How To Create An Event Budget: Avoiding Blindspots

Event Tips September 15, 2021

Event planning can be both exhilarating and demanding, frequently at the same time. Whether you’re planning a small product launch or a major corporate banquet, staying within budget is critical to increasing earnings and decreasing stress. If you’re wondering how to create an event budget, you’ve landed in the right spot.

With such a long list of expenses, it’s tempting to skip the planning stage and begin signing contracts with vendors immediately. Unfortunately, while this may appear to be the simple option, you’re setting yourself (and your staff) up for inevitable budget blindspots and leaks.

A solid budget is essential no matter what type of event you’re coordinating. Budgeting will help you cut costs, increase revenue, eliminate redundancies, and improve management. Without a budget, costs quickly spiral out of control, leaving profits on the table.

In this post, we’ll demonstrate how tackling your budget in two simple stages can alleviate some of the initial strain and assist you in developing a healthy budgeting routine over time.

Stage One: How to Create an Event Budget

Budget preparation involves identifying and estimating all potential sources of income and expenditure. Utilizing spreadsheets—the event planning coordinator’s primary weapon in the war against chaos—will expedite your progress.

All conceivable expenses must be reported, classified, and monitored, from venue rental and marketing to food and sound. Additionally, all prospective revenue streams, from ticket sales and sponsorship to merchandising sales and participation fees, must also be identified.

To construct an adequate event budget, you need more than just a good guess. Take advantage of the many spreadsheet platforms and software systems that allow for various tweaks, automated calculations, and other refinements during the project life-cycle.

The following list shows the most common categories of high-level event spending:

  • Location (or platform, for virtual events)
  • Guest speakers
  • Staffing crew
  • Branding and signage
  • Food and drink
  • Audience experience
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Event tech and equipment rentals
  • Travel costs
  • Staging and decor
  • Emergency funds

Next, you will want to subdivide these broad categories into more specific segments. For example, under the column for marketing, you might list costs for social media, web advertising, email marketing, and printed materials.

Additionally, you should ensure that your budget includes every expense down to the penny. Once you have a complete picture, you may transform the data into key insights. Again, beginning with the broad strokes and gradually narrowing in on the details helps guarantee that you’ve covered all of your financial bases.

Stage Two: Post-event Settling and Insights

If you’ve been keeping a sharp eye on all of your expenditures, this next step should be a breeze. Following the conclusion of your event, you’ll want to revisit your budget and contracts to ensure that you’ve met all financial responsibilities.

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