How to Create a Budget for Your Event

Establishing an event budget is a crucial step during the planning phase. A budget is a detailed calculation of what will be happening financially at your event. It helps control your expenses and revenues, and measures the success of your meeting or event performance. The importance of an event budget cannot be overemphasized. Although a well-planned budget takes time to create and manage, it can mean the difference between success or failure.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Where to Start

When building your event budget, it’s best to determine what financial success means for your event and how you want to measure it. In order to achieve this, you need to list all the possible expenses and revenues that will likely occur from your event. Determining what financial success means for your event depends on the type of event and objectives. If you are planning a wedding, it is important to determine what is most important to you. The venue cost and catering costs are going to be the biggest investments for your special day.

Plan Out Your Budget

Before planning your budget any further, you need to understand your organization’s needs. Your event budget is really a forecast, or projection, of all expenses and revenues that will incur at your event. You won’t be able to forecast all expenses and revenues from the beginning, and some of these might even change over time. Nevertheless, planning your budget with consideration for the most common expenses and revenues is necessary. 

Factors to consider

  1. Number of Attendees
  2. Venue Rental Cost
  3. Food & Beverage Cost
  4. Entertainment
  5. Audiovisual
  6. Marketing & Promotions
  7. Decor & Labor
Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Review and Track your Event Budget

Not all expenses can be forecasted and your budget will most likely change during the event planning process. This makes it crucial to review and track your budget throughout the planning process. It may be a good starting point to arrange a meeting with your company’s accounting or financial officer to review the format of your budget. If you are planning a wedding, it is important to determine what is most important to you. There are a number of helpful technology solutions on the market that will support you in this quest like Expensify.

Importance of an Event Budget

A budget is a guide. While it’s challenging to create, and can be even more challenging to stick to, it helps planners and stakeholders alike. Event management is all about management. A budget sets the framework for how much can be spent and forces planners to figure out what to put more money into throughout the planning process. It should be a no brainer that expenses need to be managed and a formal budgeting process should be in place.

There are many ways to budget and it’s important to find the one that works best for your organization. Check out this Event Budgeting Guide to learn more information on how to budget your next event.

What tools have you used to stay consistent with your event budget? Comment your experiences below. I would love to hear more!

Thanks for reading!

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