With smart and thoughtful planning, an organization can create an event that stays within or below budget and meets the desired results.
Plainview, N.Y. (PRWEB) November 07, 2012
Most meeting planners know that the time of year when the meeting is held and where the meeting is scheduled can make a big difference in the overall meeting cost. But experts at OKT Meeting say there are a number of additional cost-saving strategies meeting planners can use this fall to help plan an affordable and effective meeting.
“Planning affordable meetings that are worthwhile to those in attendance and meet the expected outcomes can be a balancing act for meeting planners,” said Idan Keren, senior director at OKT Meeting, a company with more than 30 years of experience in planning successful meetings. “With smart and thoughtful planning, an organization can create an event that stays within or below budget and meets the desired results.”
OKT Meeting offered the following suggestions for planning an effective and affordable meeting:
Cut Back on Food Costs
With a few slight adjustments meeting planners can save on food costs. For example, instead of offering a full breakfast, try to get it included in the room rate. Ask the hotel about meeting packages that include breakfast, breaks and lunch. Another way to save on food costs is to offer soft drinks and bottled water during breaks and lunch, but have the hotel limit the beverages to one per person. This will help avoid the problem of attendees taking multiple drinks back to their rooms.
The alcohol tab can add up quickly at an evening reception or gala dinner. Consider doing an open bar or limiting the alcohol being served to beer and wine. If you want to offer a full selection of alcohol, using drink tickets can help keep costs on budget. For a nice cultural touch, see if a popular local cocktail can also be added to the beverage package. For example, if the meeting is being held in Brazil, caipirinha is known as the country’s national cocktail and would be an ideal addition.
Being environmentally friendly is an important issue for many companies and can often be a deciding factor in holding the meeting. Save money and help the environment by serving tap water instead of bottled water. Use recycled paper and request recycling bins in meeting and meal rooms to help the environment and show that the environment is a top concern.
Negotiate with Speakers
Some professional speakers are willing to speak at a reduced cost if you allow them to sell their books or other products at the conference. Another way to save is to exchange services with the speaker. For example, if your organization is filming the conference, offer to provide the speaker with a video recording of their talk for a reduced speaking rate. Allow them to use the video for future promotional purposes.
Ask for Additional Perks
As part of the contract, ask the venue to provide complimentary basics like flip charts and power strips. When negotiating a hotel group rate, ask for simple amenities like newspapers, bottled water and free Wi-Fi be included as part of your deal. Above basic amenities, consider asking for a few upgraded rooms for VIPs to be included in the contract along with VIP welcome gifts.
About OKT Meeting
OKT Meeting is a full-service corporate event planning company with more than 30 years of experience in planning effective and affordable meetings worldwide. For more information on how OKT Meeting can help you save money and give you the much needed time to focus on the customer and content, visit OKTMeeting.com or call 516-622-1600.