Don’t miss these vital elements when planning your small business event

business meeting
Written by Nigel Simpkins

A well-planned event can give a massive boost to your small business. Not many business owners see it this way, but a successful event can be a fantastic marketing opportunity. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and boost your brand’s reputation. But it’s also a way of making local connections and drumming up new customers. Plus, it can be really fun! But being a small business, you might have to navigate things like a more modest budget. That doesn’t mean your event can’t be a roaring success! Here are five ways to make your business event brilliant without breaking the bank.

Know why you’re doing it

So you’ve had the idea of putting on an event. But before you start booking anything, stop and ask yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. You probably have excellent reasons, but it helps to be clear on them. This way, you can rally your team around the idea. Plus, it will help to market your event later on if you know precisely why people should come, and what you’re hoping to gain from it. Having goals and purpose is key to strategy. Once you’ve got this down, you’ll be able to choose your venue, your slogan, and even your staffing with more ease. Taking some time to get this right at the beginning will save you from spending money on things that you don’t need. Once you know the goals for your event, you’ll know that if something doesn’t contribute to this, you probably don’t need to spend money on it.

Settle on your venue

A big question is, do you want to go it alone, or piggy-back on another event? Setting up your event can have its benefits, but it can also be costly. If you’ve worked out this is what you want to do, then see if you can find a good deal on a venue. Perhaps you have links in the local community, or could establish a partnership with a venue?

If you’re going to attend someone else’s event, for example, a large (relevant) conference in your local area, then your plan of action will be a lot different. Attending a larger event can be a great option, particularly if you are still relatively unknown or if your budget is very small. Consider getting a printed gazebo or other distinctive merchandise, which is ideal for attracting clients at events. Be sure to let people know that you’ll be there, and where they can find you.

Budget correctly

A carefully planned budget is absolutely vital. Once you’ve outlined how much you are willing and able to spend on this event, you need to work out how to spend it. Factor absolutely everything into the equation. This way, you’ll avoid harsh surprises when it comes to paying up. Your budget will be largely estimated at first, particularly if you haven’t done an event before. But try to get some quotes or estimates to help you make it as realistic as possible, or ask around for a guide. Your budget will evolve and grow as you get closer to the event, and prices are confirmed. Don’t forget, you’re likely to face unexpected costs along the line, too, so factor in a little extra room in the budget. Using a budget tracker can help you to keep track of your spending and to note your changing costs as your plans solidify.