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How to cut down your event costs without losing attendees

Take a look on how can you reassess your outgoings in a way that helps you stay afloat, but doesn’t leave attendees disappointed

a plant growing from a glass cup of coins

Times are tight for businesses and individuals alike – a point that hardly needs hammering home. As an event creator, this has potentially left you in a sticky spot. You want to keep delivering quality events, but you don’t want to pass on the rising price of pretty much everything to your customers. 

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sensitively increasing your ticket prices – but there’s a fine balance to be achieved here, as you don’t want to run the risk of putting attendees off your events altogether. Likewise, you don’t want to cut costs in a way that compromises the essence of your events. So – how can you reassess your outgoings in a way that helps you stay afloat, but doesn’t leave attendees disappointed? Let’s take a look 👇.

Shop around for suppliers

Building good relationships with suppliers is an important part of event planning. But it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of research every now and then to see if any new, more competitively priced options have popped up since the last time you checked. 

It might be the case that you can’t find anyone better than who you’re currently partnered with. But one of the number one rules of saving is to shop around – so it’s wise to at least put the feelers out from time to time.

Be strategic with venues

The cost of venue hire puts one of the biggest dents in any event planner’s budget. Which is why, again, it’s always a smart move to shop around. If you’ve been at the same venue for a long time, why not do some research to see if any more affordable options are new to the market?

It’s also really worthwhile looking for venues that include all the equipment you’ll need.

Some venues will include everything – whether that’s lighting, A/V equipment, or an on-site catering kitchen. While others will require you to source these things, as well as technicians, at an extra cost. While a venue that provides all equipment may be pricier than one that doesn’t, you’ll probably save money in the long run, as hiring equipment and technicians individually can soon rack up some hefty bills.

Finally, when scouting for venues it’s a good idea to approach venue teams directly and speak to them in person (rather than just filling out a form on their website, for example). That way, you’ll be more likely to get a bespoke service, and can ask them about their low-peak seasons and any discounts they may be able to offer. 

Use a cheaper ticketing platform

This is a big one. When you’re paying a percentage of every ticket sale you make to a ticketing platform, your profits can soon get rapidly eaten into. Which is why it’s so important to do your research and not just go for the first big-name event registration platform you stumble across.

Admittedly, we may be a bit biassed – but we think it’s well worth letting you know that Ticket Tailor is the leading alternative to Eventbrite, and our platform works out way cheaper to use for paid events. Instead of charging a percentage of your ticket sales, we just charge a small flat fee per ticket. No matter what your prices are, this fee stays the same:

  • 20p ($0.26) per ticket when you buy credits in advance
  • 50p ($0.65) per ticket when you pay as you go

That’s it. No hidden fees, no tie-in contracts. Oh, and we’re totally free to use for free events too 😌.

Tip: Find out more about our pricing and use our pre-pay calculator to find out how much you could save.

Get good at creating engaging TikTok content

TikTok is definitely not just for teens. This platform has fast become one of the world’s most lucrative marketing channels. And, unlike most other social media platforms, it provides a great opportunity for event creators to sell tickets, increase brand awareness, and build loyal communities… without the need to build up a following first. This is thanks to the ‘niche’ nature of TikTok, which allows users to browse and follow specific categories of content, making it way easier to land your content in front of the right eyes. 

This is great news for those looking to cut down their paid advertising spend online. By getting great at creating TikTok content, you might just find you’re able to reach super-engaged audiences for the cost it takes you to create your videos – and nothing more.

No idea where to start with the world’s second most downloaded app? Don’t panic – we recently created a guide covering all you need to know: 

Assess the value-add of gifts & freebies

Giving away freebies at your events can be a really nice touch. But the cost of doing so can soon add up – so when times are tight, it’s well worth assessing how much value this tactic is actually delivering for your brand. One way you could gauge this is through running a simple social media poll, or sending out an email questionnaire to a selection of attendees. It might be the case that the majority of your free gifts are going straight in the bin or being left unused on shelves. Which isn’t good news for your budget or the environment! 

If the goody bags are starting to feel more like dead weight than a boost to your brand, it’s probably time to ditch them and save yourself some pennies in the process. 

Or – if you think there is an interest in certain merch and gifts you’ve got to offer, you could look to sell them as products in your very own store (a win-win for increasing profit!).

Consider working with volunteers

Enlisting the help of volunteers to help run your events can help you cut down costs significantly. This could be a particularly viable idea if some or all of your event proceeds go to charity.  For example, check out how the creators of Cheltenham Wine Festival talk about enlisting the help of around 30 volunteers to put on their amazing annual event – which donates all proceeds to charity. 

If your event doesn’t have a charitable aspect, you might still find there are eager experience-seekers willing to volunteer. For example, those who are desperate to add that first event planning gig to their portfolio. Or local artists, graphic designers, or musicians who’d be happy to contribute without pay for the chance to get their work out there in front of people. 

Just make sure you’re not taking advantage. It’s crucial to make sure any volunteers know how grateful you are, and to pay them back in kind by helping them out if they ever need a favour from you in the future!

Cutting down your event planning costs doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. By putting all your efforts into changing the things you can, you’ll probably be surprised at how much you can save. And all without harming the integrity of your brand, or the experience of your attendees. Nice.

Good luck! 

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