This is a guest blog article by Suzi Tryonas of Enliven Production Group.
As a business owner or senior manager, you want to grow your business, introduce new products, develop your team of employees and/or get customers excited about your organization. But you also need to stick to the budget. Or else. We don’t know anyone who isn’t concerned about the bottom line, especially the budget for the upcoming corporate event.
In-person meetings can really drive success for your organization, and meet all your objectives. Sure, email, web-meetings and phone calls are cheap and can be effective, too. However, nothing beats face-to-face for developing relationships that find commonality, promote collaboration, and nurture growth.
That’s why using an experienced event production company like Enliven Production Group is invaluable. In our initial exploratory process of goal setting, our clients define which aspects and services are most relevant for an organization’s success. All of them directly affect the budgetary bottom line.
Here are the ten elements you must consider when establishing a conference budget:
- Date and duration: Pick a few dates/times that work best for you, but realize that there may be savings in scheduling your event off-season or off-times. Talk to your program planner about these options, if you have flexibility.
- Number of attendees: Are you trying to reach two dozen people or two thousand people? This will vastly alter the cost of an event. Be prepared to discuss size during your initial meeting with a production group.
- Venue type and location: Looking for a destination event or simple conference room? Be open to unconventional ideas to maximize your budget.
- Logistics: Without the knowledge and experience of a professional planning group, you may not know how to budget for freight, travel, lodging, meals, etc. Distance traveled and the weight of your event equipment and supplies can change your budget significantly.
- Local transportation: Are you providing car service to and from the airport, shuttles to off-site locations, or any other type of transportation for your event attendees? If it’s a small event in a major destination, public transit might be practical and inexpensive, but a larger event or an out of the way location could require motor coaches or similar options – and add up quickly.
- Registration fees and staff: What do you expect attendees to pay for and what are you willing to cover? Determine this before meeting with a production company to help with budget allocation. And don’t forget to plan for the number of people it will take to run the event. The more involved the agenda, the more staff you will need to pull it off
- Production costs: Creating special videos, backdrops, event graphics and photographs can add hundreds or thousands to the bottom line. Yet these crucial elements can create an environment that will impress and inspire your attendees. Your production company will be able to help you think about this line item.
- Audio-visual services and related technology: Do you need multimedia presentation equipment in one main general session and/or multiple tracks or breakout rooms? Do you want panelists, formal presentations, casual fireside chats or even moderated interviews? How about event management tools such as custom registration and event mobile apps? All of these preferences will affect the overall AV budget.
- Keynote speakers and entertainment: Engaging a dynamic expert speaker can really breathe new life into your employees and customers. They can motivate participants and make the experience more memorable. There are a few things to consider when picking a speaker including budget, expertise and your audience. Same with hiring entertainers. Whether they are musicians or magicians, these participants can be costly and significantly change your overall budget.
- Excursions and off-site events: Does your event include any leisure activities, like sightseeing, athletic outings, fitness classes or other off-site experiences ? Does your event include family members? If yes, admission fees, transportation, meals and supplies all need to be factored in.
With this list in mind, approaching your production company about your next event will be a snap! And whether this is the first event you have planned or the 50th, there are distinct benefits to utilizing an experienced production group like Enliven for your program. Our staff of trained professionals have encountered every budgetary challenge imaginable and supported successful events of all sizes, in all industries, in countless locations, nationally and internationally.
Let us help you take the pain out of budgeting your next event so that it meets your company’s objectives and goals, and sticks to the budget, every time.