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Procurement: 9 ways on how to reduce corporate meetings and events spend

2nd June 2015

corporate-meetings-and-events-procurement-tips--Flightline-Corporate Travel-Management-CompanyProcuring meetings and events is not a simple task. You require expert events management and venue knowledge coupled with feasible creative ideas that deliver a true return on a company’s corporate meeting and events budget. Furthermore managing the procurement of corporate meetings and events services has moved up the business travel management agenda challenging procurement professionals. To help you ensure you do not run the risk of unexpected costs exceeding your events budget, our Event-Line specialists have looked into measures meetings and events planners can adopt to effectively reduce costs in this spend area.

Here we share 9 simple ways on how you can stay within your budget and reduce corporate meetings and event spend without compromising on the quality of the experience.

1. Choose your location carefully

Choosing the right location for your business event can be challenging especially if your events budget is small. Try to avoid busy dates as prices may skyrocket especially when a trade fair is taking place at your preferred corporate meetings and events destination. Consider checking business travel resources such as online directories for busy dates like tradefairdates.com or auma trade fair directory. Seeking off-season rates at lower-tier destinations can also help you reduce costs related to corporate meetings and events.

2. Budget wisely

There is always the possibility that something may go exactly to plan and last minute changes need to be made to your event, for example in relation to event equipment, logistics, entertainment, health and safety, event security or travel arrangements – just to list a few. Any changes, especially the unexpected ones can cause unnecessary excess events spend. Be wise and put a certain amount of your budget aside for such cases to ensure you stay within your corporate meetings and events budget.

3. Secure volume discounts through bulk purchasing

Do you have multiple meetings and events lined up, such as a series of sales events in different or even the same location? If so, it might be worthwhile to book multiple meetings and events with the same hotel or hotel chain. Often vendors offer discounted rates if you book from the same vendor in a bulk at the same time. Another option could be to take advantage of volume discounts available from preferred vendors and to target airport hotels as they tend to offer lower rates and enable you to keep the cost for transportation low.

4. Take advantage of contracted rates

Ask for a contracted rate for hotel rooms, including those booked after the cut-off date. If you have to arrange transportation such as flights for your delegates and attendees, check with your company or your corporate travel management company. Ask them if they have any negotiated contracted airfares available for your preferred meetings and events destination you can take advantage of or if they provide a group rate giving flexibility on names and payment times.

5. Keep track of your expenses

No matter how little or large the budget for your corporate meetings and events is, it is vital to keep track of each single cost factor that contributes to your meeting and event spend to obtain a cost overview throughout the pre-meeting or events phase ensuring your costs do not go overboard. In addition, consider creating a cost-savings and containment report for each corporate meeting, conference and event. This way you can see how much cost was saved and easily identify potential cost saving opportunities for the next corporate meetings and events you have to organise.

6. Be flexible with times of travel

Fixed dates and venues when organising corporate meetings and events may cost you extra; sometimes even quite substantially. Be open where possible to alternative event dates and give flexibility with travel patterns and venues.

7. Communicate in the right way

As in most other areas in life and business, good communication is a major factor for a positive outcome. It saves you time, trouble, stress and often also money. Make sure you communicate everything clearly and ideally in writing to avoid misunderstandings which may later cost time and money. Use electronic means of communication. So many items used around events have all been paper based – invitations, programmes, information, and others. Consider to replace print with digital communication, for example by using online registration tools or apps. This allows you to reduce print costs and to collect information or valuable feedback from attendees, which can be easily updated on a regular basis. Plus, it’s more eco-friendly too.

8. Look for historical patterns

Experienced meetings and events planners know that not every attendee who has confirmed to attend your event is going to turn up. There will always be a percentage of no shows for an event and once you have confirmed the attendee numbers with the venue or hotel you get charged for them. Look at historical data of previous meetings and events you have organised to find out how many attendants actually turned up and how much they consumed. This way you can decide whether you need to confirm a lower number of attendees to avoid paying for unused hotel rooms or unconsumed food and drinks.

9. Negotiate, what’s worth to negotiate

Venue Negotiation is a critical factor you should never underestimate, when it comes to saving cost on meetings and business events. Whichever venue you source make sure you ask for reduced prices and check for potential unexpected expenses related to food and beverages, charges for overnight stays or event setup fees. These event costs are often missed when signing the initial contract and can lead to excess expense. Prioritize and focus on negotiating the things that are most important to you and your delegates. For example, try to negotiate complimentary hotel rooms on a pickup basis, secure some amenities such as free internet access and free lounge access for you VIPs guests. Whether it is for flights, hotel rooms or things like airport transfers ask for group rates. When it comes to hotel bookings, try to avoid things like early departure fees.

More articles you may be interested in:

Corporate Travel Services: Planning corporate meetings and events in Berlin

A Guide for meeting planners to the best UK cities for business events

Want to learn more about Event-Line corporate meetings and events services?

Are you looking for a smart way to reduce your corporate meetings and events spend or require a strategic meetings management solution? Whatever your requirement is, we have a solution that fits. Get in touch with our Event-Line business travel agents team to find out more about the benefits of professional corporate meetings and events management service solutions from Flightline Travel Management. Call us on +44 (0)1844 299 750 or please enquire online.

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