For most marketers, the end of 2021 and the promise of a new year brings something long-awaited by many: the return of in-person events. As it becomes safer for many to start attending events (and as new regulations are put into place to ensure the health and safety of attendees at in-person events), event marketing teams across the board are eager to get back into action.
Since it's been a while, there are bound to be things event teams forget about in-person events, such as how dull booth setup day can be. In all seriousness, whether you've been to a million events or if you're starting your in-person event career, there are bound to be a few things left behind.
Here are some critical expenses marketers tend to forget when planning an in-person event:
1. Travel expenses: While your budget may have a line item for hotels and airfare for employees (and any speakers or special guests) to get to your in-person event, don't forget about miscellaneous expenses that may be charged (or expenses) by stakeholders during the event. These can stack up quickly (even at local events) so make sure there is some wiggle room in the budget.
2. IT connections: One particularly annoying thing that many conference centers, hotels, or other event host spaces have started to do is charge extra to connect to the internet. Check beforehand to see if WIFI connection is a one-time cost or if every person will have to pay separately to connect. Trust us – these costs add up, so make sure you read the fine print carefully and plan ahead.
3. AV equipment: Another surprise cost that could come up if your team is exhibiting, presenting, or sponsoring a speaking session at an in-person event is AV equipment costs. While many spaces provide things like microphones or projectors for speaking sessions, any 'extra' AV needs may be an additional cost. Plus, if your team has a large booth setup planned, consider the cost for any extra connections, cords, plugs, and the like.
4. Thank you gifts: If you ask a customer to come to your in-person event to present a session, speak to attendees, or even be at your booth to talk to prospects, saying thank you is a must. The size and scope of your customers' involvement will determine the overall cost of your thank you gift, which could be anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars. Ensuring this is a line item in your event budget will also ensure that you don't forget to follow up and promptly send the gift.
5. Promotional costs: While many event marketing teams factor booth promotions and giveaways into the budget planning, promoting the event can also run a cost. Some examples of these costs include sending prospective attendees a personal invitation, posting sponsored ads on LinkedIn or Twitter, and paying for an industry list to send promotional emails. These are pre-event costs that, while they might help drive attendees, are also part of other marketing initiatives outside of events. If your team is going to associate the promotional costs with your event, you should have this as a separate line item in your budget.
How is your team planning to get back into the swing of in-person events? With Circa, your event marketing team can stay on top of budget planning, checklists, and other pre-event initiatives with the touch of a button. With complete visibility into all aspects of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events, you can be sure nothing will slip through the cracks.