Simon Hughes, Managing Director of MCHA and will be presenting a free QEIICC Masterclass at The Meetings Show UK, Olympia at 12.50pm on Wednesday 10th July, titled ‘20 Tips to get more from your budget’. Simon shares just a few tips to give us a taster of what will be covered:
1. Managing budgets effectively is not so much about buying things cheaply or at the lowest possible price. It’s about buying the right things at the right price.
2. A good first step is to make sure you know what you are spending – so undertake an audit of your overall spend as this will help you understand what you are spending on and what prices you are paying. This audit process will give you insights into where you can maximise buying power and negoitiate better rates from the supply chain.
3. In order to get the most out of available budgets you'll need to ensure that everyone in your organisation signs up to the annual spending plan. This requires compliance – make everyone do the same thing, so that you can really aggregate expenditure and maximise existing arrangements.
4. If you've undertaken an audit and introduced some form of compliance about purchasing, your next stop is your supply chain. You need to examine it carefully, to ensure value for money.
5. Based on that examination, start to use supplier relationships more effectively and be more demanding around the added value that they can bring to your event – and your budget. So be prepared to ask for more and to barter.
6. Another great tool to help manage budgets and get more out of them is by creating efficiencies in the way you work by developing robust processes. Make these simple, easy to use and practical. Standardise and don’t re-invent the wheel. Steal ideas. Cut out waste, complexity and bureaucracy. Make it easy.
7. Don't say yes all the time. If you have a plan, processes and the responsibility for the budget expenditure you also need to manage demand, so don’t just agree to do things because you’re asked. To some extent your plan and processes can protect you from such demands.
8. Think in terms of resources as well as cash when trying to get more from your budgets. The means of supplying what is needed is not just cash based, so resources include people, time, space, assets, content, stakeholders, logistical support, sponsors – many other things can be used to get better for less.
9. Establish clear aims and objectives for the event as part of the budgeting process – essential if you want to get more from your budget – otherwise how will you measure success, or outputs or ensure that what you are delivering fits into the broader communications picture.
10. If you plan to suceed then you'll need to measure your success and the outcomes of your event. This means evaluation has to form part of the process – realistic measures that enable you to demonstrate tangible returns on both objectives and investment.
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 just my top ten tips – to hear more in-depth information, and for the other ten, please come along to my Masterclass at The Meetings Show UK.
Simon Hughes will be presenting a QEIICC Masterclass atitled: ‘20 Tips to get more from your budget’ at The Meetings Show UK, Olympia on Wednesday 10th July 12:50 – 13:35.