Marketing November 26, 2015 Last updated September 18th, 2018 936 Reads share

6 Ideas for Planning a Corporate Event on a Tight Budget

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Probably one of the highest priorities for every event planner is creating and coordinating an event which is both successful and memorable.

Without a doubt, such an event requires a good amount of planning. Most people also believe they must spend excessive amounts of money.

A good rule of thumb when planning a corporate event is to allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to research a variety of options. You will most likely find that you can host a magnificent corporate event without breaking the bank.

The following are 6 ideas for planning a corporate event when you have a tight budget

#1. Selecting a theme

Choosing a workable and appropriate theme is important when planning a corporate event for two reasons:

  • First, having a theme appeals to your event’s attendees by giving them a sense of structure and consistency.
  • As an event organizer, having a theme to work with helps you stay organized and simplifies all your additional planning for the event (i.e. your venue, decorations, menu, etc.).

You can rest easy in knowing that you can certainly achieve many corporate event theme ideas even with a small budget.

Here are a few suggestions for event themes that won’t break the bank:

  • Winter Wonderland
  • Decade-theme (20’s, 60’s, 70’s, etc.)
  • Sports (Football is often a popular choice)
  • Hollywood/Red Carpet
  • Casino Night

#2. Choosing the best venue

Selecting the right venue is probably the most important decision you’ll make when planning a corporate event. It is also usually one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make.

Of course, the cost of the venue is most likely your number one concern, especially when you must stick to the confines of a small budget. If your budget is extremely small, you may consider hosting the event at your corporate headquarters.

If this isn’t an option, however, then you must also consider other aspects when selecting a venue. First, you should consider details such as the number of attendees, the type of event, and the safety and comfort of your event’s attendees.

Aside from cost, here are a few other essential details you should consider when selecting a venue for your corporate event:

  • Ambiance: Does the venue’s architecture and atmosphere match the theme you’ve chosen?
  • Services and amenities: Does the venue have the furniture you need? Does it have a kitchen/catering? Finally, what type of AV and/or connectivity capabilities does the venue have?
  • Location: It’s a good idea to choose a convenient location for your venue so that is easy for attendees to find. If you are inviting guests from out of town, then choosing a location that is easy to get to using public transportation is a must. Finally, choosing a venue in a safe location is also important.
  • Capacity: Consider choosing a venue that is large enough to accommodate the number of guests and that also gives them enough room to mix and mingle
  • Accessibility: If you are expecting guests with special needs, you should consider choosing a venue that is ADA compliant.

#3. Hiring vendors

Finding trustworthy vendors for your corporate event is also important – even one wrong vendor can make or break your event. Your event’s success relies on each vendor coordinating with you and the other vendors.

Finding and securing the best vendors for your event who also fit your budget requires that you allow yourself plenty of time to research.

Here is a sample of the types of vendors you may consider hiring for a corporate event:

  • Caterer/bartender
  • Furniture/linens/plates/flatware
  • Florist
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Entertainment

In a recent post for Sparksight, Clarissa Gonzalez shares the following tips for choosing the best vendors when planning a corporate event:

  • Determine your event’s requirements beforehand: This helps ensure a potential vendor understands your specific needs up front
  • Use other resources besides Google: Talk to coworkers and others who have planned events for vendor referrals
  • Make a connection: Make sure the vendor is someone you like and can communicate with; ask plenty of questions
  • Request multiple quotes: It’s a good idea and can help you be knowledgeable during the vetting process
  • Don’t make costs your bottom line: One important thing to keep in mind is to make sure the vendors’ quotes are all-inclusive; you don’t want to find out after the fact that your “extras” cost extra.
  • Go with your gut feeling: You should feel completely confident and comfortable that the vendor you choose is qualified and won’t let you down.

#4. Saving money on your event’s décor

Decorating for your corporate event can be as simple or lavish as your event’s theme allows. This can also be the one area where you could easily go overboard with costs.

One way you can save money on decorations is by choosing an attractive venue, or a venue that includes decorating in its rental costs.

Another way is through embracing simplicity. For example, you can forgo the expensive florist and find a vendor (or even people within your corporation) who can create less extravagant (and less expensive) floral arrangements and centerpieces that are still spectacular.

#5. Creating & sending out invitations

When it comes to invitations for corporate events, you can feel confident in knowing that creating and sending them online is perfectly acceptable these days.

Going with digital invitations is also one area where you can potentially save a lot of money.

As it turns out, there are several sites you can choose from for designing invitations that suit the theme for your corporate event. Each site typically offers its users the ability to easily create and send out innovative invitations with a personal touch.

Here are some sites with creative (and budget-friendly) corporate event invitations you may consider reviewing as you’re planning:

#6. Branding your corporate event

A final item to consider when planning a corporate event includes deciding ways in which you can tastefully incorporate your organization’s logo into your event.

From signage to swag bags, you have these and a variety of other opportunities for branding.

In a post titled, “Try These Tips to Brand Your Event—Without Going Overboard,” Meetings Imagined shares 4 ways you can integrate brand elements “seamlessly and discerningly” at your corporate event:

  1. Project your organization’s logo onto a wall or walls for a subtle and sophisticated touch.
  2. Everyone loves freebies, aka event swag! The more awesome, the better. Display your brand by serving drinks in souvenir cups or glasses with your logo – or perhaps by using custom-designed water bottle labels. Other trendy swag items, regardless of industry, are tech gadgets such as mobile device chargers and USB flash drives.
  3. Incorporate your brand into tasty treats such as cakes, cupcakes, and candy.
  4. Include your branding as part of the overall décor.

Although planning a successful corporate event requires a good amount of time and patience, it will be completely worthwhile when people are enjoying themselves and singing your praises. And no one ever has to know that you made it happen on a small budget.

What are other ways you use to save money when planning corporate events? I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions – please feel free to leave a comment below.

Images “Business Conference and Presentation in the conference hall  /  Shutterstock.com

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Jennifer Hanford

Jennifer Hanford

Jennifer is the owner and managing director of j+ Media Solutions which offers social and content solutions to SMBs. She blogs regularly for ME Marketing Services and the popular multi-author site, SteamFeed. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, baking, and pinning on Pinterest

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