I like people, energy, and hype. I am an ENFP on myers briggs, a yellow on the color chart, and an otter on… that test. I am also a stingy, penny-pinching saver. This is an interesting combo considering I love high energy, large scale events AND I do not like to spend money. Here are my 5 quick and easy ways to add PR and save or earn money when attending a large event.
1. Enter Contests. (Win $25-$1000) Here is a great example of free PR: I am a third place triathlon finisher. I even have a medal to prove it. The truth is, I have only ever raced one triathlon in my life, and there were only 3 people in my age bracket. All I had to do was finish! This goes to show, the entry rate of massive event contests compared to the attendee rate may be lower than you may think. Cash prizes are great, but the PR that comes with winning an innovators award or a consumers pick? That could go a long way. Attendees can score mega PR value and $250 bucks at NLGS this year by winning one of three NLGS product pick awards.
2. Book your flights early, but not too early. (Save $75-$400) The cheapest time to book a domestic flight is roughly between 50 and 100 days out. Right around 50 days before tends to be the cheapest, but it goes up very quickly if you miss the window. Plus, the difference between 50 and 70 days out is nominal, so if you see a good price, book it. Before 100 days out, tickets can be $50 more and if you wait to book within 7 days of travel tickets are on average $174 more than the prime time rates! Are you VIP? Chances are you may be able to negotiate the event manager to pay your airfare. Buyers at NLGS have been know to get $400 towards airfare!
3. Negotiate hotel rates. (Save $20-$140) When booking a hotel, always ask if there are any block rates for the event you are attending and if there are any deals or specials. Booking over the phone gives you the chance to speak with a manager and ask about deals or discounts like AAA or military. Unlike flights, hotels will try to book unfilled rooms last minute, but be careful not to miss limited group rates if they are available by waiting to the last minute. One example is at NLGS hotel rates will likely rise $75 a night more than the NLGS attendee rate if folks don’t book early. Another obvious option? Stay with friends or family if possible or brave couch surfing world!
4. Refer a friend. (Earn $10-$500) Almost every event has some kind of referral program and if they don’t you can help them start one (even if it’s just for you. Simply ask “If I register 2 companies, can I get a discount? Get the conversation going and it will be easier than you think to save money). Plus, unless your referrals are direct competition, you will add social proof and industry credibility to the event and your attendance. Folks who refer a friend who attends to NLGS in 2016 and receive $100, just like that.
5. Refuse to be sold unnecessary upgrades. (Save $13-$2000) If you look at a booths in trade shows, what percent of the booth is actually product? Doubling or tripling booth space can easily turn into thousands of dollars. Spend that on maximizing the standard space and really making your display pop using creativity, not dollars (an idea for a hammock company may be to take the standard 10’x10′ and hang a hammock with a person in it 45′ off the ground to demonstrate it’s reliability and attract customers). Another example? I like to fly cheap. One airline in particular asked me if I want to upgrade my seat for a mere $13. The options for these $13 upgrades are some of the worst seats available. I simply tell the airline when I am booking, “No thanks, I’ll take whatever” and my seat looks just as good as the next guy. If you find yourself being sold an upgrade before you commit, ask for the upgrade for free if you register to attend. Since NLGS is not a booth style show, display space upgrades are cheap and sometimes, free.
Trade shows, bluegrass festivals, beer conventions, the World Series, the philharmonic, family reunions, spring break vacations, cousins’ weddings, kids soccer tournaments, the Olympics – I wish you the best!
Have an event hack? Share it with me!