MeetingsNet - 3 Ways to Avoid Budget Envy ­ May 2015

Posted by Kevin Iwamoto on 05/22/2015

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See the original article here.

Whenever I go to conferences and trade shows globally, I always notice a bit of ³budget envy² that comes from those who plan small to mid-sized events. They marvel at the bells and whistles, all the features and functionalities, that larger meeting and event planners have at their disposal when producing their events.
But no matter the size or budget of a meeting, there are some key areas that meeting and event planners can leverage using basic meetings technology.

1. Sourcing
Your sourcing process can be a major way to reduce costs. Is your request-for-proposal process leveraging the power of marketplace competition? In this supply-and-demand marketplace, if you are not using registration and sourcing technology, you will not get the best prices and amenities, period. Even if you aren¹t looking to reduce costs, using RFP technology enables you to invest more of your budget in other things, like a more robust mobile app or beacons or virtual reality options.

2. Your Event Web Site
What about the large invoice for Web design? Should you hire a third party to build an impressive conference Web site? Perhaps you should consider paying for an employee to master HTML and build it for you? The answer is no to all of the above.

While Web design may feel overwhelming, the days of programming in confusing code are long gone. Now, building a professional Web site to impress and attract your prospective attendees is easier than ever‹and you don¹t have to be a programmer.

Today¹s technology, no matter what price point it comes at, allows you to easily insert dynamic background images and create an interactive user experience. The list of what anyone can do with today¹s Web design platforms‹from fonts to templates to tools‹is surprisingly simple and available without hiring a Web designer.

Remember, it¹s not just about creating a nice Web site for the meeting; it¹s about providing a streamlined experience for participants as they switch from their mobile devices to their laptops.

3. Managing Data
There now is a more manageable price tag on data management. If you haven¹t formulated a data-collection strategy yet, it¹s important to remember that the first step can be a small one. Create a strategy about data-collection points and how you want to provide not just the data, but some analytics using the data you collect. When you have that strategy beforehand, you can not only save a lot of time and money, but also create more specificity around what technology you need at a specific price point. There¹s no need to buy a full technology package, using up most of your budget, if you need only 25 percent of the functionality you purchased. 

With today¹s technology, there¹s no need to have ³budget envy.² If you use these three key points and find the right vendor, you can provide a unique experience for your attendees despite budget limitations.