Making sustainability budget friendly, working proactively with
hotels and venues and coping with rising costs are just some of the
issues discussed in a recent webinar hosted by events software
Moderated by Julie Haddix, senior director, solutions marketing at
Cvent, it also featured input from Julia Gould, team lead, solutions
consultants and Kris Justice, senior manager, enterprise customer
Don’t leave things to the last minute
Participants acknowledged that the costs associated with events have
increased, due to a combination of inflation and demand. Gould cautioned
planners to think ahead. “Some hotels I'm aware of in Europe, for
example, are already booked up for the whole year, and that obviously
drives prices up. Plan ahead, don't have a 30-day booking window, you're
going to save a lot by doing that.”
Can sustainability be budget friendly?
Justice said that one of the elements to bear in mind is that the
majority of an event’s carbon footprint is generated by travel. She
suggested thinking through your entire programme and how the different
pieces fit together.
“You can become more selective about how you put on your events and
whether some of them could be virtual,” she said. “Look at your meetings
as a whole and how they all contribute to your carbon footprint.”
Justice added that some companies are doing meat-free events, while
others are opting for venues near major transport hubs, so they can be
easily reached by bike or by walking.
“If you don’t have the budget to do recyclable or biodegradable
lanyards, look at alternatives [that involve changing behaviour],” she
Going digital can help counter rising costs and staffing shortages
Justice suggested that planners need to look at all the processes
they are using and assess which ones are still largely manual and try to
make those more efficient.
“In combination with that, you can't really avoid professional
development - you can’t just expect people to use technology to become
more efficient,” she said.
“You really do have to invest in professional development with people
in order to allow them to optimise what they're doing and that takes
time. This can lead to real benefits in the long-term, putting tools in
place that will help your business achieve more with less.”
Apply seasonality to the timing of events
Cvent’s Haddix highlighted how the business hosts its annual user
conference in Las Vegas in July, enabling it to use a popular
destination during an off-season period.
“It’s a time that works well for us and our budget and enables us to
get slightly better rates,” she said. “Planners [next year] will be
really thinking about how to control costs while delivering programmes
to the same level as previously.”
Treat hotels and venues as a partner rather than a cost control
of talking to hotels or venues about budgets, let them know what you
want the event to achieve, for example showcasing a product, helping to
grow the business or networking.
“Essentially, tell them what your meeting goal is,” said Gould. “Be
as transparent as possible, tell them what you want from the event and
ask how flexible they are prepared to be [to help you meet those