Maximizing Your Event Rental Budget: The Basics
Every event has a set of limitations that are all-but-impossible to supersede. You’ve got a deadline for when it needs to happen, a min-max range of attendees you have to accommodate, and of course you have the budget as your overriding concern in almost every case. We can’t help you with all those, but we certainly have plenty of experience helping our clients achieve as much of their vision as possible while working with their budgets. Here are our best ideas for maximizing your event rental budget.
Choosing a Theme That Maximizes Impact and Minimizes Cost
The range of themes people choose for their events is enormous — for every hundred “it’s a training seminar, so, uh…how about why do we need a theme anyway?”, there are at least a handful of “it’s a training seminar, so we’re going full Kung Fu montage, with each area showing off a different part of the student’s training and eventual mastery!”
The key to minimizing cost is concentrating on atmosphere rather than scenery. For example: you can totally create an amazing ‘Pacific Island holiday’ theme using massive pre-made beach scenery, and it’ll cost you a hefty amount of change. But if you instead focus on the atmosphere of Bora Bora or Tahiti, and you rent a bunch of bamboo folding chairs and standard-issue folding tables with white or sky-blue tablecloths. The big ‘trick’ here is to use a single big piece like a bamboo tiki bar to anchor the imagery, insuring that the bamboo-and-sky theme comes across as Pacific Islander rather than, say Japanese or Thai.
Careful Prioritization and Item Selection
It’s a no-brainer that you have to pay for the furniture where your attendees are going to sit and what they’re going to lean on before you pay for the decorations — but that’s hardly the only factor to take into account. When you’re prioritizing your spending, you need to keep in mind not just how each item affects your budget, but how it affects your theme.
For example, the obvious choice if you want to minimize the budget impact of your chairs and tables is to stick with your cheap black stacking chairs and generic folding tables. But how much is the Total Cost of Decoration if you rent those and then also have to rent a whole host of additional equipment like velvet ropes and chandeliers? How much less would it cost to skip the accoutrements and create the ‘VIP Club’ vibe by renting black-and-white sectional seating with modern-art end tables? Knowing that the atmosphere can be built either way and analyzing which is easier on the budget is clutch.
Arranging the Event Schedule can Save You Rentals
The most obvious example of this is with chairs: it’s completely reasonable-sounding to order twice as many chairs as your max attendee limit, knowing that people are going to have to eat at tables and watch a presentation in a different area. But while it’s reasonable-sounding, it’s also a budget-breaker.
Instead, consider arranging the event so that the parts where chairs are necessary take place with an intervening activity in a third area, and hire an extra couple of hands-on-deck in order to move the chairs during that activity. The cost of paying for a few man-hours is generally much less than paying for an entire second set of chairs.
Anyone can follow an event-planning guide and achieve something within a reasonable budget — but by carefully playing the theme, the schedule, and the other elements of the event against each other, you can achieve a much more impactful event without breaking your budget. Ponder carefully, analyze fully, and party on, dudes!