Whether for a wedding reception or a business meeting, the expense incurred when booking an event venue inevitably monopolizes the budget. It can often be difficult to achieve the desired ambiance for the occasion without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips to save money when booking.
The higher the demand, the steeper the price, and holidays are killer when it comes to demand. Avoid hosting an event on a holiday at all costs!! If the holiday is unavoidable (let’s say you are booking a holiday-specific party for your coworkers), consider having it before the day itself. Not only will you save money on the venue, you’ll be more likely to have all of your guests attend.
Similar to holidays, weekends are always in high demand, especially for weddings. For this reason prices tend to be much lower during the off-days/nights. Booking a venue mid-week ensures ultimate savings, and allows you to filter your money towards other important details and expenses.
Ditch the table-side service and opt for a buffet-style arrangement. It requires significantly less staff to manage self-serve stations, so more money will stay in your pocket. If you’d like a semi-served feel to the event, consider having a few trays passed during cocktail hour or as guests are arriving. The same servers passing trays will wind up behind the buffet stations, so you won’t have to pay for double the staff.
Open bar situations run the risk of the alcohol bill matching or even exceeding the space rental alone. Unless your budget is unlimited, you should ALWAYS have a limited bar. Depending on the occasion and style of your event, it might make sense to limit the choices to beer and wine. If specialty cocktails are a must, choose a select 3-5 that are available, and call it quits. Cash bar is always an option if your guests are absolutely set on drinking something different, but chances are they won’t mind tailoring their tastes if something else is offered for free.
Become a Regular
This is an especially important key to booking business events. Let the venue know of all upcoming events you are looking to host- they may offer a discount if they know you will bring them more business! Be prepared to book several events on the spot, as you will rarely reap the benefits of this tactic if you aren’t ready to show them the money.
External Audio Visual
In our experience, we have found that clients are much happier when they use an external (non-hotel) audio visual company. In house audio visual companies often have to give the hotel 25%-50% of the total invoice, naturally their rates reflect this. Also, hotel staff don’t typically stay in the room for the duration of the meeting. Our staff are the first to show up, and the last to leave. If you have any questions, or want any changes – we are able to help you instantly!
In addition to these tips, it is always important to discuss the ins and outs of any event package you are receiving. Know what the venue is providing, and what they are willing to cut-out and allow you to manage on your own. Having all of your options drawn out and daring to be creative and flexible when planning will ultimately be the key to your savings.