In Defence Of A Big Event Budget

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A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald examined the cost of Australia’s NSW Transport Summit. The 1.15 million dollar bill included the cost of hiring in keynote speaker, Steve Wozniak, for $263,000.

Whilst 1.15 million dollars is a big budget for an event, with approximately half the cost being paid for by sponsors the total spend doesn’t seem so bad. There are also some important positives to be considered about such an investment, perhaps including an event app.

The Australian government will be spending 38 billion over the next four years on infrastructure projects. The 650 event delegates were all experts in their field. With such a concentration of expertise, it would only take one meeting to exchange an idea or glean a key piece of information. That single exchange could save millions of dollars and/or improve a project with a new found idea.

The cost of Wozniak’s speaking engagement may seem extravagant. But, if event budget allows, it’s always a good idea to book a prestigious keynote presenter. That person doesn’t need to have celebrity status.

It could be someone who has industry credibility or has a great reputation on the speaking circuit. Whoever you choose needs to act as a drawcard for attendees. Most people are time poor and if you want them to come to your event the right keynote speaker could be the difference between them accepting and declining your invitation. By encouraging event app downloads you can easily update your attendees on the run up to and during your event.

Part of the Transport Summit’s event budget would most certainly be given over to the right technology. Whether it’s the Audio Visual system, simultaneous translation systems for a multi lingual audience or event apps and conference apps – investing in the best available technology means enhanced delegate interaction and engagement.

The dollar spend on events is sometimes hard to justify, but if you think of the returns the investment can be incredibly worthwhile.

For event organisers, a good way to measure the value of a proposed event expense (such as keynote speaker) is to think about what the delegates will take away from the event. Will this event element mean important information will be exchanged? Will it make sure the right people are present for meaningful networking? Is it more likely to achieve my event objectives?

Being satisfied by the answers to these types of questions means you can spend big and have confidence that the investment will pay dividends.

Pete Hair – CrowdComms, Co-Founder

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