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Tricks to Deliver a Classy Event on a Budget

Having worked in the event supply industry for almost two decades, experience in decorating hundreds of thousands of events has taught me the importance in achieving the right setting for a successful event, while staying within the budget – a topic hot on everybody’s lips in the current economic climate.

Everybody loves a great company event. Often, these events create a sense of team spirit, comradery and provide co-workers and clients with a relaxed environment in which to get to know each other. In addition, corporate events are often deemed as a demonstration to clients and employees that they truly valued. With the recession still looming and international crises arising daily however, we are all left faced with waning budgets.

That said, cancelling your event is a guaranteed way to lower staff moral and make client relationships dwindle. Instead of cancelling your event all together, consider a budget-smart strategy by using the following tips to deliver a classy event on a shoe-string budget:

Transform Cost-Free Spaces into Venues
Selecting the right venue is probably the most important decision you’ll make when planning a corporate event and is also usually one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make. Of course, the cost of the venue is most likely your number one concern. In this case, why not consider hosting the event in your corporate space or think outside the box and use an unconventional venue like an art gallery, parking lot, a botanical garden or open area as your party destination?

Parking Lot Parties
Corporate parking lots not only offer wide open spaces (often under cover), but present the most inexpensive potential venues. Food stalls can be popped up in a circle to define the event area, place live entertainment in the centre, hire informal seating and boom! You have a venue!

Why not contact your local collectors or antique car club and invite them to showcase their vehicles at the event – they’ll love the attention and your guests will love the eye candy – everybody wins!

Whether transforming small, ordinary spaces or making a massive hall feel charming, creative draping and Stretch Tents create an affordable canvas for your event. Through the clever use of draping you can cover unsightly areas, lower ceilings and provide the backdrop for illuminating walls with washes of colour. Add a Stretch Tent to entrances and open spaces next to the parking and you instantly transform unassuming spaces into elegant and exciting party zones.

Draping provides a low-cost ability to create an element of depth, mood, and sophistication while making spacious rooms more intimate to suit a smaller number of guests, create entrance corridors, chill zones or lounge areas in larger rooms for the ultimate wow factor.

Draping is a dependable way to completely revitalise a space without breaking the bank and allows you to create almost stunning surroundings to convince guests that they’re in a magical place in time.

Hire your own chairs, table cloths, furniture, décor, props and AV equipment, have them delivered to and collected from your office by your event supplier. You can then do the set up yourself with help from your co-workers. This saves you the cost of storing and transporting heavy furnishings and paying for labour and event planning. A leading event supply company may also help with floor planning and layout.

Save with Students
Students are always looking to earn extra income and some of them have great skills that you can use at your event, at half the price. Let them assist with registration, collecting tickets, creating graphics, setting up décor or filming and photographing the event. Using students is good for you budget and great for their work experience!

Food Glorious Food
Plan your event outside of meal times so that light snacks are anticipated. Instead of paying waiters to pass around the snacks, set up Treats & Eats stations where guests can seek out food, if they’re hungry. Growing in popularity at smaller budget events are little stalls with live interactive snack options where guests get to pick what they want to eat. Desserts often go uneaten – again, use food preparation stations so that desserts and treats can be made on demand.

Balloons Balloons Balloons!
What is a party without balloons right? Whether you blow them up yourself or get them filled with helium, balloons are inexpensive and are the quintessential party mood magic. Choose bright fun colours or tap into your corporate colours for your bubbles of fun. Drape them from the ceiling with long curly ribbon dangling down into the event space, scatter them on the floor or use the balloons to make a fun shape or entrance archway.

If your event requires a professional behind the lens, rather than pay a photographer a half-day rate to capture the moments, hire a photo booth – people just love taking a selfie which they can share on social media. They become your photographers and have an absolute blast taking wacky, fun photos for all to see.

To Colour or Not to Colour
Adding touches of colour is a great, inexpensive way to add to the party feel. However, if lots of colour is not your thing, choose a monochromatic decor scheme. White is one of the easiest colour schemes to pull off inexpensively and once all put together, is classy and impressive. White muslin and burlap is inexpensive and makes for great event party décor for napkins, tablecloths, and table runners.

Informal seating is much more cost effective than the hire and set-up of banquet seating, for example. Bean bags are making a comeback – offering comfortable and convenient seating for informal settings. Available in an array of colours, you can work the bean bags around your colour theme, providing enough seating for the masses.

Inflatable couches are ever-so convenient and affordable – making them light enough to move around and position as you please, they can fit through tighter spaces which regular furniture wouldn’t be able to.

No matter if you’re planning a large event and need to cut back or only have budget to deliver a smaller scale event, your attention to detail and use of clever décor will still deliver the WOW factor. Small budget or not!

For further information on Unlimited Events Group visit or find them on Facebook –

Unlimited Events Group
Alastair Laing
(012) 644 1114/5/6

Article by Alastair Laing, Group CEO: Unlimited Events Group

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