– Have pitchers of fresh water instead of bottled water if it can be avoided. Bottled water can blow up the budget relatively.
– Try to use an outdoor/terrace/pool venue to minimize decoration. Transforming a plain ballroom or meeting room is extremely expensive and sometimes can be less attractive or effective.
– Use venues that you have the flexibility to choose your own providers. You are then not tied to a specific provider that can be costly.
– Read and fully understand your contract! Donát get caught because you missed the small print or didnát understand it.
– Practice “recyclying”. Replate muffins and fruit from breakfast and offer them at the midmorning break.
– Bring your own LCD, power strips, and extension cords to avoid AV charges if you have them.
– Contract more than one meeting at a time. You can often get more favorable terms if the property is assured of future business.
– If a speaker that you want is currently in the area in which youáll be holding the meeting, ask if he or she can do a keynote and/or workshop, preferably on the same day. It will save on expenses, and you may get a discount.
– Ask, ask, ask. Very often hotels will have props and miscellaneous decor on-site that you can use at no charge.
– Less is more — The farther apart you can spread the shuttle pick up times, the better. You can save one to five vehicles by adjusting the times by 10 minutes.
– Sponsorship — Get everything possible sponsored. You can even get airport transportation sponsored. Consider showing videotape advertisements on the overhead television of the bus, or having a sponsor for the coolers full of drinks for the ride.
– Cut down on “Greets” — This works best for sales and internal meetings. Have guests walk to a meeting point in the claim area. This reduces the number of staff at the airport.