Here are some great tips and ideas to help you save some money at your next event or meeting.
1. Many times deals can be found in top tier cities by being flexible on dates and patterns. By filling holes in a facility’s calendar, planners get more negotiating power.
2. Check out second and third tier cities. Many offer first tier amenities without the price tag of better known destinations.
3. Host a team building exercise where the guests are given items to make table decor, props, and more and then use these items for the gala.
4. Select hotels offering frequent flyer points that can be used for speakers, entertainers, staff or attendees.
5. The more you are willing to spend on in-house service at hotels, the more willing they may be to lower your room rate. Ask for 10% to 15% off in house A/V and catering rates.
6. Eliminate the cocktail hour to save on the per-person price. If you can’t skip the cocktails, stationary appetizers will save you money over passed hors d’oeuvres.
7. Look for cities that are major airline hubs serviced by low-fare carriers. If you’re looking to save more money, pick a drive-in destination.
8. Have hotels and convention centers throw in items that cost them nothing that are valuable to you, such as T1 lines, free Internet access, free or discounted parking, free board rooms, spa privileges, late checkout and free drapery.
9. If you must print materials, use local printing outlets in the meeting city to reduce shipping charges. Always request a proof before printing. Do the layout and design yourself. Create your own reusable templates that can be updated when necessary.
10. Manage air travel in blocks. That way you can save by using coach transfers versus having to use individual cabs and limos.
Joshua Gair – Impact Entertainment Services