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Getting event production budgets to work harder

5th March 2024 in Marketing Experiences

How to deliver the best experiences and true value for your events in 2024 and beyond

With global economic shifts, marketplace tensions and uncertainty all driving the reduction or freeze of global budgets across the board, the need to get more value from event production is as important as ever!
Position this with a rapid development rate of personal tech that enhances life experiences every day, production budgets have to work to ensure delivery of truly unique experiences.

Below, we’ve provided 5 tips to make your production budget work harder.

1. Tech but not for tech sake

As a technology provider, you might be surprised to read this is our number one tip. However, we believe in providing the right solution to maximise engagement with an audience. Sometimes there are ways and means to do things differently to achieve the same end goal. Always start with asking yourself how you want your audience or participants to feel? What are the key take aways? The right solution should always marry up with the specific event or experience objectives. Flashy tech can create those jaw dropping moments which are hugely valuable but when managing an overall budget, everything should be considered and serve the right purpose.

As a technology rental and bespoke build production company, we continuously evaluate the best options to meet project requirements. Display technology is a good example where getting the specification right can have a significant and positive impact on the budget. On a recent briefing call, we discussed the value for an experience in going “large” with LED video wall technology, vs. using a 98” LCD 4K screen. After evaluating the messaging and needs of the relatively small audience, the LCD route was a better solution on this occasion, with a significant saving of costs for the technology and the associated installation.

2. Build for reuse

An age-old challenge for events, unique experiences by their very nature can determine a single use solution. Not only does this impact budget but also impacts the planet with high energy input and waste vs. experience output. Every event or project is different and we shouldn’t ignore the impact of long term storage such as logistics, heating, and cost, but when mapping out event requirements, we encourage our clients to think wider and longer term about reusability across an events programme or onwards use.

We design, build, store & manage reusable bespoke assets. When considering an exhibition stand as an example, with a modular build approach, it is possible to create a stunning stand build that can work in large, medium and small spaces. On average, this approach can save between 20-40% of cost across multiple events which is a substantial saving.

3. Technology Cheats

Otherwise known as Smoke & Mirrors! There are often many different approaches and solutions to create an experience, often with a wide range of associated complexity and costs. The right solution should factor in all parameters and a key focus on achieving the end result.

A great example from the past was when we were approached by our client to create an immersive in-store penalty shoot out experience where the targets on the goal were liked to the heart rate of the shooter. The calmer the participant remained, the larger the goal targets. After establishing budget, timeline, venue and logistics parameters and factoring in that this was a one day, one off experience, we utilised off the shelf technology with minimal bespoke development to tie together personalised experience. The end result was a seamless immersive experience that met our clients objectives without breaking the bank.

4. Plan ahead, be organised

This might be obvious but in a world of in-person events reopening after Covid-19 lockdowns, the average lead time for projects has significantly reduced. Planning ahead and being organised with your production supplier(s) allows greater control of the delivery process and keeps more options open to find cost effective solutions to meet requirements. From a Production company perspective, a greater lead time allows us to plan our resources better, ensure rental stock and material availability, avoid supplier ‘rush costs’, and keep time in the diary for the all-important client meetings to discuss and advise on best solutions.

We pride ourselves on being agile with our support and production services. Last minute changes and requests are something we deal with on a daily basis. However, wasted time or materials, or simply additional costs for the extras and faster shipping from suppliers, all have an impact on the overall budget. Planning ahead is key to achieving best value.

5. Go digital, get more

The cost of print or single use physical assets can be attractive as a solution to a one-off event. But when factoring in the single message or one-off experience, are you really get the most value for your budget? And let’s not ingore the environmental impact of single use materials and print.

The huge advantage in moving to a digital solution is the flexibility and adaptability to produce not just a single experience, but a series of experiences, personalised to your audience. Whether that is digital signage at an expo or a huge LED video wall backdrop to a stage, the digital solution opens up a world of creativity that can drive better audience engagement and experiences which ultimately equate to greater budget value.

Our Unilumin 2.6mm LED video wall solution is an absolute workhorse for delivering high impact content, at an affordable price point. Modular in design with options for floor, wall or ceiling attachment, it’s a great solution for large format digital content on an exhibition stand, conference or to create an immersive environment.

In summary…

When setting out to make your production budget work harder, start with the audience experience and what will truly deliver on your objectives. Plan ahead to achieve the best solutions with time on your side. Consider the future and what will drive efficiencies across an entire event programme. Try to avoid “single use” solutions and consider how digital technology can enhance your content and messaging.