Planning company meetings is not easy, particularly in this pandemic-driven global climate. With many organizations struggling with a sputtering economy, meeting planners are looking to cut costs. Here are five ways to reduce the cost of your business meetings while still pulling off a successful and informative event.
Choose Your Location, Date, and Time Carefully
When planning a meeting, the first thing to think about is where you will hold the event. It is easy for costs to spiral out of control if you do not choose the right location. For example, many meeting sites will throw in the rental for the space for free if you agree to spend a set amount of money on catering.
You will also enjoy savings in choosing the best location if you choose the best date. Avoiding booking your meeting during the high season is the first start. The time of your meeting may also matter. Trying to book a meeting room during the middle of the workday may cost you more than if you agree to go during an off-time, such as a Friday afternoon versus a Tuesday morning.
Like nearly everything in life, it pays to plan. You cannot expect to score a good deal on meeting space, hotel costs, or any other part of your event if you try to pull it all off at the last minute.
Planning will ensure that you secure the best rates. This advance notice gives you more leverage with vendors to negotiate prices because they know that you are not desperate. Having plenty of time at your disposal will also give you the freedom to compare rates from different vendors without making a rushed decision.
There is no doubt that the single best way to reduce the cost of your meeting is to move it from a physical space to a virtual one. Today’s modern video conference options make it easy and cost-effective to bring your team together without all of the added expenditures that come with an in-person meeting. A virtual meeting will also signal your employees that you value their time.
In addition, pivoting your meetings to the online space is also better for the environment. While you may worry that this approach is less personal, you may be surprised to learn how many video conferencing services have taken steps to personalize the experience so that it feels as if everyone is together in one room.
Like many meeting planners, you are staring down a stack of documents that you need to print for attendees before the event. However, in today’s digitized workplace, it is no longer essential to provide meeting attendees with a stack of printed documents. Instead, you should lean into technology and disseminate these documents via email.
It is also easier to edit important meeting documents on the fly when you have not printed them. Going digital will deliver much more flexibility as you adapt to any fluid parameters of your meeting topics. You will also feel good about doing your part for the environment if you move away from paper and embrace technology.
Shorten the Agenda
It stands to reason that the longer the meeting, the more significant the cost will be. This is particularly true if you are bringing people together for your event. Any time that your meeting extends so long that you need to feed the attendees, you will automatically drive up the cost of the event. Shortening the agenda will naturally keep your costs down.
As a bonus, your attendees will appreciate your intent to keep the meetings focused and within a time limit. Nobody enjoys being subject to a meeting that continually goes off track. Therefore, shortening the agenda is a win on nearly every front of the meeting execution.
These five tips will help you to save a significant amount of money on all of your business meeting expenses, improving your bottom line in the process. In addition, this will allow you to funnel more funds to the things that matter for your organization.