"Save Me The Money"!...A recap from BizBash LA 2009

June 11 - Robb was impressed with the standing room only attendance at such an early hour for his session on "Financial Issues for Planning Events From the Inside Out".
"I just felt the attendees were so open and responsive to any ideas they could take away with them to stay in the game during these uncertain economic times" said Robb who offered key tips in saving money and providing alternatives that are fresh yet relevant in our industry. Below are just a few highlights from that session:
Manage your fixed costs
•Control your overhead: Re-evaluate your fixed costs such as:
- DSL/Internet connection: Research cheaper providers
- Website hosting: Switching providers can save you big $
- Upgrade your equipment: Computer moving too slow. How old is your system, how old is the operating system, how much storage do you have? What is the cost of continuous repair –vs.- replacement or software upgrades?

Measuring ROI and establishing your value
- Show your management where and how you are saving money. Illustrate the cost and time efficiency of outsourcing your meeting and event needs versus the cost of your time in making hundreds of phone calls, site inspections and contracts on top of your already heavy work load. Where is your time better spent?
- Be discreet: Perceived perception is a hot button these days. Even those companies that still have the budgets are not flaunting it. Management is more likely to green light a program or meeting if they feel this event will not land them on the cover of the headline news.

Capitalize and Conquer:
- Yes we know the economy is not great, budgets are down, meetings and events are being canceled however this is all temporary. Will you be ready when business is in an upswing or will you still be hiding under your desk waiting for it all to be over? Now is the time to increase your marketing efforts.

Spend more money? What?! Is this right?:
- Take advantage of discounts for advertising. You will either get the same for less or get more for the same. Invest in yourself and your reputation.
Negotiating with Vendors
Value their time
- Negotiate multiple bookings in exchange for lesser rates / Preferred vendors will enable you to maximize discounts

Know their strengths
- Take the time to learn what your vendor’s strengths are. You know what they’ve done for you in the past but what are they capable of now. What new products, services or techniques have they added. It is their job to keep you informed of their latest updates but it is also your job to stay on top of what is out there to remain relevant. (Vendors may have new product or service they want to showcase you can get at better rate or free).
Recession Strategies
Purchase event décor when and if necessary:
- Sometimes it makes more sense to purchase the simplest of items rather than outsourcing and renting especially if they can be re-used for another event.
1. August 08/Australian Tourism 2. February 09 / AAGIE

Be resourceful, find multiple uses for your décor to eliminate other
necessary elements such as projection surfaces.

These are just a few of the many ideas and suggestions that were offered. For more information or a copy of the entire presentation please contact Infinity Events.

Robb's Podcast Interview

I was recently interviewed for a podcast to discuss planning meetings and events during a recession. This topic is a lead in to my presentation at the upcoming BizBash LA Conference on June 11.

To listen to the podcast, download it from iTunes or click on http://www.meetingspodcast.com/.

Biz Bash Los Angeles

Robb Thornsberry to speak at upcoming Biz Bash Expo on June 11, 2009 at the LA Mart in downtown Los Angeles.

Session Information:
8:10 - 9 a.m.
Financial Issues for Planning Events From the Inside Out
Speaker: Robb Thornsberry, President and Founder, Infinity Events

The correct financial strategies and knowledge are needed more now than ever to face the budget-related challenges of putting on events. Hear six key tips to use in running your department or business. Budgeting tips are offered for better negotiations with vendors to assure your planning process is sound. Recession strategies are introduced as a part of a final open group discussion to supply additional resources.

Infinity Events has also been nominated for a BizBash award for best overall decor under $50,000 for the Canadian Tourism Commission. Winners to be announced at the end of the Expo on June 11.