Inflation, shortages, a desire to gather together in person, and increasingly high standards have wreaked havoc with event budgets. Here’s why you can expect to pay more this year.
The Increased Cost of … Everything
If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, I’m sure it’s no surprise to you to hear that food prices have gone up dramatically. It’s not just food, it’s everything. Increases in labor, raw materials, and fuel have all led to higher event costs in 2023. In fact, one study says that the cost of in-person events has risen close to 30% over 2019.
Some businesses are seeing increases that are even higher than that. Cara Delalla, who runs the Meatballerz food truck with her family, has seen business expenses increase across the board; some of which have doubled over what they were pre-pandemic.
“It's impacting every facet of our business,” Cara says.
One of the biggest challenges businesses are facing are labor shortages which have enabled quality hourly workers to demand higher wages, which ultimately must get passed through to the client.
“Costs for everything are higher, but our quality hasn’t changed at all,” Cara says about the authentic Italian food and service they provide to customers from their two food trucks and storefront location.
The Return of In-Person Events
Despite inflation and concern about an impending recession, demand for in-person events is on the rise and is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year. Bringing people together for networking, collaboration, and to build and strengthen relationships is more important than ever, especially with so many workforces that remain remote. Increasing your event budget can enable you to host a wider variety of events, such as workshops, seminars, conferences, networking sessions, and employee engagement/recruitment.
These events foster connections not only with employees, but also with potential clients and customers, partners, collaborators, and industry influencers. By investing in high-quality catering, venues, and experiences, you create an environment conducive to meaningful interactions, helping to forge and strengthen important professional relationships.
Higher Standards and Production Costs
Rather than decreasing, expectations have only increased since everything has reopened and in-person events have resumed. Some reasons for that include the evolution of social media, technological transformation, and changes in the entertainment industry. Now the audience is more demanding and is always looking for the magic touch. This leaves event production managers hunting for creative content and cool audiovisual ideas.
Digital elements, like large LED screens, livestreaming, and VR/AR integration are trending. By allocating more funds to your events, you can explore new formats, themes and interactive elements that make your event stand out. This proactive approach demonstrates your commitment to innovation and customer engagement, helping you maintain a competitive edge.
That being said, if your budget doesn’t allow for an increase to keep pace with rising costs, all is not lost. Sydney Harris, Account Manager with event planning company Presenting Atlanta, has this advice for corporate meeting planners.
“If you want to keep the quality of your events at the levels it was in the past, you should expect to allocate more money to your event budget. But, if you can’t do that, the number one thing you can do to get the event that you want is to prioritize your budget. Spend more on what’s most important to your group. You should still be able to get a fantastic event.”
Trying to get the biggest bang from your buck? Reach out to Simply Food Trucks, who can help you plan an amazing event no matter what your budget.