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Events that Bang on a Budget: Using Senses to Manage Cents

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Everyone is trying to save money these days. It often feels like the success of an event is connected to how it looks which always means spending more money. However, sight is only one of the senses to consider when planning an event. When you consider and use all of the senses in harmony you will uncover some cost saving ideas that will make your event special. Here are some my favorites for each of the senses.

Site: When you are trying to create a theme, focus on one main visual piece and then choose inexpensive pieces to compliment it.  A backdrop on a main wall is the way to go.  Think center pieces.  What is the first thing people will see? What will they see no matter where they are in the room? Never cut corners on lighting.  Lighting can make or break your theme.  Don’t forget to involve your guests. Asking them to wear themed attire is a way to get your theme across throughout the room without any cost to you.

Taste:  We all know the importance of a good caterer, yet if you need to cut costs look for food and drink sponsors that match your theme. Ask local restaurants and food vendors. Are their gourmet food trucks in your area? Contact them!! They might be willing to show up at your event without a charge to you. If your guests will be required to purchase their own food, make sure you communicate that in advance. Nothing is more frustrating for a guest to find out at the event what is provided and what requires additional funds.

Smell: A little aromatherapy can go along way and I do mean LITTLE. Overbearing smells can turn your guests off. Stick to you theme and pick candles, incents, or burners that work with it. Lemongrass is great for spring and summer. Vanilla, Lavender, Mint and Rosemary are good basic scents.  Stick to natural scents and avoid man-made perfumes and fragrances.  NOTE: Sometimes your food is all the fragrance you need. A good BBQ smell sets the tone for a party. Don’t overuse scented candles or set them by food.  Maybe all you need is a good candle in the entryway and bathrooms.

Touch: There are a couple of ways to think about touch. Touch can be something interactive like a game or an art installation. I was at a party recently where guests were looking into 3-D viewers to see themed photos for the event. It was a big hit! The artist that created this art installation shared his work for exposure so costs were very low for such a huge success.  Contact art non-profits or local businesses that hold art workshops to find artists in your area. Touch can also be a feeling of hospitality. I can’t stress this enough…if you are not skilled in the art of hosting, hire one. A good host should greet people by name, make them feel welcome, introduce them to others and read body language signs to know when it is best to mingle your guests with others in the room.

Hear:  Never book a space without experiencing the acoustics of the room.  Use music to support your theme. Work with what you have. Is internet available? Can you rent a sound system? Perhaps streaming music using a service like Pandora is the way to go. Note: Pandora is free with commercials but they do offer a paid service without commercials.

By Stephanie Michele from SocialBling

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