How To Host a Big Event on a Budget


Despite popular belief, there need not be an extra-large bank account at the end of an extra-large (and successful) event. Whether it’s a company conference, album release party, or the wedding of the year, there are ways around cutting into the green.

Whatever you’re planning and prepping for, we’re here to smooth out the worries and show you some possibilities in terms of bringing the day to fruition. Here are 10 tips for hosting a big event on a budget – but the key here is that these steps, when implemented right, will create a successful event for you to enjoy, move your company forward, bring people together, grow, or simply celebrate!

10 Tips For Hosting A Big Event On A Budget

Plan Early

This may seem like an obvious notion, but too many waits until the last minute to figure out the logistics.

  • If you’re looking to build an event around little cash flow, you’ll have to take your time and think ahead.

Know what your goals are and what your vision is before diving into all the necessities and choices.

Additional Fees

Don’t make any official decisions without being aware of the additional fees that may follow them.

  • If you’re budgeting, you need to budget all nooks and crannies of the process.
  • If you’re having a conference at an official event space or hotel, be especially wary of the bottom line cost.

Gratuities can take a big chunk of the end receipt as well.

Buffets Are A Go

When it comes to the food, buffets are always a better option than a sit-down meal. Why? Because it’s less expensive of course! You can nix paying for waiters and for every table cut down on the service in this way.

Think About Sponsorships

To help out with the cost of the event, looking into and thinking about gaining some sponsorships could be incredibly beneficial. Think about what you’ll be using for the event or what sister companies could benefit from the exposure, reach out and see what happens!

Go Digital

Don’t spend a penny on printing materials when your guests can access anything and everything they need right on their phones, laptops, or tablets. Printing costs can pile up and it’s not a necessity anymore.

The tech department (or a really creative friend) can manage the registration, schedules, handouts, and more using a website, email or newsletter database, or even social media.

Learn How To Negotiate

The first offer doesn’t have to be the last. Instead, learn how to negotiate a bit. There’s no harm in asking for a better deal or a freebie to be thrown into the mix from the venue or any of the vendors.

Make sure you know the market averages and then go in for the conversation with confidence. You may even be able to muster up some fine package deals or cut down with some of your vendors/suppliers.

Schedule The Speakers Quickly

This should be apart of the initial planning process. The closer you get to the event’s date, the more you’ll be paying for guests/motivational speakers or experts to join in on the fun.

The earlier you plan their arrival the less it’ll cost to not only compensate them – but their travel fees will be less as well.

DJ All the Way

DJs aren’t outdated. In fact, they’re trendier and more of a contemporary party addition than a live band are – and, what’s even more beneficial is the fact that they can be less than half the price of one.

The best part here is customizable options:

  • You can set the playlist
  • Have a built-in MC
  • Have the vibe manipulated into the exact vision you’re craving for the event

Nix the Favors

No koozies are needed. In fact, they’re really just money guzzlers and the guests will throw them out – or lose them – at a moment’s notice. Favors just aren’t a necessity to a fantastic event.

Think Alcohol

Alcohol can be a money muncher, so think about alternative options other than an “open bar” or “hosted bar.” For example, cash bars can be an easy way to get yourself off of the hook. Don’t pay for people to NOT drink what you’ve already foot the bill for and don’t overpay either.

Instead, set up a way for the guests to pay for what they want or for you to pay afterward for what was actually consumed. This really depends on the type of event your hosting. Consumption bars may be more appropriate for guests as a wedding whereas a cash bar may be better for the last dinner of a regional conference.