1. Plan ahead. Planning your event in advance will give you an opportunity to comparison shop for the best deals possible. Waiting to the last minute could result in paying full price. When you plan ahead you are much more like to get the dates you want for your event.
2. Location. Having an event in locations such as New York City, Boston or Chicago can be very expensive to host a live event. Therefore, pick locations in less expensive areas such as Orlando, Dallas and Austin.
3. Middle of the Week. Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular for weddings and parties. Therefore, select a weekday like Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday to host your event. You have a much better chance to negotiate a better price with the venue during those times.
4. Budget. Determine what you want the budget to be for your event and stick to it. Having a clear budget in place will help you to stay on target and not overspend. Be realistic about how much you are willing to spend.
5. Off Season. You can save money by planning your event in the off season. For example, if your event is in the winter stay away from areas that have a warmer climate such as Florida and Arizona. You can get a better deal if you book in those locations in the summer when tourist season is down. If you have a specific venue in mind and you are flexible with your dates, ask the hotel when their slowest time is or when they are looking to fill a gap in their schedule – another great way to reduce costs.
6. In-house Catering. Using a venue or hotel that offers in-house food and beverage can save money. Generally, when hosting an event with food and beverage, the hotel or venue will wave the fee for the rental of the space.
7. Catering. If you are using a venue where you have to bring in your own caterer, try to find someone who is just starting out and is willing to showcase their work. A lot of times you can find caterers who will offer their services at a very lost cost or even for free. You can also post flyers at local Culinary schools searching for students who are willing to cater the event. Always try out the menu first to make sure it is to your liking.
8. Hire Interns or Volunteers. You can hire interns or volunteers who are willing to work for free to earn school credits or to get the experience.
9. Co-Host. Find someone who is interested in co-hosting the event with you. This way you can split the costs.
10. Free Marketing Avenues. You do not have to spend a great deal of money on advertising. Advertising in newspapers or media can be very expensive. However, using options such as online social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging are excellent avenues to market your event at no cost.
Contract Negotiation. Hiring an event planner who is experienced with contract negotiation skills can save you money in the long run. Event planners have the knowledge and experience needed to find ways to save you money that you may not know.
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