Challenged by your client’s champagne taste but limited by their beer budget? Game on! There are dozens of ways to make your event or gathering glitter without spending a ton of gold. Save up with these five tips for venues, caterers, guest rooms and more that will impact your bottom line!
Shop around. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Leverage quotes from one venue to impact the price from another.
Over your head. Over-estimating your head count could dramatically impact your food budget. Be as realistic as possible and then incorporate a small cushion.
Something different. Hotel venues can often run higher because of staff, food, and beverage costs. Consider an alternative venue with an outside caterer.
Open to change. Be flexible about your event date. Ask the venue about days or evenings they may be looking to fill at a discounted price.
DIY. Find out what tasks your own staff can perform for which the venue staff would typically charge you.
Keep it simple. Start with one main entre and build out complementary side dishes from there.
In season. Create a menu that only includes in-season, local foods to avoid expensive shipping charges.
Get saucy. Have the caterer offer a great sauce to top a less expensive main course, such as pasta.
Cheers. Consider limiting alcohol choices to just wine and beer. Or, offer non-alcoholic options instead.
Bite size. Choose small individual servings of desserts rather than expensive, flamboyant ones. Ice cream, sorbet or mini-cupcakes are the perfect crescendo to a great meal.
Block it. Negotiate reduced rates by booking blocks of rooms.
This means war. Research prices, then use that information to create a bidding war between hotels.
Be direct. Rather than booking online, call the hotel and ask for their corporate rate.
Be independent. Compare prices of smaller, independent hotels with large chains. You may find greater amenities and fewer fees.
Bundle up. See if your hotel offers better rates when bundled with airfare.
Tech savvy. Using apps and social media instead of printing materials will save you a bundle.
See the light. Investigate creative lighting as an alternative to expensive printed banners.
Ask for support. Look for sponsors who may be willing to foot part of the costs or provide guests with freebies.
Center of attention. Work with a florist to create simple centerpieces that incorporate inexpensive greens, colorful objects like marbles or glass, votive candles, or branded items like coffee mugs filled with candy.
Broadcast. Use free social media channels for invitations, updates, and event details.