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Event design possibilities are endless, but big ideas often come with a bigger price tag. So, what to do when your budget is tight? We’ve outlined three steps to scale back on event spending without affecting the attendee experience.

Step 1: Put Your Money Towards Your Purpose

Producing on a budget isn’t just about keeping tabs on your spending. Instead, you want to be smart about where funds are allocated. To start, think about your goal for the event–and which elements are absolutely, without-a-doubt needed to achieve them.

Once you’ve outlined what elements simply can’t be messed, make a budget that directly reflects the goals you’d like to achieve.

For example, what if the focus of an event was to promote collaboration between different groups or departments? Finding the perfect venue and arranging a layout that facilitates communication would likely be big parts of your budget. However, if your focus was to promote a product or service, those funds might better be allocated to high-tech demo areas that allow guests to interact with your new release.

Tip: Poll your audience to learn what they love most. It’s important to recognize what things should be placed in the ‘untouchable’ category.

Step 2: Think Creatively About What You Can Cut Back

Nearly 30 years ago, American Airlines made headlines for an imaginative cost-cutting move. The airline had determined that eliminating one olive from each passenger’s salad plate would reduce costs by $40,000. The penny-pinching was considered especially ingenious because passengers didn’t weren’t impacted by single olive missing from their plate, but ditching the garnish had a noticeable effect on the airline’s bottom line.

Ask yourself: Is there something that can be eliminated to save money that few guests will notice?

Tip: Look for little changes that can make a big difference, such as costly printed materials. Print what you must and go digital on the rest.

Step 3: Swap Out Elements That Aren’t Center Stage

At this point, you’ve identified signature expenses that can’t be cut without affecting the attendee experience, and you’ve “axed the olives” so to speak. Finally, take a look at the expense of specific element versus its impact. Here are a few swaps that can help you save:

event planning on a budget
event planning on a budget
event planning on a budget
event planning on a budget


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