Do you want to run an event but find you freak out every time you think of the costs involved?
Don't despair - it is possible to run events on a low budget. Even on NO budget!
I've done it before both in my charity work and in my current events with my clients. Don't let money be the excuse to hold you back!
There are plenty of low cost venue options out there. You don’t have to have a traditional meeting or function room in a hotel or conference centre – think outside the square.
Community centres, councils and libraries across Australia are an amazing resource where you can literally book a space for your next workshop from $3 an hour. Yes, seriously.
Being public resources, they also have great access by public transport, have updated technology and all the facilities you need to run a smaller event.
Co-working spaces and hubs are popping up everywhere to and they are usually only too happy to hire out a meeting room or event space by the hour, half day or day with all the facilities that you need.
If this kind of setting isn’t right for you, you can always look at function rooms on top of bars, pubs and restaurants.
Some venues I work with have room hire starting from just a few hundred dollars and that can be made up of food and beverage orders.
This means if you were going to cater anyway, you won’t have to pay anything for the room. And if you have an evening event and will have an open bar for attendees to buy their own drinks, you can ask for those drinks to go towards your minimum spend as well.
And don’t discount asking family and friends if they know of any spaces that would be perfect for your event. If you are passed on to the right contact, you can get a great deal just because of who referred you!
If you do not want the cost of providing meals, hold your events between 10am – 12pm or 2pm – 4pm, missing the main meal times.
If you are holding a full day workshop, ensure your venue is close to cafes so participants can buy their own lunch, but provide them with light refreshments throughout the day.
If you are able to self-cater at your event, tea and coffee stations are an inexpensive touch per person if you have access to a hot water urn through the venue. Muffins, scones, fruit platters and cookies are all cost effective options for a light morning or afternoon tea.
Even having a fruit bowl and muesli bars or slices available throughout the day is a good option to prevent the dreaded starvation of a longer event but it won’t break the budget. We do not like events where they make you starve!
Professional photographs of your event can mean amazing social media fodder, promotional pics for your next event, soul stirring images for your sponsorship proposals and awesome content for your website and blog.
But if you can’t afford a pro, then ask around for people are currently trying to turn their hobby into a profession.
They will have the right equipment, the basic skills to know where the good lighting is and how not to cut someone’s head off and they will most likely swap you their services for the opportunity to get some more practice, portfolio pics for their studies and a testimonial from you.
Look for someone whose target demographic is very similar to yours – if you hit it off you may be able to keep working with each other in the future!
Bare rooms are boring but you don’t need to go all out to create some inviting ambience. I have one word for you – flowers.
Go to the market to get them on the cheap and make your own arrangements.
The burst of colour will dress up any space and break up the monotony of the room.
They don’t need to be big, towering arrangements, small posies scattered around will be beautiful. And don’t throw out the foliage, use it!
Don’t have vases? Rinse out the glass jars you are about to throw out at home (jam, baby, sauce etc), remove the labels and wrap some pretty paper around them. Find someone with a baby and ask for their jars for a week - you'll have heaps!
And don't forget to scour your office and home for prints, tablecloths, pot plants, crystals and other decor that you can use to dress up the room for free!
Another option to keeping your costs down is sponsorship. This is when you provide certain benefits in return for goods and services.
It is not asking for a donation, you have to ensure that you keep your word and deliver on everything you have promised!
You can request sponsorship on any part of your event but just make sure that who you work with is in line with your businesses values, morals and ethics - choose wisely.
See, events don't have to be expensive so don't let that put you off. And if you want to learn how to create Remarkable events on any budget, make sure you download my FREE eGuide HERE!!