1. Everyone likes a chance to win $$ and prizes
50/50 draws, silent auctions and door prizes are all great ways to engage your guests and ensure that people leave happy. A 50/50 draw also allows your association to collect money to support your charity of choice or education fund. Prizes for silent auctions and door prizes can be donated by sponsors and suppliers who have good relationships with your association. In fact, none of these options have to cost your association anything except perhaps a bit more prep and organization!
2. Purchase usable swag
How many events have you been to where you are provided fridge magnets or stress balls? We don’t understand why companies throw away money on these items. If you want to spend money on takeaway items for your guests, purchase something they can actually use and has high value for the price. Logo-embossed USB sticks are one of our favourites. In a place like Vancouver, umbrellas can also be a nice choice. With so many options to choose from, pick something your members will appreciate!
3. Create ambience with music
Music can do wonders for setting the mood for a dinner or evening cocktail reception. Save money by avoiding live music and DJ’s and instead utilize your venue’s in-house satellite stations, which come in an assortment of genres (most venues will have this). You can also bring in your own music and plug it into the system. Don’t worry: everyone will be so busy chatting that they won’t even notice the difference! For a more high-end gala, live music may give the extra special touch you are looking for. In this case, seek out local music schools that may be able to provide musicians at low cost or try to secure a sponsor to help cover the expense.
4. Hotels come with free décor
If you are booking your event at a hotel, you really don’t need to worry about decorations. Most venues are already beautifully decorated and, especially around Christmas time, rooms will be set up with festive décor and table centerpieces. If you want to add a little extra, a few floral arrangements can add a nice touch.
5. Free drink? Yes please!
One free drink ticket gets the night started off right. You can either choose to build this into your budget or put a request out for a drink sponsor for the evening. Depending on the venue restrictions, you may even be able to have a liquor rep set up a table and offer free tastings as a marketing opportunity for their company. However you choose to do it, a free drink or two always goes over well!
Have any more tips? Share them in our forum!