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Keeping Your Event Under Budget
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By Mindy Dutka

50 Tips on How to Keep Your Costs Down
Staying within your event budget is always important to any business venture but it is essential when planning a corporate event. As the goals of a corporate event are generally not profit based, determining the ROI (or return on investment) is often complicated. Below are some steps that you can take that will not only help you meet event budget guidelines, but can bring you in well under budget!

Location
Choosing the right location is an integral part of the success of any event. Here are some tips that can help you find the best possible venue at the best price.

1. Researching venues online will save time. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce or Convention and Visitors Bureau about possible venue options. As they will want to keep your event within their districtsThere are websites such as cvent.com, agendaonline.com as well as visitor convention and tourist bureaus i.e.nycvisit.com that allows you to search a database for venues and submit RFP's (Request for Proposal) online., they should be able to do a lot of the legwork for you, saving your staff from making tons of phone calls.
2. Try to keep your event local. By using local destinations, your costs will be considerably less than if you took everyone into a distant major city.
3. When looking at a possible venue, remember to take a video camera to tape your site inspection. or a camera to take photos. This will allow you to review the information later with fresh eyes and without a pushy salesperson!on your own schedule.

Efficient Budgeting
Event planning budgeting is the most crucial component of event planning. Remember to really think about all the components that are going into your event before settling on a specific event budget. Review these tips about setting your budget and keeping watch over expenditures.

4. Remember to increase older expenses by at least 10% and add an additional 10% for contingency or unforeseen expenses. These expenses can sometimes occur when you least expect them and can include: inclement weather, labor issues, additional postage and mailings, entertainment substitutes, cancellation insurance.
5. Review your expenses daily so that any errors can be caught early enough to be corrected without financial repercussions.
6. Communicate your budgetary restrictions with your venue and contractors. They want to keep your business. Let them know what you can afford and they will work with you.
7. Request a discount if you pay in cash rather than credit cards. When vendors accept credit cards, they have to pay a percentage to the credit card company. By using cash you are saving them money, so see if they can reciprocate.
8. Restrict authorized signatures and do not accept any charges made by unauthorized people. Similar to the old adage, too many cooks in the kitchen, the more people making monetary decisions, the higher the costs will be.
9. Always remember that your business is important. By keeping a history of previous events and advising possible vendors of that history, they will see the potential for repeat business and will try to be as amenable as possible.
10. Try to be flexible with your event date. Can it be held mid-week? Is there a holiday close to your event date? Evaluate when your selected venue has slow time. You may be able to reduce your expenses. You may also receive better service, as you won't be competing for attention due to other events at the facility.
11. When deciding on your budgeting for staff, remember to schedule them at straight time to avoid additional overtime fees.

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