Trim the Fat: How to Identify & Reduce Unnecessary Event Planning Expenses

September 29, 2022 Jessica Stewart

We’re often sharing event planner insights about how you can increase the value of your engagements and generate more revenue. But another way to earn more from each event you plan is by trimming unnecessary expenses. Explore this list of the most common areas of overspending to help you identify where you, as a New York event planner, might be able to trim the fat and earn more with each event.

Venue Negotiations

When you first connect with a new-to-you venue, you’ll be presented with certain rates for reservation and event hosting. But as a New York event planner, building strategic partnerships with venues that include the promise of future bookings can become more lucrative to your bottom line. Negotiate with your venue partners for the best deals. And for those that prove to be flexible and open to ongoing partnerships, the discounts and added value will come naturally.


For each event you plan, you’ll have certain equipment requirements to handle. This might include audiovisual equipment or additional rental chairs and tables. Compare estimates from third-party vendors as you explore your options. And if you specialize in a niche where you find yourself renting the same equipment for every event, it might be worth investing in those items to own them. 

Date Flexibility 

Not all clients will be flexible with their event dates. But when you can be flexible, you can almost always be more cost-effective. Certain dates will be busier than others, driving up certain costs. Explore various date options when they’re available to see if you can cut back and find discounted rates.

Securing Estimates & Negotiating

Despite any working relationships you might already enjoy with certain vendors, get estimates every time. You could find unique value propositions with a new partner. And you won’t know if you’re getting the best deal without comparing quotes and estimates ongoing. And as the cost of doing business continues to rise, you’ll always have a few quotes in your deck to help you negotiate the best rates.

Marketing Materials

Look for ways to trim the event expenses in marketing materials. Go paperless, for example, whenever possible. And explore securing partnerships and sponsorships that can help offset the costs of any material production costs you might have to incur for the event.


Don’t be afraid to explore other catering options and compare estimates. Some venues that provide in-house catering present the best value. In other events, you’ll find increased savings with an outside caterer delivering precisely what you ask for in a menu selection.

Promotional Products & Swag

Consider alternatives for promotional products or swag bags. You might be able to get event sponsors to donate door prizes, for example. Or you could negotiate an ongoing partnership with a promotional product vendor who will discount your orders with ongoing and future partnerships. 

Travel Expenses

Find ways to save money on any travel expenses your event might incur. From flying in keynote speakers to securing parking and valet service, negotiate where you can and find deals to save. Working with a travel specialist can be helpful, for example, especially when it comes to finding those last-minute travel discounts.


You’ll need to advertise your event and invest a little budget into getting the word out about tickets or entertainment. But be smart about squeezing every last drop out of the more affordable or free channels, including social media. A properly developed hashtag could go much further in attracting attendees than a paid ad any day.


Can you secure volunteers for your event? Depending on the overall nature and theme of the engagement, you might be surprised how many people will come forward to help for free and to support the cause. And some of those volunteers might prove to be reliable partners for future event help, as well. 

Consider some of these ideas and insights for trimming the fat out of your event planning budgets. Anywhere you can find a way to reduce overspending and add value, you’ll enjoy a boost to your bottom line. 

If you really want to explore new ways to grow your event planning business, be an exhibitor at The Event Planner Expo 2022! Contact us to reserve your spot on the tradeshow floor

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