Budget Shmudget! Looking for value without compromising quality.


It’s that time of the year again.  Companies around the globe will dive deep into their CFO’s spreadsheets and somehow come up with figures detailing out how much they can spend on this and that.  In this economy, events tend to be considered “that”.  Thanks to AIG, a big government bailout, jokes made on late night television, the media in general and the overall state of the economy independent and corporate planners can be found biting what’s left of their nails.  Many events have been put on hold or cancelled altogether.  The events that remain on the calendar are suffering from extremely tight budgets.  Everyone, including event planners are looking for the best deal.  The budget this year steals the show like it never has before.  So how can you save money and pinch pennies without the end result looking and feeling “cheap”?  It’s true, and it’s been proven over and over – sometimes if it’s got a low end price, it’s got low end quality.  No one wants to see the quality of their events go down this year. 


The trick here is negotiation.  Budgets are tight everywhere and most event vendors are feeling the pinch too so they are more likely to open to negotiations.  Hotels may be able to accommodate you in negotiations – so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  You are bringing them business, this is true; however, that doesn’t mean that they must bow to your every demand.  Your bottom line is important to them too, but every business is in business to make money.  Reasonability is key.  In other words, you can’t expect $5000 worth of catering for $1000. $5000 worth of catering for $4500 is more realistic.  Consider carefully  who your vendor is before you ask for a better price.  The small business vendors involved in your event do need your business, and they will want to work with you.  Remember, however, that these small businesses, while eager to earn your business may have restrictions that do not allow them to come down on prices the way that you want them to.  You may come away with a better deal with those vendors if you allow them an opportunity to rework a proposal with different options, knowing your budgetary needs and trusting that they are experts in their field and know what will work and what won’t.  Building a relationship with these vendors is in your best interest as well.  In this industry, everyone knows everyone.  Your catering vendor may be able to point you in the direction of an entertainment vendor who has a special going that you may not be aware of.  


Negotiating pricing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  It can be uncomfortable for event planners as well as for the vendors.  It’s proving to be more complicated to plan events this year than ever before – and it’s all wrapped up in the budgets.  If you think that you will save money by doing it all yourself this year, you could be right.  However, you just might save a few of those pennies and many hours of uncomfortable negotiations and research if you give an independent planner a try.  How?  Independent planning companies (such as ours…shameless plug, I know.) have been researching and negotiating for years with all kinds of vendors.  They know who they can go to already for the best prices and the best quality.  Their relationships are already built with the vendors and usually they have an entire database of ways to squeeze the event into the budget.   Hiring an event planning company doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg either, nor does it mean that you don’t get to do the part of the planning that you really like.   Call us and we’ll tell you how that works.  😉 


Plan on!




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