Many people who think that beautiful events have to be expensive, but the truth is that they don’t at all! All it takes is a keen eye, a clever question or two and some colour to make it all pop.
So how exactly do you go from an idea to a real life event with only $250 in the bank account? These tips will tell you how.
Look for venues in your budget.
There are a whole range of places you can potentially host your event in. You will need to pick the right one based on your requirements, style and location but here are a list of good places to hold your venue if you have a smaller budget:
Studios and warehouses // These are often rented out to photographers and creatives at a cheaper, hourly rate than a hotel or dedicated event venue would. These are a great option if you are looking for a more unique look and feel and don’t mind something with personality.
Co-working spaces // If you are looking for venue for an after-hours workshop or weekend workshop, then a co-working space may be ideal for you! They are usually able to hire their spaces out at a more affordable rate and because they are business hubs, they may also be able to promote your workshop to their own community too – bonus!
Restaurants and cafes // Often overlooked, the function room spaces in restaurants and cafes are a great choice for people just starting out with their events. These are usually cheaper to hire on a weekday and can even be free if you purchase your catering through them.
Council room and halls // Your local and state councils are always investing in the services they can provide their communities and they keep their meeting rooms and event spaces as affordable as possible. Some meeting rooms even start from as little as $11 an hour to hire and ones that have been recently refurbished have the latest equipment as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a good deal.
If you have had your eye on a beautiful hotel or event space that was just a little too much out of your budget to commit, then don’t be afraid to make contact and see if you can get a better deal.
Often hotels and event spaces have seasonal specials or low seasons that they need to fill and are in a better position to offer you a discount. You may even get a better rate just for booking in on a day and time that is not usually busy for them.
Pick up the phone or send a friendly email introducing yourself and asking if there is a way that you can work together that is mutually beneficial for the both of you.
Look at sponsorship for the things you would like to provide but don’t have the budget for.
If you are just starting out in events and want to provide things such as catering, goodie bags or a take home gift for clients but you are unable to fit it into your budget, sponsorship is a good way to work with a business. Sponsorship helps them promote their business to your community and you have services or products that you can use to lift the experience of your event.
Don’t look at sponsorship as a free hand out, rather, it is a collaborative partnership where the both of you benefit from the event outcomes. They should receive relevant marketing and promotional benefits (hopefully with a good return on investment) in return for their involvement with your event.
The key to great sponsorship is genuine relationship building and a gorgeous alignment between audience and business.
Bring in elements from your own home to decorate.
With many of us running our businesses from home these days, we do make an effort to create an office space or house that is a calming and lovely reflection of us. So why not bring those elements into your events? Creating events are a beautiful reflection of you as a person as well as a brand, and one easy way to bring a bit of you into an event is to bring along the things that you love. These can be:
// Framed prints and quotes
// Gorgeously designed tarot cards
// Books or notebooks
// Visually interesting items like wooden boxes, candleholders, geometric shapes etc
Look at how you dress your desk and your personal spaces, pack them in a suitcase and bring them along! And if you want a gorgeous backdrop for your event, don’t be afraid to gets hands on and DIY!
Liven the room up with some flowers.
Fresh flowers can make all the difference in a room that before was plain and bland. They bring something so beautiful into the room that makes the event feel so fresh and feminine.
You can buy a couple of different bunches from the flower markets or the local florist and arrange them yourself in some glass bottles or jars that you’ve saved from your pantry. You can tie ribbon around them or decorate with textured papers.
It’s also good to have an arrangement up the front next to the speaker to provide an extra visual element that is not only enjoyable to be next to but is also Instagram worthy!
So depending on your budget, you could run an event for less than $100 using a cost effective venue, sponsorship, décor from your home or office and a bunch of fresh flowers. Not bad hey? So the next time you are thinking of running an event for your business, you know that you will be able to do something beautiful on a budget.
Jade McKenzie is an event professional and coach for heart-centered entrepreneurs and business owners who want to run purposeful and powerful events. With over a decade of experience in event management and business development, she has an unrelenting passion for giving her clients the ability to step into their spotlight and shine. You can find Jade at event head.com.au.