Just Ask For It! How to Host An Event With No Budget By Asking Questions.

Lately, we’ve been working with some seriously cool people who recognise the power that events have to do so much good! From Trivia Nights to Charity Balls to Flash Mobs, we’ve been doing a lot of work for foundations run by entrepreneurs who are out to make a difference. It is so rewarding but the limits it places on your event planning is the same as if you’re a start-up introducing live events in to your business model for the very first time. Ever dollar counts, if you have any dollars that is!

In the last month, we’ve felt so cheeky, asking for things constantly to help bring event dreams to life and you know what we’ve found? It is absolutely possible to organise an event that sets an example on little to no budget. The secret? Ask for it! Here are some questions we we have asked lately to get different suppliers and contributors on our team. Feel free to copy and paste them straight in to that email you’ve been too scared to send asking for something for your next event!


  • We have zero budget for this event. Is it possible to work off a minimum spend on the day/night rather than a flat room hire rate?
  • That venue hire fee falls outside our event budget. Would it be at all possible to offer the venue for our budgeted amount by way of sponsorship? In return, your venue can be promoted as an event sponsor to be included in all print and online marketing materials in the lead up to the event. You can also display and distribute marketing materials to our guests at our event plus give an event address on behalf of the venue as a sponsor.


  • We have budgeted significantly less than that per head. Can we work backwards from our budget and let that determine what catering is served to our guests?


  • We would love to offer a drink on arrival to our guests that will be included in their ticket price. We know you offer Happy Hour discounts. Would it be possible to charge us that discounted price for this drink?


  • We have an event coming up and our vision is to have you share your music on our stage. Although we don’t have a budget for this, we will have photographers and videographers there capturing every moment which we can provide to you for promotion and recognition. Is this something you’d like to discuss further?
  • We don’t have an entertainment budget for our event which, we know, sucks to hear. But what we will have in the room are people who book entertainment for their own events plus people who to make a connection with will be so beneficial to your growth and development. At the conclusion of the event, we would be so happy to share with you their details in order for you to stay connected with long after the event wraps up.


  • We would hate to miss out on capturing the moments that our event creates and are hoping you would like to be on board as our photographer/videographer. You would have full access to all photos/videos taken in order to grow your portfolio and promote your services. We’d be happy to provide you with a testimonial and the contact details of our attendees for you to remain connected with also.

Have you noticed the common thread? Sponsorship. You give me something and I’ll give you something. Win Win situations that provide benefit to all involved. Think about what value you need for your event, who from and what you have to give back that isn’t necessarily paying their typical fee.

A word of advice from experience. Be sure to give back when you receive. Don’t just take. Give gratitude, recognition, promotion and value. All of that won’t just please the people who have partnered with you to put on your event, it will also fill your tank and make you and your own team feel good. Win Wins all ‘round!

A huge shout out to the following people and organisations who we’ve fired these questions at and who have accommodated beautifully. You legends rock and have created a returning client, without a doubt!

The Melbourne Venue Co.
The Duke
The Vincent
Atlantic Group