Anyone putting together any type of corporate or social event would love to have an unlimited budget, and if that were the case, giving the gathering a ‘wow’ factor wouldn’t be all that challenging, but that’s rarely the case.
There’s usually only so much money to go around, yet that doesn’t change the fact that your event still needs a ‘wow’ factor. So, how do you give it one when working with limited funds?
Well, in our 18+ years in event planning in NY and NJ, we’ve managed to wow event attendees working with budgets of all sizes, so we put together a few tips that may help.
Utilize the element of surprise.
People putting together events don’t tend to be thrilled with surprises. They consider and plan for every little detail because the goal is for everything to run as predictably as possible once the big day rolls around.
But the problem is, event attendees aren’t nearly as fond of predictability as the people planning the events are and it is about them in the end, right?
So, one way to wow your attendees is weave some surprises into your event plans, whether they come in the way of a surprise gift or deal, an unannounced guest speaker or local celebrity, an invitation to attend an after-party or a future event for free, etc.
These are just a few of the surprise possibilities and obviously some will cost more than others, but the point is, you can weave the element of surprise into your plans and as long as attendees are satisfied with the unforeseen item, activity, etc., it doesn’t matter how much you spent on it.
Give attendees sights and sounds to remember.
You can also use the audio-visual aspects of your social or corporate events to give them a unique ‘wow’ factor, and you don’t have to have a huge budget to make it happen.
For instance, you can use lighting to create different moods and tones and to complement themes, presentations, video content, etc., or you can create captivating multi-image presentations with flatscreen TVs to grab people’s attention.
You can also get creative with your entertainment. For example, you can bring in a local artist to do live drawings or paintings of attendees which they can then take home or you can have a local chef on hand who can teach guests how to make their dishes.
Whatever you do, again, take it from us as longtime NY and NJ event planning pros, as long as you create a new and unusual experience for attendees, it won’t matter how inexpensive it was to do it.
Get creative with your theme.
Like mentioned at the top, we’d all love to have unlimited funds when planning an event and if we did, selling even the most extravagant theme wouldn’t be a problem. It’s not that it’s impossible to use a theme to give your event a ‘wow’ factor when working with a tight or at least limited budget, but just that you need to think creatively and resourcefully to do it.
For instance, a costume or masquerade theme or something along those lines is a smart choice because while you’ll need to decorate accordingly and get themed foods, drinks, etc., the guests will be doing a lot of the work for you by showing up in themed attire.
The bottom line is that the size of your budget should not, and cannot, determine whether your event has a ‘wow’ factor or not; it just changes the way you need to go about creating one. We hope these tips help, and for some more general cost-cutting tips, check out this post, 3 Tips for Planning an Event on a Tight Budget.
About Us: Absolute Events by Corrine is a full-service meeting & event planning company in New Jersey. Whether it’s a corporate conference, a dinner party, or a wedding, Absolute Events by Corrine does it all so that our clients can be guests at their own events.