The preparation of a budget for an event is often regarded as one of the aspects of the planning process that event organisers dislike the most. It is laborious, is always subject to change, and in order for it to be helpful, each and every detail must be accurate. Your event budget, however, has the potential to become one of your most useful papers if you put some strategic preparation into it (and if you employ software to manage your event budget). It has the potential to clearly transmit a large quantity of information about your event to a wide variety of stakeholders, it has the ability to demonstrate the changes in your thinking during the planning process, and it has the potential to act as an advantageous learning tool for future events.
Therefore, how can you set a budget for the event that would cover every detail while yet leaving room for unforeseen circumstances? Continue reading to discover the answer!
Examine the following nine suggestions to assist simplify the process of budgeting for your event:
1. Be familiar with the objectives and key performance indicators for your event.
Your event budgeting should closely represent everything that you are imagining for your event, from the overall vision to the décor, technology, setup, merchandising, and talent that you have in mind for the event. If you can think of a certain essential component while closing your eyes, then you should include that component in your financial plan.
In the case that you have already produced an event marketing strategy, you are free to utilise the wording that you wrote for the part on your vision and objectives. In any case, it is highly recommended that you set aside some time to carefully consider the goals you have for this event. What do you want to achieve with your efforts? What other aims does your organisation have in putting on the event besides making sure the guests are happy? What are some of the things you want to take away from this experience?
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The significant choices you have to make in regard to the budget will be directly influenced by the goals you have set for the event. For example, if the guests at your event are significant people whom you want to make a good impression on, the location and the decorations will be very critical line items. If this is an event that is being held internally inside the company, you may want to place more of an emphasis on participation via the use of event technology, audio-visual equipment, and food. Cost-cutting strategies may be supported by achieving certain goals, such as holding regular business meetings. Others, like sales conventions, are good candidates for investing more money in order to get a greater return on investment. Consider how you will evaluate the success of this event as well as how the key performance indicators (KPIs) will impact your budget.
2. Consider incidents from the past and those that are comparable.
It does not make sense to begin the process of budgeting for your event all over again every time you conduct one. Instead, it is useful to examine previous events that were comparable in magnitude, scope, and aims. For instance, a special event to celebrate the company’s anniversary can take place once a year or just during certain landmark years. Even if you haven’t organised this particular event in the past, you probably have some experience with organising events that are similar to this one. If your company has many offices or divisions, you should inquire with each one about any events that are comparable to the one you are planning. It is far simpler to make changes to a budget that has already been drafted than it is to gaze at a blank screen and attempt to create one from whole cloth.
Keep in mind that event patterns and prices may have changed in the time that has passed since the event that served as your source of inspiration; yet, you will still need to investigate the expenses associated with your particular event. You aren’t seeking for a precise design; rather, you need an estimate as well as some ideas for the different kinds of line items you should include in your plan so that you know where to begin your study.
3. Begin by estimating a range and then revise your estimate.
Throughout the process of preparing the event, your budget will need to undergo continuous revisions and adjustments. Because this is a live document, it is quite possible that it will be revised and updated by a number of different stakeholders whose objectives may vary from one another. As a result of this, it is beneficial to begin with a rough estimate of how much money your event will cost, and then to add information to the estimate as you investigate the expenses involved. This provides you with the option to begin early talks with stakeholders about the expenses involved, and to back up those conversations with concrete statistics as the date of your event draws near.
4. Start looking at the exact costs involved.
Now is the time to begin doing research on the individual line items that will make up your budget. You need to have a decent list going of the items to add based on previous events and comparable inspiration events, and you should be working on this list right now. However, here are some of the fundamentals that you need to make sure you cover:
- Costs incurred locally
- Location Event Staff Catering Food and drinks
- In addition to other forms of technology
- Performers and other forms of entertainment
- Carriage and conveyance
- Merchandise and several additional giveaways
- Assurance of safety
- Organiser of events or management of the venue
- Advertising and public relations for an event
- Design of graphics
- Paid advertising and social media platforms
- Printed promotional items and brochures
- Payments made to affiliates and influencers
- Promotion of content via payment
- Technology for the organisation of events
- Platform for the administration of events
- Costs of booking and purchasing tickets
- Website for the event Diagramming tool for events
- App for mobile events
- Check-in and registration available on-site
- Tools for the capture of leads
- Data analysis and interpretation
5. Request bids from a number of different vendors.
You need to be sure to receive numerous quotations from various suppliers for each of the aforementioned charges, and you need to do this as soon as possible. This is an industry best practise that will not only guarantee that you are receiving a fair bargain, but will also provide you the leverage to negotiate a better price with the suppliers. A greater awareness of the pricing landscape for that specific item is another benefit that comes with receiving many quotations for that item. Talking to representatives from a number of different sellers is the only way to obtain an accurate picture of the variety of prices. The most reliable source of information about their region is the local vendors. They can also assist you in determining what it is that you need (and what it is that you do not require). They could even know of some fantastic money-saving strategies pertaining to a certain line item.
There are charges that vary depending on the other line items. For instance, your audiovisual arrangement will change based on the location of the event. Other expenses will not be included with some locations, while others will include them. For example, depending on the location, parking, transportation to and from the airport, and Wi-Fi may or may not be included (or may be available as optional add-ons).
When you begin to collect estimates, be sure to make a note of what is included with each price as well as which expenses are dependent on one another. In this manner, when you finally choose on a seller, you will already know which goods on your list you can cross off.
6. You should think about how the money from the event will balance the costs.
The amount of money that you anticipate making from the event will have a significant impact on the entire budget that you have created. Your revenue may come from a variety of different areas, such as the sale of tickets, connections with sponsors, items and services provided at the event, and other inventive avenues. When developing the budget for your event, be sure to include estimates for each of these potential sources of revenue. This will allow you and the other stakeholders to better understand the actual costs of the event as well as the potential return on investment.
This is also possible in the other direction. After you have a somewhat accurate estimate of the costs that you will be liable for, you will be able to devise sponsorship packages or determine appropriate ticket pricing in order to reduce the overall sum. This provides you with a clear target for the event’s profits while also allowing you to maintain control over its expenditures.
7. Determine where you will save money and where you will spend it.
When it comes to planning the finances for an event, no one is ever granted a limitless amount of spending money (and even if they are, it probably won’t happen again). Because of this, event planners will need to prioritise different components of the gathering in order of importance. These will be the areas in which it makes the most sense to invest a little bit more money to have solutions of an exceptionally high quality. As you proceed down your list of objectives, you will begin to discover areas in which you can reduce your spending or even areas in which you can eliminate spending altogether. You may be able to get away with a digital VIP experience instead of investing in a dedicated physical space for VIP guests. You may also consider skipping the plated meal in favour of providing guests with nibbles and drinks during the course of the event. You will be able to determine where the best place is to devote those important resources if you first prioritise your requirements.
8. Include some more funds for unforeseen circumstances and urgent matters.
If you have any experience in event planning, you know that no matter how meticulously you try, something will inevitably go wrong. There’s a chance that you won’t have any flowers, in which case you’ll have to find a florist on the same day as the event. It’s possible that your audiovisual setup won’t work in this location. It’s possible that your speakers may call in sick. Regardless of the circumstances, you should always be prepared by setting aside money in an emergency fund. The size of your event and the circumstances that you have planned for will determine the amount of additional funds that you will need. To account for this, a decent rule of thumb is to set aside an extra 15–30% of your overall budget.
9. Ensure that the document you use to create your budget works for both you and your team.
Keep in mind that your budget is a live document that will undergo both alteration and expansion as the date of your event draws near. If you do a few things to format it effectively, it will become an even more valuable tool, which are as follows:
Along with the estimates, you should provide some comments regarding the payment dates, including information on deposits and when they need to be paid.
Include a column for real prices when you begin to pay for goods. This will allow you to keep track of how closely your actual costs align with your estimations. This is very beneficial for planning the budget for upcoming events, so it is a good thing to keep in mind.
Notes should be written down on cost stipulations, special discounts given, contact names, and specifics about each item to make it simple for other members of the team to get the information they want.
Start utilising these suggestions for creating a budget for your event right now.
Now that you have a good idea of how much money your event will cost, you can evaluate whether or not it will be worthwhile to spend that money. Take a look at our suggestions for increasing the return on investment (ROI) of your event so that you can make the most of your resources.
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