Soirees on a Budget: Cost-Effective Ways to Make Your Event Stand Out

By Katherine Turiano

Any budget can make an event stand out; think sweeping venues which are breathtaking at first sight to small details which are remembered by those invited. Every event has a budget: I have planned events for years for clients ranging from national corporations to individuals in their homes, and each has had a budget. Planning an event is really about making the money you have meet your vision.events on a budget

Booking vendors and the venue are where to start; you will be better able to budget for the small expenses once you are able to save on the large expenses. A couple of quick tips to get you started:

Everything is Negotiable. Everything.

Don’t ever reveal your budget. Every company you call will ask, but reply that you are “shopping around” and let them offer their price knowing they are in competition for your business. Keep in mind the difference between what they would like to make and what you would like to pay, and see if you can reach a middle ground.

Venues and vendors want to sell their space and services as much as you want to buy them. It is a simple fact: what you pay for their services minus what it costs them is their profit. Remember that a vendor doesn’t need to make their optimal profit to work with you and will lower their fees to book so they get your business. Use things like off-season, off-day of the week, and marketing in the form of your attendees viewing their space or services to negotiate for your event on a budget.

Work with an Event Production Company

Many event production companies have wonderful relationships with venues and vendors who are willing to offer their services for a less expensive rate because they work together consistently. Call an event planning company like The Wakeman Agency to help source the best prices for the larger items.

Consider Alternate Locations

Whether your event is a sparkling gala or a mud run, venue will be your largest cost and because of that, venue is where you can save the most. When you envision your event, picture the type of place you would like to have it and consider anything that meets that type of space, even if it is a location you wouldn’t normally consider. Private rental homes, restaurants (on an off-night), and any large open space you can bring a caterer into can all save an amazing amount of money over a hotel or dedicated catering space for your formal event. When planning something more casual, I strongly recommend (if you are in the right season) that you consider hosting your event outdoors. Local farms, private land and public parks (sometimes free!) can be great locations to save a ton on your outdoor event. A large tent is 10% of what a formal venue costs and it provides a “weather worry free” solution for a beautiful outdoor event.