As I mentioned before, there are so many ways to maximize our conference budgets, and every time I do a full scale event I learn a new trick. In this third part to the Maximizing Your Conference Budget series, I am going to focus on décor. That’s right, reusing and re-purposing décor over a few-day conference without being obvious & boring. In many ways, these tips also fit under the “Going Green & Saving Green” category. Incorporating Mobile Conference Apps and re-purposing, as outlined in the post below, get you on your way to maximizing your budget. Because in reality, we aren’t wasting precious resources on washing, cutting down plants, and delivery of goods.
Because of the nature of our business, oftentimes event planners do not have the luxury of using the same vendors for every event. The floral vendor in LA probably won’t be the best value in Scottsdale. I have found when I am planning an event in a new city where I may not have established vendors, maximizing my budget has taken on a new meaning.
Floral Arrangements – When ordering centerpieces for the Welcome reception, opt for tropical (bromeliads, birds of paradise, orchids) over gentle & delicate flowers like roses & lilies. Tropical plants have a greater shelf life and only require a refresher of water between events. Tropicals also provide an unexpected texture and serious pop of color. Because of their sturdiness, these arrangements can be re-used several days in a row! I have seen them even placed on pillars around a stage for the Keynote speech. Just remember to ask your venue to keep them, and bring a spray bottle with you to refresh.
Linens – Linens provide another much needed pop of color to events. Imagine walking into your dinner reception with the standard neutral tablecloths provided by your venue vs. walking into the room decorated with your colors – offset by your beautiful arrangements and the hotel’s complimentary candles. Believe it or not – you can reuse linens! Let’s say you have a silent auction on the first night of your event. All of the linens you have decorating the tables displaying the auction items most likely won’t get dirty. You can reuse those linens for the next day at, say registration – displaying name tags for the day’s events.
Candles – Candles are the quintessential evening décor – they provide a great ambiance & make most people look great (bonus!) These hurricanes & candles were bought at the dollar store. I bought some sand to add a little texture to them. With longer-burning candles, these make great décor elements day after day. They can be used on tables, around the bars and on the stage with the band. As with all décor, make sure you tell the venue you are going to reuse them so they don’t get thrown out!
Thanks for reading, and feel free to email me with your favorite décor tips. I hope this blog post gave you a few ideas & a new perspective on maximizing your budget with mobile conference apps!