Ideas to Help You Stay Within Your Event Budget and Venue Booking
Jun 23, 2010

Standard event planning process entails booking a venue in advance and setting attendance targets in order to cover costs. However targets and projections don't always dovetail with reality so it's always good to have some backup strategies on-hand, especially when it comes to juggling costly venue bookings. Here are two:


1) Early Bird Ticketing.

By offering an early bird special registration rate you can increase registrations earlier on in your event planning process. This gives you the possibility of measuring what kind of reception your event is getting in advance, and if you fall far behind your target it might even offer the chance to find a cheaper or smaller venue.


With DW Event you can offer Early Bird or Limited Space discounts with cutoff dates as an incentive for people not to register at the last minute. You can automatically determine the quantity of discounted registrations as well as the cutoff date in advance, creating a double incentive for being the early bird who gets the worm.


One use-case scenario would be: for an upcoming workshop you decide to offer the first 50 registrations at a 20% discount. In this case the quantity of registrations defines the cutoff, which the DW Event system will automatically implement, charging the 51st registrant the regular fee.


Another use-case scenario might be: for an upcoming workshop you offer a 40% discount to all registrants who complete their registration one month prior to the workshop date. Let's say you only generate 10% of your attendance target—this would be a good indication that you might need to find a smaller venue. This is a good segway to our next budgeting backup strategy.


2) Offering alternative event dates and/or venues.

Hopefully this won't happen, but if you ever find yourself in the position of having to downsize your original event targets after the registration process has begun, you'll need to have an offer prepared for the people who have already purchased tickets. This can be one of two things: refunding, or offering an alternative date/location.


Refunds are an inevitable part of event planning, and your event software should have an easy-to-use refund procedure especially for online credit card purchases.


But let's say you're planning a series of 3 workshops on different days, and for some reason workshop 1 only meets 10% of its target attendance when you're two weeks out from the date, hardly justifying the expenses of renting the venue and other costs. Rather than simply refunding tickets, you might want to consider offering existing registrants the opportunity to attend workshops 2 or 3 at no additional costs.


Most event planners would do this as a matter of course, but it can wreak havoc in your record-keeping if your event management software isn't equipped to handle these kinds of changes. With DW Event you can easily transfer registrants from one event to another without losing any of their scheduling, payment or other attendee preferences.


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