Simon Hughes, Managing Director of MCHA and Chair of Eventia will be presenting a QEIICC Masterclass at The Meetings Show UK titled ‘20 Tips to get more from your budget’. In his second blog, Simon shares a few more tips to give us a taster of what will be covered:
11. Dealing with the demands of fixed and variable costs when managing a budget does create the opportunity to get some creativity involved in both the design process and use of resources/budget. E.G. Do you need to feed and water them?
12. Content is king, so make sure that your budget recognises the true value of any event critical content. If that means securing an expensive keynote in order to drive up paying attendance then make the case, supported by contingency.
13. Remember that with new technological changes coming along all the time, technology is actually only a tool – so use it to reduce the time and effort required in delivery. Look at registration systems as an example – once you had to pay someone to look after that – now your delegates can self complete on a reg site because technology allows them to do so with confidence.
14. Embrace virtual and web based solutions that can enhance the live event. BUT – only do so if the cost involved enhances the experience in a way that links directly to the objectives of the event. Getting a really great contributor to Skype into a session is fantastic – if you've already got A/V support in your budget.
15. Social media is a really useful way of extending the reach and impact of your event (and can provide great metrics in terms of ROI for the investment required).
You can do so much – co-create with delegates ahead of the event so that they get what they want at the event; work with your end users to design the content. Get them to become advocates for you, using their networks and contacts. Make your content feel relavant with their world, their interests, their business.
16. Working on your overall annual demand creates the opportunity to involve people from across the organisation in the process. This in turn helps to create a more integrated communication role for your events and meetings.
17. Letting others know what you are doing and finding out what their needs are will also create the opportunity for economies of scale, where you can look at merging events and look for more collaboration between different parts of the business or organisation.
18. Focus on the core elements of the experience and avoid/reduce the frills wherever possible. What do they actually need during the event? Get into the habit of asking what's essential as opposed to what's normal.
19. Remember to be sustainable – re-use and recycle – keep sustainability front of mind in the design and planning cycle for assets and materials. Sustainability is not just about recycling though – it’s about creating a business ethos that helps you improve the way you work through every part of the production and delivery process – so rharry Harry ecord savings that are achieved – not just cash but also extras that have been derived from actively seeking out more value.
20. So finally to get more from your budget, what’s just one thing you could try to see how much you could stretch it? Well, you need be flexible. So, focus activity and challenge the status quo. Are you using your own spaces regularly and effectively for meetings and events? Have you tried using alternative spaces, away from traditional venues? Make sure you get the right audience – perhaps that means less people but the right people. Work harder with your clients to educate them by sharing ideas, challenges and innovation.
Remember, it’s all about value, so make sure that you use smarter procurement processes, which in turn creates more efficient use of time resources. Embrace the opportunities that free social media offers you. Think about more formal routes to delivering real value savings, such as strategic meetings management programmes which enable you to plan better and buy better.
In the new world order of better for less many events experts are now embracing the opportunity to integrate face to face into the mainstream communication channels that surround them. It makes more sense, delivers better value and gets better results.
So, that’s another ten tips for you – to hear more in-depth information, please come along to my QEIICC Masterclass at The Meetings Show UK.
Simon Hughes will be presenting a QEIICC Masterclass titled: ‘20 Tips to get more from your budget’ on Wednesday 10th July 12:50 – 13:35.