Event planning can be stressful, exhausting, and time-consuming. It reminds us of the old saying, why work harder when you can work smarter? Our thoughts exactly – that’s why we’ve pulled from our event experience to share with you some tried and true event planning hacks we’ve used in the past that have made our jobs just a little bit easier! Next time you’re looking to save a little bit of your time, money, or sanity, don’t overthink it and use these tips instead!
Reuse Leftover Event Materials
Tight on budget? Or forgot to order event supplies, and now you have to expedite shipping? Try using leftover materials from previous events. This works best if you switch your most common event supplies to be company branded rather than branding them with your event name and dates. Next time you order things like lanyards, name badges, swag, ect. Order enough for all your upcoming events and start building a stockpile with the leftovers you can pull from in emergency situations. Bonus: you’ll likely get cost savings with bulk ordering!
Go “Off Menu”
Food and beverage are one of your event’s largest expenses – and for good reason, it’s usually the most memorable part of your event. Instead of picking from your venue’s catering menu, ask for your venue’s chef to put together a special menu for you at a certain price point to help you stay on budget. Usually, they will be able to put something together that is cost-efficient for you if you’re flexible. If possible, try to do this during the contracting stage; it makes it easier for everyone in the long run.
Travel With an “Event Kit”
Shipping items to your event, while convenient, can sometimes be unreliable. It’s best to travel with an event kit in case a package (say, the one carrying your name badges) is lost in transit or will arrive late. Include items like extra badges, lanyards, thumb drives, sticky notes, ect. – anything you can think of that will make your life easier in case a situation arises.
Reuse items Throughout Your Event
Look for big-ticket items that can be moved and repurposed throughout your event. Flowers can be expensive, so it’s good to get your money’s worth. Having arrangements on the tables at lunch may look nice, but you usually only get an hour’s worth of enjoyment out of them. Once lunch is over, move them to tables throughout your networking area, or place them somewhere for the reception in the evening. Another idea, if you have spent money on a backdrop for photos at your reception, see if you can reuse it on your presentation stage the next day.
Give Rooms Multiple Purposes
Instead of paying room rentals for multiple rooms for your event, try and repurpose them. If your sales team needs a room for meetings in the afternoon, see if you can repurpose your lunchroom once attendees have finished eating – you might need to pay a small fee to have it reset, but it will be cheaper than another room. Or, as another example, if you are only having a general session in the morning and the room will remain empty the rest of the day, reuse it as another breakout room.