Despite a healthy economy, meeting planners and hotel managers are struggling with their budgets. Costs continue to rise, while budgets remain the same—or, in some cases, even decrease.
Keeping up with technology is still crucial for successful events, while creativity cannot be lacking if you hope to have an interesting and engaging meeting.
Money and Menus
Budgets are always at the forefront of a planner’s mind. While management may want to throw a lavish event, planners must do it all in a controlled budget. This is difficult with costs and expectations consistently rising, while budgets stay roughly the same.
We are seeing a trend with Millennials and Gen Z beginning to take over the industry so, event professionals are now tasked with creating more engaging and entertaining activities. The interactive components can help everyone get more out of the experience. The downside is that this also increases costs.
Food and beverage are issues to overcome. Event planners work with an increasing number of complex diets such as gluten-free, Keto and vegan, etc. Pleasing everyone can be a challenge which in turn results in increased costs due to the complexity of changes for the caterers. Sustainability has also become more prevalent and planners are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste. All of this adds up.
To cure the issue of increased costs of venues, speakers and food it is a good idea to have a candid conversation with your event planner while budgeting. The event planner’s job is to negotiate, conduct diligent research and will be creative in meeting your budget costs for an event.
Time vs. Tech
Time pressure is also stress-inducing. You don’t want a Fyre Festival on your hands so planning in advance of all details is important. Since there can be so many different aspects of an event to worry about, there is constant worry that something may have slipped through the cracks. Frustration also comes from the tendency for short-term details to overtake long-term, strategic planning.
Technology still remains one of the biggest challenges for event managers. Attendees can often be more aware of the newest tech so the breakneck speed of adoption also sideswipes attempts to train and plan.
While white boards and LCD media players may still play a role in events, attendees who have grown up with social media and interactive apps will most likely want more. That costs money and brings us back to the budget discussion.
Technology at events is inevitable and time management will always be a part of event planning. The two can work together in both saving money and time. You can upload maps, directories and agendas while saving trees and creating an interactive experience at the same time.
Since technology already integrates into attendees’ lives, expectations of event apps will continue to grow and event planners will have to start adjusting budgets accordingly.