TOP TIPS: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR EVENTS BUDGET
Our campus has been hosting groups since 1924, and our staff are experts at planning events of many sizes and budgets. A common challenge faced by our clients is how to make the most of their often-shrinking meeting budget, or justify offsite meetings to colleagues that view them as a luxury. We know your time away from the day-to-day is valuable, and the return on investment is critical to your organization’s future. Here are a few tips to make the most of your offsite meeting budget.
Book ahead and be flexible.
When feasible, book as far in advance as possible—and if you have flexible dates, even better. If your dates are not set in stone, allow the venue to tell you when they can fit your group in for the lowest possible rates. Often times the venue will have a peak and off-peak season, and even particular days that are more popular than others.
Venues outside of major cities and off the beaten path are often more affordable than your traditional hotel-based conference center and will have many of the same amenities. These venues may take a little more digging to find but will be worth the investment, and more memorable. The short drive from the city or airport will be well worth the peace and serenity, and often privacy found.
Be creative with catering.
You can save a considerable chunk of budget by choosing boxed lunches over plated meals. This allows the venue to cut down on labor for service and clean-up. If plated meals are a must, consider hosting a breakfast or lunch meeting versus a dinner meeting—breakfast menus are typically the most affordable.
Cut back on alcohol.
Rather than spending most of your budget on an open bar, offer a limited selection of alcohol. Trust us when we say, your guests won’t miss it. Sticking to wine, beer and a signature drink will save you a lot of money and possibly spare you from any unplanned escapades from guests who enjoyed too much hard liquor. You can still keep the bar menu fun and appealing by offering local craft brews and wines.
It may not be advertised but many venues offer discounts for nonprofits, so always be diligent about asking what offers are available for your organization. We understand that every organization has different needs when it comes to planning and our event team is happy to work out a package that works with your budget.