How to cut costs on AV, transportation, and printing without compromising the end result
Sometimes it's the little things that end up blowing the budget. In the second installment of this cost-saving series, we explore how to cut costs on AV, transportation, and printing without compromising the end result.
Often, AV companies charge the same labor fees for tear down as they do for setup. Tear down takes less time, so fees should be about half or three-quarters of the setup charges.
Put sessions that require the same type of seating in the same rooms so that you don't have to pay for room resets.
Consider putting AV service out to bid. In many cases, you can find better deals by hiring an outside AV provider instead of using in-house AV.
Bring your own flip charts, markers, etc.
Ask for one complimentary microphone per room and complimentary two-way radios when negotiating the AV.
Travel with your own extension cords and surge protectors. They cost a fortune if you need them on the spur of the moment.
Don't order draping for screens; no one will notice.
When you expect to have extensive AV requirements, book a conference center, as most include equipment in the cost.
With gas prices high, shuttle costs are going up. Book special events close to the hotel, ideally within walking distance.
Instead of “meet and greet” services, distribute vouchers for airport shuttles and/or fare for public buses or subways.
While negotiating for your hotel, request complimentary limousine service for VIPs to and from the hotel, and ask if free airport shuttle service is provided.
Keep up with the latest technology. Ask your printer for suggestions for for easier, faster, or cheaper ways to get the job done.
Rent a photocopier on-site and ship your own paper with your supplies.
When designing your printed pieces, use standard paper sizes.
If you plan to produce a full-color flier, try to place the color photos on one side of the page only. This will enable many printers to run one side on a two-color press, drastically reducing costs.
Always get price quotes from several printers. Printing costs can vary dramatically.
Negotiate with the hotel's business center for a bulk rate or discount on copies, faxes, and secretarial services.
Use the local CVB's photos, posters, promotional shells, meeting folders, and tourist information. Often these items are free.
Put handouts on CDs or USB drives, or make them downloadable. It makes budget sense, and it's environmentally conscious.
Prepare a timeline with deadlines that take advantage of the least expensive shipping rates.