Quick Tips from Ann
Meetings can save money by reevaluating the services they think of as standard – such as food during the break times. This year at the FPMA SAM Conference, there were only drinks set out during the breaks and I didn’t even notice there wasn’t any food until one of the organizers mentioned it. Even a lover of food, such as myself, didn’t notice the absence of snacks during the breaks.
So ask yourself, how many things are you paying for that wouldn’t be greatly missed if they weren’t there?
We saw the APMA National do something similar in Denver. They adjusted the badges to save a little bit and they did not have the printed “daily” publication we’ve seen in the past. While I was not a fan of the new badges and I did kind of miss the daily paper, I’m sure the savings was substantial. Because even if I “kind of” missed a paper or a snack, these are not the elements that make or break a meeting experience for me.
The key here is to reevaluate every aspect of your conference. The days of “rinse and repeat” are gone. Even tiny savings can add up to a lot. Be sure that you reallocate a portion of your savings to new features that will enhance your attendee and exhibitor experience.
PRO TIP: If you do decide to make a change you feel is significant, ask both DPMs and exhibitors (not all; get a trusted group) how they feel about it. You don’t want to get too many cooks in the kitchen here, but they may have some insight you didn’t think of. They may make you realize cutting something you thought was no big deal, IS a big deal; but maybe they have some ideas of how you can adjust it (vs. eliminate it). They may also give you peace of mind by confirming your thoughts. Often we can get stuck in a vacuum, making it hard to see something outside of our own perspective. Step outside and make sure you’re making improvements, not cutting corners.