5 Tips to Maximize Your Buying Power
In this quarter’s MPI Meetings Outlook report pinched buying power was a hot topic of concern within the meetings and events industry. With budget increasing at about 1.6% while prices are projected to increase by 4.1% according to the report this discrepancy results in a 2.5% decline in buying power.
The problem is that although buying power is decreasing, participant expectation is continuously increasing. Luckily, there are a few services that are cost effective and can boost attendee engagement without increasing the budget.
Get Strategic with your Show Floor
Instead of offering sponsors a booth, offer the opportunity to host a social media lounge, charging stations, or photo booth. All three services will boost engagement and can be sponsored for relatively the same cost as a trade-show booth.
Change up your meeting times
Food and beverage costs can sky-rocket during a dinner time gala or seminar. Host your event in the morning or early afternoon and save on food costs. Brunch is often less expensive yet well received- or have a cold-cuts bar serving build it yourself sandwiches. Both will satisfy guests and be much more cost effective than steak or chicken plated dinners.
Meet Somewhere Unexpected
Hotel ballrooms are great, and for some events a must have, but I’ve seen more and more event planners select unexpected venues to save on hotel fees and generate some excitement! Recently I went to a seminar at an aircraft hangar which was beautiful! I’ve even seen some companies transforming movie theaters into mini conferences for training seminars.
Be Proactive for Travel
A recent conference I follow offered a Facebook page once attendees registered to sign up for carpooling! It was awesome, not only did it allow attendees to connect before the event, it helped save on travel costs and showed how much the event organizers thought of the attendees. There was even a road trip hashtag to track each other’s journeys!
Negotiate Multi-Year Contracts
Most vendors will provide a discount for guaranteeing repeat business. If you have a vendor you’ve used before and are confident you will want to use again, ask for a multi-year discount! Not only will you remove one thing off your to-do list next year, you will strengthen your partnership with the vendor and be able to get creative with their services. From venues to audio-visual take a moment to chat with your vendors and see what kind of partnership you can create.