In recent years, Australia has seen many of the big summer music festivals surrender to financial pressures with many cancelled, whether temporarily, indefinitely or permanently. Some of the biggest festivals in Australia and New Zealand including; The Big Day Out, Future Music Festival and Soundwave have experienced poor ticket sales that can’t cover the costs of big name talent and the myriad of expenses involved in running a major event.

With the fall of the giant music festivals, Australia has seen a huge rise in the popularity of smaller boutique festivals amongst punters. We have put together a few tips to help those organising large and small events to save you time and money in 2016.

Consolidate Suppliers & Outsource

The planning and lead up to an event can be hectic. Managing multiple suppliers that assist in creating the perfect event can be overwhelming.  Marketing companies, graphic designers, printers, safety contractors, hire companies, temporary fencing suppliers, security companies, caterers, are just a few, the list goes on.

Unfortunately, you can’t cut this list down to one supplier. However consolidate a few, and outsource some tasks, you won’t realise how much time you gain.

Talk to the sign writer or printer that does your signs and banners about graphic design. There’s no need to use a costly graphic design agency when most signage companies have an in-house graphic design team. Check out Print My Fence they provide banners, shade cloth rolls signage and their in-house team can do all of your design.

Talk to your temporary fencing supplier about crowd control and safety equipment. They will be more than happy to help. Most will help you with calculating how much fence you require, assist in delineating areas, directing foot traffic, and help you in working out whether it’s more cost effective to hire or buy temporary fence.

Labour hire can be another laborious task (pardon the pun). Rather than use a security company for security hire and catering company for bar and catering staff, find a labour hire company that can do both. Most labour hires will also assist with calculating staff numbers and even run training and inductions for you.

Why use four suppliers and do a lot of the work yourself where you can consolidate and outsource?

Embrace Technology & Automate

Are you still managing your schedule through outlook or project management through excel? What about using an all-encompassing software that does your marketing, ticketing, attendee lists and project management? Event managers and organisers aren’t using systems and technology available or to their fullest potential. You should be collecting contact data when people book, confirming bookings, then reminding them and re-marketing your next event to your guests – this can all be automated.

Why use four different systems and have to update everything yourself? Automate and cut down on admin time! Most event management systems have free trials, you should take a look at Whova, Basecamp, Etouches, Guidebook & Event Brite.

Did you also know that most email marketing systems will have event marketing & management capabilities? You can build attendee lists, invite, and have automated email follow ups to remind your guests and prompt them to respond. Some are even free to use, you just pay for what you send. Start by checking out Mail Chimp & Campaign Monitor.
Plan Ahead for Risks & Safety

Plan ahead for risks, so when the proverbial hits the fan you’re prepared and you’ve budgeted. Risk management and safety planning are important no matter what event or site. Many festivals and events whether large or small in Australia are in remote locations and are subject to harsh Australian weather conditions.

Over this summer, two of Australia’s biggest music festivals were affected by bushfires. Both the Southbound Music Festival in Busselton WA and Falls Festival in Lorne VIC were at risk of bushfires. Southbound was cancelled due to the risk, yet event organisers at Falls Festival managed to move the entire 4-day music festival to a new site in the space of a few days, a fairly impressive feat at such short notice.

Knowing the risks of the area they were in has paid off for the Falls Festival organisers. By putting contingency plans in place they saved a festival and probably millions of dollars in the process.

Know your risks, plan for risks, and be aware of legal obligations, health & safety regulations and keep up-to-date with changing weather conditions. Have your contingency plan ready and budget for it. It will save you so much time and money in the event of an emergency.

Get Social

Social media is the event organisers’ best friend, it’s free advertising. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are cost effective methods of interacting and reaching out to attendees, saving you both time and money. Social media grows your contact and marketing list organically and allows you to easily follow other events. Whether in Australia or overseas, see what the competition is up too and keep on top of event industry developments.

To be a more efficient event manager and save time and money remember these tips:

1. Consolidate & outsource suppliers.
2. Embrace technology and automate.
3. Plan ahead for risks and safety.
4. Get social.

The rest is up to you, enjoy your event.

About the Author:

This article was written by Liam Banks from Print My Fence – Australia’s number 1 provider of high quality printed shade cloth and custom banners at affordable prices.