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Mice Net : August 2008
ask an expert questions & answers Q. I have an awards dinner event for 200 people later this year in which my budget has been cut by $20,000. What can I trim without affecting the event significantly? A. The first part of establishing a budget for an event is to work out what the fixed costs are; for example, the venue, food and beverage and technical production. If you have a limited budget, the next step is to allocate funds into the areas that all of your guests will see and experience, such as the venue, the food and beverage and the entertainment. When selecting the venue, make sure it is cost effective. If you don’t have a five-star budget then don’t select a five-star venue. Some venues will also provide complimentary room hire based on the level of food and beverage spend so ask this question when you are negotiating. Food and beverage is a key element to any event, however there are areas in which you can save money. Venues will provide you with food and beverage packages which are valued at different levels. You can save money by selecting the lead-in package rather than the premium package and you can also save money by not doing an alternate drop. Also question whether you need three courses. Could you do a dessert platter per table or potentially serve petit fours with coffee/tea instead of dessert? To save on theming costs, potentially look at a unique venue that already has a special ambience. If the venue also has the right look and furnishings, then you won’t need chair covers. Also question whether you need fancy centrepieces; a glamorous look can be achieved using simple understated elegant centrepieces. Regarding the entertainment, make sure you invest in a good MC that keeps the night entertaining, and if you are providing dancing at the end of the night and you don’t have the budget for a band then invest in a DJ. You can also save money by designing the invitations in-house and sending them out online which will save in printing costs. Printing of menus for the event can also be printed in-house to save on costs. Leanne Zeid is responsible for sales and marketing of ID Meetings & Events within Australia. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the conference, hospitality and tourism industry. Do you have a question for Leanne? Email – L.Zeid@idaustralia.com. mice.net 39