Cutting Costs On Your Corporate Event
Outside may be all summertime and easy living, but in the mind of many a corporate event planner, it’s about time to start planning the annual end-of-year holiday party. There are countless items to consider, from the venue to the vendors, but one of the most important items is the party budget. Companies want to celebrate their achievements over the past year and give their employees a fun and memorable event, but that doesn’t mean they can afford to break the bank in the process!
As an event planner, it’s important to have little tricks up your sleeve for keeping costs low without sacrificing quality. Thankfully, finding places to save and splurge on a party is easy, even fun! So get creative, think outside the box, and find those penny-pinching places in your budget. Or, if you need a few jumping off points, here are our suggestions:
Keep the Spread Simple: Food is usually the most costly item on a party budget, especially when you’re trying to feed a whole company. Of course, you want your employees to enjoy a delicious meal, and they still can, but adjusting or cutting back on the menu will leave you with an office of happy, full-bellied employees and money leftover! Firstly, restrict your fruit and veggie plates to seasonal picks. Out-of-season choices like mangoes or asparagus are expensive and if we’re being truly honest, the fruit tray at a company party often goes untouched anyway. Save yourself the frustration of tossing out costly produce at the end of the night.
Cutting back on the main course is a little tougher, mainly because holiday tradition dictates the sort of meals we should be serving (turkey, mashed potatoes, etc). But eliminating carving stations from your party and serving menu items like chicken or fish will be a blessing on your budget. Not only are those dishes cheaper and equally delicious compared to turkey or prime rib, the lack of a carving station decreases the need for attendants and chefs, making your meal even simpler and more cost effective.
Finally, opt for mini-desserts over full servings of cake or other sweet treats. A common rule of thumb is that most guests only take two or three bites of their dessert, and the remainder is tossed out at the end of the event. Spare yourself the wasted wares and serve bite-sized desserts like cream puffs or éclairs.
Keep the Guest List Short and Sweet: A company party is a large affair to begin with, and when you start to factor in spouses, children, and other attendees not in your employ, the sheer volume of people can feel overwhelming. To avoid the headache of an enormous party, make your guest list as succinct as possible. Limit the invitation to employees and their spouses, or host a holiday luncheon at a swanky restaurant and eliminate non-company guests entirely. This idea is sure to keep your costs down, but it will also be a benefit to you and your event planning team. After all, the fewer people you have to entertain, the more time you with have to actually relax and enjoy the event yourselves.
Talk to Your Venue: For many venues, this is not their first time at the rodeo, and they will be happy to help you create an excellent holiday party on your budget. You’ll be surprised at what exactly a venue can do to help out their client, all you have to do is ask! Talk with your vendor about discounts or deals on staffing, food, beverage, or even space rental and see what they can offer. You can even ask for suggestions on affordable entertainment, lighting, or décor! Communication with your venue is key to a successful, cost-efficient event.