So, you’re preparing to host your first corporate event, but are a bit skeptical of how to pull it off on a tight budget. Whether you’re trying to sell a new idea, develop partnerships, promote a common cause, or celebrate your successes, you know that your brand and its future success is riding on your ability to entertain, educate, and captivate your audience. Though this is true allowing a small budget to stress you out will only make matters worse. Knowing how to make the most of your budget and pull off the perfect corporate event is a better choice.
Get Some Sponsors
It can never hurt to have help from others when it comes to hosting a corporate event. Once you have the details of your event down packed, start talking with companies about the possibilities of supporting you as a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who would donate to your event in exchange for recognition or advertising space. Be sure that your sponsor is a company or individual that is aligned with your brand’s visions, values, and causes.
Find the Right Venue
If you don’t have a large enough space (or you’re a home-based or virtual business) you’ll want to start by locating the perfect venue. Instead of going with a ritzy hotel boardroom that you can’t afford perhaps you could try party venues in San Diego or in a city more closely located to your attendees. As you browse venues, look for locations that offer the most services for the costs. For instance, a venue that also has wait staff and caterers included is a lot cheaper than having to hire a caterer separately.
Choose Your Menu Wisely
One of the biggest costs of corporate events is the food. If you’re on a tight budget you don’t have to serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crust cut off and bottles of water to get by. There are plenty of menu options that can be affordable for you and enjoyable for your guests. For instance, going with a breakfast buffet instead of dinner is cheaper. Breakfast food is affordable and hosting an event in the morning would eliminate the need for much alcohol. Another option would be to go with appetizers and cocktails or lunch meat trays, fruits, and light refreshments.
Think of Affordable Entertainment
Part of hosting a great corporate event is being able to entertain your guests. This not only includes having good information or putting on a good presentation but other forms of entertainment. If funds are low and you can’t afford to hire a DJ or instrumentalist, perhaps you could create a playlist and blast it from your Bluetooth home speakers? Other options might be ice breaker games, raffle drawings (for free or affordable promotional products), and other activities.
Keep it Small and Intimate
You may be eager to share your business with the world, but the more people you invite to your corporate event, the more expensive it becomes. Keeping it small and intimate creates the illusion that your guests are special and your event is exclusive. You can always record the event and then share it with the general public or other interested parties online in real time or after the event is over.
Networking events are very stressful to plan for. There’s a lot involved and a lot riding on its success. For many entrepreneurs, there’s also the added stress of limited financial resources. Though a smaller budget does mean being mindful of your spending, it doesn’t have to mean skimping on your corporate event. With a bit of creativity and outside the box thinking, you can pull off the perfect event – without going bankrupt.