That’s impossible! …is what most people would say. While it might be difficult, we’re here to tell you that organising an event with no budget is completely doable. It requires patience, persistence and amazing negotiation skills, but it can be done with little to no cash.
How to organise an event with zero budget
Think outside the box- You can do them by yourself at first, but eventually you’ll probably want to include other people. Having other people’s objective insight will give you a fresh perspective on your plans.
Do Research- What is your event about? You might roll your eyes, but you need to understand the ins and outs of the occasion. If you can’t explain what your event is about, then – it’s going to be difficult.
Venue- Try to reach for venues that don’t have a large staff. The more people needed to run the venue, then the more people you’ll have to negotiate with.
Speakers and performers- Some people will contribute to the occasion, even for free, if they feel like it’s creative or revolutionary. You have to sell it like they’re going to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Use Social Media- It’s free and almost everyone is there. Ask your friends and family to help you out by sharing, liking and retweeting.
Create a website- You don’t need to spend money on a website. Services like WordPress let you to build a website (hosting included) for free!
Newsletter- Social media is great, but messages can get lost if your followers don’t check their profiles often. An email will go directly to the person intended and will be read when it’s most convenient.
Design- The best way to find a graphic designer who will work pro bono is by word of mouth. Ask around, chances are someone you know is in touch with a graphic designer who can do you a favour.
Go minimal- Sticking to what you really need will help to reduce costs. You may need to go through this list several times in order to truly get rid of everything non-essential.
Decorations- Luckily for you, rustic is trending right now! Unfinished and rough looking materials are in vogue. You’d be surprised with what you can accomplish with wooden boxes and a few branches.
Don’t rule out the possibilities of someone donating to help your event get off the ground. If you go down the crowdfunding route, then you’ll have to organise a campaign.
Volunteers and Staff
One person can get a lot done but it’s probably impossible to get all of it done alone. That means you’ll need some volunteers!
It’s always easier when the occasion is for a good cause. Perhaps they’ve been personally affected by the subject you’ve chosen to bring awareness to, or maybe they just like to give back to the community.
This may be the trickiest item on the list to get 100% for free — unless you’re a nonprofit. There are quite a few resources out there (like this one, or that one) that have ideas about where you can get food donations for free at a nonprofit event. Again, it’s often easier to get people to donate, whether it’s time, food, or money, if they know it’s going to a good cause.