Monday, August 13, 2012

5 Tips to Keeping Event Costs Manageable

Welcome to Planners' Pointers!

Doing an event, any event from a first birthday party to a lavish wedding have costs.  The key is keeping the costs as contained.  Here are 5 tips to keeping costs as manageable as possible. 

  1. Photo booths.  Photo booths rental costs range from $500.00 to $800.00 depending on the number of hours and the number of pictures. Here is a tip for you DIYers out there. All you need is a blank wall and large piece of foam core cut into the shape of a frame.  Hang the foam core frame from the ceiling and there you are!  Add old hats, scarfs, and items found at the dollar store and you have a wonderful and fun place to have people take pictures.  Family and friends can take their own photos and then post them to their Facebook pages or email them to you to post. Allow your friends to tag themselves. If you want to use a photographer if you want.  Or have a friend or family member to take pictures.
  1. Catering  Here is an idea a friend of mine did in the spring to celebrate the 5th anniversary of her business.  She used a venue that let her bring in food.  My friend then called several restaurants and offered them a sponsorship of the event and in return they brought in food.  The restaurants brought in sample size portions and marketing information.  Attendees enjoyed the food and the restaurants reached a new audience. 

  1. Flowers  Some believe that silk flowers are cheaper, but I don't agree especially when you consider your time spent creating the centerpieces, bouquets, head pieces and other arrangements you may use for your events.  When it comes to florists, shop around to see where you can get the best value for your dollar.  Look at their websites and Facebook pages for testimonials. Remember seasonal flowers are very apt to be cheaper for arrangements and bouquets. Or see if your venue has flowers or candles that you can use.  Most will let you use them for free. 

  1. Dates One of the most difficult items to check off an event check list is determining when the event is going to be.  Do you have a specific reason for the date?  Birthdays or anniversaries are examples of needing a  specific date. When booking an event be as flexible as possible.  Does a wedding need to be on a Saturday or Sunday.  What about a Friday or even a Thursday evening wedding. A great day for a fundraiser may be a Tuesday evening instead of Thursday.

  1. Alcohol  An interesting fact that I learn in my reading is one third of the population doesn't drink.  Consider that when you are thinking about alcohol for your next event and order less than you would have even five years ago. Don't forget to have soft drinks and water for your non-drinking friends. This is especially true for corporate events.  Remember this: Just like some employers are looking at your search history on the internet, they may also be monitoring your habits at corporate events.  This is especially true where clients will be in attendance. One more thought about weddings.  At weddings, you can save on the cake and even the food, but where some over spend is in alcohol.  Yes, an open bar gets expensive, but so does purchasing alcohol without a plan.  Think about what your guests drink at other events.  Or what they may have at their homes. If they seem to be a wine or beer crowd then you don't need to have a whole lot of other liquor for your event.  Remember to make sure you can return unopened alcohol.

You can have a wonderful event without spending lots of money. Being creative and thinking out of the box may lead to budget savings without sacrificing the quality of the event.

Planners Pointers is a blog and talk cast to help beginning event planners with their event planning share ideas on planning better events, books to read and websites to discover.

Planner's Pointers is written by  Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP,  of Kilgore Business Services.  You may reach me through my website  You can find podcasts of Planner's Pointers at