17 Cost Savings Strategies to Counter Meeting Industry Challenges
Jun 15, 2011 by DeDe Mulligan
Despite the news that the recession is over, purse strings aren’t easily opening up. With increasing hotel, transportation, and food costs to boot, what is an event planner to do? Below is a listing of 17 potential solutions to the headaches you may be experiencing.

17 Cost Savings Strategies for MeetingsGreen = Money in Your Pocket

  • Create an online registration system. Eliminate all mailings about the conference.
  • Get rid of water, soda, and juice bottles and cans. Stick to pitchers and glasses.
  • No disposable items. Ask the conference center for china and glass only. No Styrofoam, plastic, or paper. Eliminate plastic bags and giveaways. 
  • Turn to interactive technology tool rentals to eliminate as much paper as possible. Rent Tablet PCs or laptops and place all the conference materials on these items. Kiosk rentals can act as digital signage. Wireless Audience Response Systems can replace paper surveys. Rent iPads and load on them conference specific applications. 
  • Engage attendees over social media networks before, during, and after the event.

Use the Internet and Templates as much as possible

  • The Convention Industry Council’s APEX has a listing of RFP Guidelines which can be downloaded to your computer and are among best practices in the industry.
  • Corbin Ball Associates has a listing of Excel templates which can be easily downloaded.
  • Use Microsoft Office for a listing of invitation templates.
  • Eventbrite has an online registration system, which is low-cost or no cost if you are coordinating a free event.
  • Dedicate a person or persons to update your website, blog, and social media platforms so many minutes or hours daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Consider outsourcing it to a freelancer if you don’t have the time or expertise. 

Develop Creative Strategies when Renting Audio Visual Equipment

  • Share your audio visual rental budget with your supplier. Most AV companies will work within your budget guidelines and can suggest areas where you can trim costs or go with equipment that may not have all the latest bells and whistles but can certainly do the trick.
  • Compare in-house vs. outsource AV providers. You may be pleasantly surprised that an outside AV company is a lot less expensive and/or has more expertise than the in-house provider.
  • Book in 24-hour blocks to control labor costs.
  • Ask for discounts for signing a multi-year or multi-meeting contract. This is probably where a meeting planner can see the greatest savings. AV companies are willing to negotiate better pricing if they can forecast a certain number of meetings in the year or know they are going to be your provider for the next 3 to 5 years.

Look at Alternative Travel  

  • Airline prices are very volatile and could create a low attendance at your meeting if prices continue to rise. Book in advance or work through the CVB to try and leverage pricing.
  • Look at all ways attendees can get there. Car? Suggest carpooling. Train? Look at Amtrak. Bus? Charter bus? Subway? Biking or Walking? Place all these alternative on your website and promote through social media outlets.
  • Consider holding your meeting or event within 100 miles of your location. 

AV Event Solutions, will assist you in meeting any of your challenges when renting audio visual equipment. Call us today!

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