January 23, 2023
By Stacey Sheppard

It’s no secret that costs are on the rise. The ripple effect of rising inflation and potential recession trickles down the line to every industry, and financial services is no exception. Meetings and events teams in the financial sector are experiencing rising event costs, from venue expenses like A/V and F&B to brand expenses for swag and more.

While it stings to see the words “event” and “budget cuts” used together, it’s time to get creative on how you can deliver the engaging and experiential event your attendees expect, while staying within budget to impress your stakeholders.

Lucky for you, there are several ways you can reduce the budget and still deliver a great attendee experience. Here are some practical tips you can implement immediately.

1. Get creative with event space

With increased demand, the competition for space will become more intense this year. This means it’s time to think outside the box when it comes to choosing your event space. 

Just because you've always held a conference at a certain hotel on a particular date doesn’t mean this should be written in stone. The attendee profile within the financial services industry is also evolving, with new generations of financial planners expecting event experiences to evolve as well.   

So, forget the traditional conference space and find additional venue options using a venue sourcing tool. This will allow you to become more flexible and adjust event dates to reduce costs further. You can even find unique venues in cheaper, alternative locations that you may not have considered.  

Venue sourcing technology also allows you to send and track multiple and consistent RPFs and store all previous bids and contracted rates, which can then be used as leverage when negotiating with suppliers. 

Pro tip: Check out the Cvent Supplier Network global database of almost 300,000 venues. Not only can you save valuable time and money when searching for the right venue, but you can also review critical information like seasonal room rates, average daily meal costs, promotions, and pictures of venues.   

2. Source vendors early

As soon as you have a venue and event date, begin your search for vendors and suppliers. Last-minute panic situations can cost extra if vendors must adjust their schedules to accommodate your needs. 

Reach out to vendors and suppliers early to make sure everything you need will be available for your event dates. Arrange a kick-off meeting with all the vendors and suppliers involved so the planning is organized and there’s no duplication of efforts. 

Pro tip: Eliminate the Google search and source vendors through Cvent’s Vendor Marketplace. With over 700 listings across 19 categories, planners can easily send out RFIs and manage supplier responses that ultimately save your team time and money.  

3. Go digital (and meet sustainability goals too)

Technology brings a lot of opportunity for innovation. By going digital, not only can financial services firms reduce costs, but they can also support key sustainability initiatives.  

Replace printed materials and save big on printing costs with a mobile event app. This also has the benefit of facilitating connections between attendees and updating them with important event information. Attendees can also scan QR codes for downloadable materials and set up meetings with investors and fund managers before arriving at the event. 

Pro tip: Consider reusing materials, like staging or lighting that can be used in multiple ways. Digital signage can replace printed banners and posters and not only helps you save but this makes last-minute changes to speakers or session locations, easier.  

4. Use an event management platform

With many events to manage, implementing a single event management platform for your global meetings and events program will help to eliminate manual processes and create new efficiencies.

By having all your event information and data in one place, you'll be able to improve visibility and identify additional opportunities to save. 

This also reduces the costs of having multiple vendors: a robust event management system will seamlessly integrate with key business systems, in turn reducing the time and money spent on getting the right information to internal teams. 

Pro tip: Look for an event management platform that will allow you to capture all your event data in one place and create a centralised hub to share data and insights with all key stakeholders.

5. Save on event design with venue diagramming tech

Selecting new or non-traditional venues doesn't mean you need to spend additional time and resources onsite to plan.

Using 3D event diagramming tools as part of the venue sourcing process is a great way to review event design capacities like setup, seating, production, catering and more. 

Pro tip: Use venue diagramming tech to collaborate in real time across global teams. You can provide virtual walk-throughs and create diagrams with flexible templates. This has the bonus of reducing on-site visits, thereby limiting travel costs.

Bonus tip: Put your brand first

A consistent brand experience is something your customers and investors remember long after the event ends. Events are an extension of your brand, and to stand out amongst the competition your events need to look and feel unique.

Up-level the event experience with event technology that creates a consistent brand experience no matter how your attendees interact with your event.

From your registration website to the onsite check-in experience and onsite digital signage, using one fully integrated platform will bring your brand to the forefront.

Save on your event costs with these tips and tech

While event teams are not immune to the rising costs impacting the financial services industry, using even just one of these cost-saving tips and technologies will help you cut the budget for your next event. 

To level up your budgeting game even more, check out our event cost savings calculator.

Stacey Sheppard

Stacey is the Senior Manager of Industry Solutions at Cvent. She drives the content and
marketing strategy to reach and engage key industries using Cvent solutions to power their
meetings & events. Originally from the greater Philadelphia area, Stacey now calls Charleston,
SC, home.

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