle of wine!
5. Seek Sponsors, or Crowd Fund.
A great corporate event can often be run in collaboration with another company. Think creatively, if you’re running a workshop day, ask a company to provide speakers and offer lots of plugs and advertising space if they provide their own set-ups.
A new trend with weddings also is to hold a fundraiser day. Although it’s dubious whether this is the done thing, if you’re creative about it you can end up with a little chunk of funding for something big, like a band or a great venue. Host things like a raffle, games, a quiz and cheap drinks, and you can use the profits to help towards your wedding. Just remember to be completely transparent when you’re working with the kindly donated money of your nearest and dearest.