Smart Scheduling Can Rescue Your Budget

Cost-Cutting Isn’t Just About What You Buy. It’s About When You Buy.

Nearly half of meeting planners surveyed by Global DMC Partners say that their budgets have recently increased, but 70% list higher costs as one of their top challenges. While inflation and rising costs are on everyone's mind these days, getting imaginative to meet a tight budget is where meeting planners shine.

With a little creativity, you can deploy one of your superskills to trim the fat from your budget: scheduling. Here are three ways that smart scheduling can help you meet your budgetary goals.

Go for a Monday Start

You probably know that midweek meetings can add value to your budget compared with meetings that overlap a weekend. But there’s one exception: By starting your meeting on a Monday, necessitating Sunday travel for attendees, you can get the best rates of all. (Sundays are usually the lowest-booked day for hotels, resulting in lower rates.)

Historically, Monday meetings haven’t been popular among planners for the very reason that they’re low-cost—people don’t like to travel for business on a weekend. But that attitude might be outdated. Organizations across the board are struggling with budgets, so delegates may be more willing to travel on a weekend to meet their own event spend. Plus, with 89% of business travelers saying they want to add leisure time onto business trips according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Sundays might even be desirable.

Rotate Locations Wisely

Going to destinations off-season can save you money, but delegates of annual conventions might wise up to this tactic. Consider booking destinations for your less significant events off-season (Colorado in summer, Boston in winter), with milestone meetings held in peak season—or, as a close alternative, shoulder season. Splashing out flagship meetings such as organizational or event anniversaries (“Tenth Annual Convention”) can be as simple as hosting it in a prime destination; it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend big in other areas. Simply by being at a desirable destination at the most desirable time of year, the event becomes more memorable.

Consider Multiyear Meeting Agreements

Why schedule four meetings four times when you can schedule all four at once? When you work with a venue on a multiyear meeting agreement, not only do you get the peace of mind of having secured venue space, you’re also likelier to get a better deal by having locked in a desirable rate. Plus, as your relationship with the venue matures year over year, the venue will better understand your needs, which can lead to better value overall.