BEFORE YOU CREATE A BUDGET
First, how much do you have to spend and what kind of event is it? It seems straightforward but writing out your event’s purpose can help you steer the budget in the right direction.
Different factors go into the budget for an event. Some of these factors are company size, event goal, event scope, size of the event, and location. The important thing to remember is that you don’t begin planning an event without landing on a budget.
Once you have these items on paper, it is time to do some research. A huge help is looking at past events. Looking at items that cost more than originally intended, whether its brochure costs or catering, you can be aware and ready to adjust. Looking over these items also allows you to make changes with venues and vendors before you invest in their services. If you can’t research past events, try to investigate each industry that might be questionable. You can look at industry averages and get an idea of what prices are right for you.
Then finally you can jot down where your high-level spending will be, to start your budget. These are the things that will require a large portion of your budget and are usually more expensive than your itemized needs. Some of these items could include the following:
· Food and Beverage
· Event technology
· Furniture and equipment
According to the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) survey, you will most likely be spending 55% of your budget on food and beverage, audiovisual, and speaker/entertainment, because these items have a direct impact on the overall attendee experience.
It’s also crucial to differentiate between fixed and variable expenses or costs. Fixed costs are costs that do not change based on the number of attendees. Variable costs are costs that change based on the number of attendees. These costs are calculated on a per-person basis (eventmobi). This is especially true once you start itemizing each category. This is when you can begin to add a final expense column along with your projected expense column.
As you know events can be unpredictable, so something that could help save your budget is a contingency budget or emergency fund. This is usually 20% of your budget, put aside for those capricious moments. This fund can keep your budget in the green and help you avoid the dreaded red.