Budgeting is an extremely important part of planning an event as it will impact every decision you make throughout the planning process. Therefore, you must ensure you have a properly thought-out budget in place which considers all costs involved with your event, ensures you have an emergency fund and allows you to make a healthy return on investment.
Read on for our guide on mastering your event budget.
Create a budgeting strategy
Before you dive into the actual budgeting, you need to think about what you are going to be spending your money on and where you can find useful data that will help to inform this. A good place to start is with the data you have from your previous events. Have a look at what areas you over-spent on previously and what areas you didn’t spend enough on.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a better idea of what needs more budget and what areas you can afford to spend less on, this makes it easier to keep your budget accurate and avoid the mistakes you have made in the past.
Having identified areas for tightening up your spending, you can set yourself some specific goals. Whether it’s to acquire more money from sponsors or to find ways to make your budget stretch further, setting some objectives can help to keep you motivated and on track when planning an event.
Work out all of your expenses
It’s now time to make a list of all the expenses that need to be included within your overall budget. Some of the most significant expenses include:
- Transport and accommodation
- Audio and visual equipment
You can find out more about the costs involved with hosting an event here. (link to “how much does it cost to host an event”)
Ultimately, your event budget is how you’ll be able to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your event. Therefore, you want to make sure your budget is tight enough to ensure you can make a healthy return.
Use your budget to control your event’s total cost, so that you can meet your set objectives and grow your profit margin. You can find out more about calculating the ROI of your event here.
Allow yourself an emergency fund
You never know what could happen in the days running up to your event, and while it’s important to be positive, it’s also sensible to leave yourself some spare money within your budget in case anything goes wrong.
Create your budget template
It’s now time to create a budgeting template. This can simply be done on a spreadsheet whereby you list each of the individual costs involved in your event.
To make sure your budgeting template includes everything you need, follow these guidelines:
- Specify what you are budgeting for, break down all of the costs and categorise them accordingly
- Go through your categories and write an accurate figure next to each cost based on what you have been quoted. While some of the costs will be variable, such as catering, try to be as accurate as possible with these figures to avoid any surprises further down the line.
- Include what your projected event revenue is and where it will come from. For example, this could include revenue from ticket sales, sponsors, money spent on the bar and any other forms of revenue generation at your event.
- Ensure that you include your contingency fund in case of any issues in the days leading up to your event.
- Work out your projected ROI, now that you have your exact budget in place and you have an idea of how much revenue you are on track to generate, work out your return. This is a useful metric to hand out to potential event sponsors to persuade them to help fund your event.