How to Host an Education Conference on a Limited Budget
According to Forrester Research, marketing departments spend 24% of their total annual budgets on live events in order to connect with customers, educate attendees, and generate new leads. But what do you do if you have to organize a conference on a tight budget? It can be a tricky undertaking. Fortunately, there are many ways to put on a successful event without breaking the bank.
- Tackle the venue first
The venue will probably be the biggest cost item on your budget, so it should be sorted out first. Begin looking around for a suitable venue early in the planning process. Get multiple venue quotes. Consider that a venue that insists that you use their catering service might not be the most cost-effective choice for you. Another way to save money is to plan the event in the off-season when venues are more likely to provide a discount.
Be honest about your budget at the outset and negotiate from there. Do your homework and appraise yourself of the going rate for services and products you might require before you start negotiations. You will need to shop around to get the best deals. You can also consider package deals by coming to an agreement with one or two suppliers only. You could also negotiate a better price in exchange for something the vendor wants.
- Use event management software
Make use of event management software to save time and be more productive. The software can handle attendee registration, event check-in, and event marketing. These tools can help you manage and promote your event. Many of them are free.
- Promote your event through your email database
Email has been proven to be a very effective marketing tool. And it’s free. Finding ways to grow your email database, will help you grow your ticket sales.
- Be creative with catering
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on an established catering company that will charge you a premium. Do some scouting around and see if you can find newly opened businesses or startups in the catering business. They will give you the best service at the best price to get exposure.
- Recruit volunteers
Running an educational conference requires a lot of manpower and if you are on a tight budget, you may not be able to afford that. A good alternative is to recruit and train volunteers to help you out. This will take time an effort, but if you do it right, it can help you to stay within budget.
- Use social media to promote the conference
One of the best ways to promote an upcoming event is through social media. And it’s not necessary to lay out money on social media advertising. You can simply check out this guide to get you up to speed on the best way to use social media to promote an event.
As you can see, a limited budget doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t put together a great event. There are many creative ways to stretch your event budget.