Whats your budget?

14 September 2012

Why do clients keep their budget secret?

By Michael Aldridge, General Manager of Merlin Events London

@MerlinEvents on Twitter   

One of the first questions my team will ask a client is “what is your budget?” Yet so many respond with “oh we don’t have one” or “I would rather not tell you”.

Firstly, I find it unbelievable that clients are actually contacting venues when they do not have a budget. What a waste of everyone’s time!

Secondly, if they did give us an idea of the budget we can help them to meet this by providing a bespoke quote offering solutions to keep the event costs in check, for example using our venues on a Monday, Tuesday or Friday when we can offer a £15 per head discount off each package.

I had a client call yesterday for 100 guests for a dinner with a budget of £15,000; what could we do for them? Giving us this information cut out all the cat and mouse games and the client received a quote meeting their budget within two hours. The more commercial venues like ourselves at Merlin are able to be dynamic with costs and during this challenging time will go the extra mile to secure business.

I feel venues and agents need to be slightly firmer with clients to ascertain budgets before proposals are written, venues held etc. This would save everyone work and allow us all to operate in a more constructive, transparent manner.

Is there a reason to contact suppliers before a budget has been decided?