Tesco internal communications - event manager Kate Conway led a session on maximising budgets at C&IT's Corporate Forum this morning.
Cost-saving tips shared during the workshop included:
Use local colleges/community groups
Use local universities and colleges for design assistance, for example, with theming a venue. Community groups can also provide entertainment, such as dancers or musicians. Their fee also goes back into their group. University music departments have highly-skilled performers eager to show off their skills.
Reusable magnetic signage can save costs, while lollipop signage can often be negotiated from a venue for free and filled with self-printed information. Consider using plasma screens as signage - it is also sustainable.
Corporates will often have talent within the organisation that could be used for entertainment or presentations/facilitation.
Using emerging companies and venues that need the exposure can pay off. Also consider how you can incentivise them to keep your costs down, for example, by including their branding in a goodie bag.
University students are often keen to gain valuable work experience during their summer holidays. Also use websites such as StudentGems.com to find assistance.
Utilise lower-tier suppliers rather than in-house team
Using lower-tier suppliers for jobs such as badge-printing can save costs of using internal events staff
Keep budgets confidential where possible
Ensure suppliers are providing the good rate, not just working to a set budget
Ensure you are using the right supplier for the job. A small event may only require a 'cheep and cheerful' solution.