Event Planners: Explore These 5 Tips for Staying on Budget with Your Events

April 7, 2023 Mario Stewart

When New York event planners look to gauge how successful an event is, they’ll consider audience engagement, client feedback, or guest feedback. But you’ll also look at the event budget and how well you were able to stick to it. No matter how successful an event is, if you’re over budget, it’s going to sting. 

With rising costs in almost every market and industry segment these days, event planners are looking to get creative about maintaining their event budgets. And if you’re looking for tips and advice on how you can stay on point with your event finances, keep reading. Explore these suggestions to help improve how you manage and maintain your event budgets.

1. Estimate with Precision

One of the reasons an event might go over budget is poor estimating. When you quote the costs associated with planning an event for your client, you’ll want to be mindful that you’re estimating with precision. Look at the similar past event costs to compare. And do your due diligence in estimating today’s costs for similar services. Yes, you’ll look to include “wiggle room” for last-minute additions or unforeseen expenses that may arise. Also, you’ll look to include a healthy margin for your services. But don’t guestimate your way through a client proposal without assigning real costs to hardline expenses you’ll need to cover.

2. Secure Multiple Vendor Quotes 

For some New York event planners, relying on a few great vendors for multiple events is typically a smart move. You find those caterers, florists, or venue partners with whom you work well or who have, in the past, delivered flawlessly. But don’t corner yourself to the same few vendors every time. New and emerging services are always a consideration. And securing multiple vendor quotes for each conference or celebration will help you do one of two things: 

  1. You’ll confirm your current partners are still the most cost-effective vendors. 
  2. You’ll find a new vendor with more competitive pricing to add to your roster of favorites.

And in either scenario, you win and are conscious of your event budget.

3. Leverage Technology

Another method for cutting event costs that always helps event planners stay on budget is technology. Instead of paying staff or workers to man a registration booth, consider implementing digital event registration or app-based check-ins. Instead of investing thousands in paper products for surveys, itineraries, or badges, look for the digital versions that deliver more convenient methods with less investment. 

Technology can also be a great tool for boosting event revenue, not just cutting expenses. For example, using event apps to connect with guests before, during, and after the event can inspire more donations to a charity fundraiser. Technology allows you to open an in-person event to include a broader audience with virtual event additions, too. In short, look for opportunities to trade traditional manpower or materials for digital solutions. You’ll find great ways to reduce event spending and boost revenue every time.

4. Pursue More Event Sponsorships

Speaking of boosting revenue, are you securing enough sponsorships with your events? Another way to stay on budget and infuse your event with more funding is with sponsorships. Get creative about developing great and high-value sponsorship packages. And invest the time and effort to create a strategy to target potential sponsors. The great advantage of sponsorships is that once you provide a solid return for them in one event, they’ll be open to sponsoring future events. Pursuing new sponsors only gets easier as you build this solution into your event planning model, too.

5. Build Strategic Partnerships

You might be an event planner. But you’re really in the people business. Creating magical and memorable event experiences requires relationship-building skills and mastery. And you could be improving your event budget process by cultivating new, strong, and lasting partnerships. Whether it’s with fellow event planners, New York City venues, or other event service providers, the stronger the relationships you have, the more valuable those connections become. 

Sometimes you can negotiate better rates when you partner with someone for ongoing booking. And those strategic partnerships can turn into referred event planning business for you, which also impacts your bottom line. Look for ways to tap into your relationship-building skills to help provide more value to each event partnership you have. In the long run, you can save on event costs and open the pipeline for more event client leads.

As a New York event planner, consider these tips and insights to help you better manage your event budgets. And to really boost your strategic partnership-building efforts, you can’t miss The Event Planner Expo 2023 this October! The industry’s top professionals from all corners of the events, hospitality, and marketing industries will be there. Learn more about getting your Expo tickets and remaining opportunities to exhibit or sponsor the #1 events industry conference in NYC!

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