The Top 5 Places to Focus Your Budget for Your Next Corporate Event - Calgary Event Planner

The Top 5 Places to Focus Your Budget for Your Next Corporate Event

It may only be October but in the world of events, corporate holiday party planning is well underway, which means now is the perfect opportunity to discuss how best to invest your event dollars this season. Whether your budget is modest or extravagant there are wonderful options at every price point that are sure to impress your guests – as long as you know where to find the best bang for your buck.

1. Menu

First and foremost start with a stellar menu. While having a beautiful looking event is exciting, attendees will always remember and offer feedback about the food – Every. Single. Time.

Creating a custom menu may seem intimidating but it’s actually a lot easier than you may think! (I’ve even written an entire blog post about it to help you out)

Most venue’s with in-house catering will only offer the standard menu to review but If you’re focused on a theme or you’re interested in making changes, all you have to do is ask. Sometimes it may cost a little extra for a menu tasting but I can attest that it’s worth it to know exactly what your guests will be experiencing on event day. In fact, I recently requested just that for one of my clients and by the end of our tasting, they had a complete custom menu that was delicious, fit their chosen theme and was still well within our planned budget. It can be done!

2. Lighting

Lighting can drastically change the look of a room with the flick of a switch. Ok maybe it’s not that simple but lighting is certainly easy to overlook and yet has the power to influence the entire atmosphere of your event. It can simply mean diming the lights or adding subtle up lighting or you can take it up a notch by incorporating gobo’s to the walls or and even working with a lighting designer to help design the entire look of your event. Effective lighting strategies can really be an event planners best kept secret.

3. Décor

While I would qualify myself as an event logistics specialist, when it comes to creating and installing fabulous décor, I work with some of the best event designers in the city. While this option can get pricey, the right event designer can work with a range of budgets to maximize your investment and create a stunning environment that your guests are sure to remember.

4. Photography

This might come as a surprise but finding a great event photographer can be a bit of a challenge. It takes real talent to shoot in low lighting situations and capture the candid moments that happen when guests are mingling and sharing moments during a special evening out with their significant others and colleagues.

Also, I often suggest that clients consider including a photo booth at their holiday events. It can be such a fun and memorable add-on that has the added perk of a photo takeaway of a wonderful evening. Some photo booth companies even allow you to include your logo, date and custom graphics to each print out.

5. Event Planner

I may be a bit biased but I think one of the best places to invest is an event planner. Big events take more time than many realize and can be incredibly stressful for a team that lacks the experience in this field and are already busy with day to day company business.

Event planners are a wealth of knowledge and have the connections and experience to take your event to the next level. Shifting responsibilities to a professional ensures you and your team can keep your focus where it needs to be while allowing everyone to enjoy a memorable evening together.

Interested in chatting with Jennifer James about your next event? You can reach her at

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