In these times of global recession, when finances are becoming slimmer and event rarely comes by, because clients are trying to cut cost and limit spending, it’s time to consider managing your cost while you still provide that best service you are known for. However, it will not be surprising that most events managers don’t think of being able to manage their cost because some or most of their resources are fixed, so to them, guess work is what is appropriate.
Managing cost effectively has been the bane of many event managers. Did I hear you say it is because you are not trained to be an accountant? Well, that’s no excuse. Every event manger must master the art of getting the best cost possible so as to remain relevant in the business industry especially in this harsh financial climate we are in. Such that you don’t chase away your clients, who may decide to settle for your next door event associate.
As many may think, cost effectiveness is not about reducing your cost to deliver poor service, nor is it about manipulating the events with poor inputs for the sake of cutting cost thinking it will yield a desired result. To help us understand this properly, let’s know what it means to be effective and efficient.
According to BSMReview.com effectiveness can be explained as “A measure of whether the objectives of a process, service or activity have been achieved. An effective process or activity is one that achieves its agreed objectives.” While,
Efficiency is “A measure of whether the right amounts of resources have been used to deliver a process, service or activity. An efficient process achieves its objectives with the minimum amount of time, money, people or other resources.”
Therefore, from the inference above, being cost effective and still be an efficient event manager is when you are able to execute an event with just the right amount of resources , that is, with the minimum amount of time, money, people, equipment and still being able to exceed your client’s expectation.
From these explanations what can you infer? Consider these. How many event mangers know the value of their resources, assets, I mean your equipment, your staff and everything you know that are involved in making a regular event successful. To be cost effective you must arm yourself with real cost, unit cost if possible. Know the real cost of what you are putting into a particular events from the biggest input to the least. It will help you take major decisions without just slamming some unreasonable cost on your clients. Remember your clients are now smarter than you think.
For instance what is the present value of all the equipment you own as well as the ones you bought some 5 years back? Also If am a baker and I need to bake a wedding cake for a client, I bought a pack of yeast for N100 and I used just half of the yeast, what is the cost of that half that was used?. Many a times event managers do not know the amount of input they put in powering an event, guess work will never help you. If you are able to ascertain unit by unit every cost (man power resources and equipment) used for a particular event you will always end up pricing the best with your client. You must not always make the same profit from every event.
One major way to be cost effective, reduce cost and still be efficient in service delivery is to reduce to the barest minimum what you outsource. Invest in that area where you ought to be doing originally. The initial investment may be strenuous and painful but it is surely the best way at the long run. Whenever you outsources what you should originally do you are not cutting cost in any way, instead you are selling out your market and may opportunities to come. It is far better to own the equipment and hire the man power, with that you will just be paying wages for the man power rather than paying for the equipment and power all together.
It is also advisable to get a professional cost analyst to help you out in making the books straight and assist in getting the right cost for your inputs. They will gladly show you ways by which you can make more profits by attaching suitable cost for that event and reduce waste to the barest minimum. Above all for every event, always think of the benefits of every cost.
Mfonabasi Udoh Barry
Mfonabasi Barry is PR professional, a communications and social media strategist. Works with DOXA DIGITAL NIGERIA.