Nothing compares to a really good conference or event! The energy is palpable, the audience is engaged and on the edge of their seats. Gaining a sense of “belonging” and surrounding yourself with like minded people is what attracts millions of people to events each year. Attendees leave feeling full of enthusiasm from all the lessons learned and connections made. At this point, the attendees are not thinking about all the time, effort, and money that has gone into creating the event experience. After years of experience in the event industry, the team here at Nectar have developed a number of tips to help with saving both time and money. We use these tips regularly within our business and it has enabled us to thrive and love every bit of what we do. Keep reading to find out our tips…

Set Clear Objectives
Perhaps the most crucial step to saving time and money when planning an event, is to write down a list of your event objectives. Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you are in a good position to start planning.

Define your Audience
Get to know your audience, what they like, what motivates them, then build your event around them. Learn as much as you can about what it will take to help them on the path to completing your objectives.
Save time and money at your next event
Develop a Plan
It seems obvious, but with so many things being last minute these days it is often overlooked. An event plan is a vital, date-focussed tool that will help you manage timelines and ensure everything that needs to be arranged is done in a timely manner.

To make your plan easily manageable, why not list weekly tasks in a simple, free, web-based project management tool such as Trello? You can create detailed task lists, set due dates and reminders for project milestones. We use this as our WIP (Work In Progress) document. It enables us to organise and collaborate with our team from wherever, whenever.

For overall project management we use another web-based tool called WorkflowMax. It allows us to track time and expenses against a particular projects – important for keeping budgets on track. The point is there are plenty of tools to assist you with your critical path to ensure nothing is forgotten along the way.

Set an Event Budget
You need to ask yourself, “can our vision and objectives for the event be funded by the money we have to play with, or do we need to adjust expectations now?”

Our top tip is to break down your budget into bite size pieces, and then itemise costs within these areas. For example under the heading ‘Venue’ you should list room hire, food and beverage and any additional expenses such as security and staffing separately. This will enable you to have a clear picture of what you are spending across the project from the outset.

Share your budget limitations when you are requesting a quote. This will save time going backwards and forwards with unrealistic quotes, allowing you to hone in and negotiate the best deal and inclusions to suit your budget.

Another tip is to source volunteers to assist with the running and planning if your event. There are many individuals out there looking to gain experience in the events industry, and this provides a win win for all.

Save time and money at your event

Record information and share
During any meetings to do with your event, whether it be with venues, suppliers, your team or even your boss, record everything. Assign action items, and set due dates – making sure everyone is accountable.

Clear communication in this way minimises double ups and assumptions which saves both time and money in the long run.

Be smart with marketing
Hootsuite is a real time saver for those looking to engage their audience in a smart and safer way. It allows you to schedule, curate and track social media content for multiple social profiles. It’s all within the one place!

Email marketing is a cheap and effective tool, and when you run campaigns via Mailchimp like we often do, it helps you to save time and send out emails effortlessly to your database.

Work with an event expert
Events are such an important part of your marketing mix, bringing huge benefits to your business. This is evident with the number of corporate events increasing year on year, which means an increase in your workload!

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, working with an event management agency is potentially the best way for you to save time, and ultimately money when planning your next event. Having an event expert on your team, with all of their industry contacts and years of experience will ensure you maximise your budget and deliver an engaging conference or event that inspires and motivates your attendees.
Save time and money at your next event
Remember – your time is valuable and a cost to the business, so use it wisely. That’s the ultimate insider’s secret to saving time and money on your next conference or event – and keeping your sanity along the way!

At Nectar Creative Communications, we offer an end-to-end solution for both digital and live events, making it possible for you to connect with your audience in a way you haven’t before. Contact us for more information.

*This blog was originally published in September 2018. It has been republished with updates in February 2022.