We initially were going to title this blog, “It’s all about the Benjamins” because, well, that’s the purpose of crafting a winning event budget. After some reflection, however, we thought we’d keep things a bit more professional and simply provide you with tips for creating a successful event budget. Although talking about money can make people feel super uncomfortable, our goal is to eliminate the stress and overwhelm that is often associated with coming up with an event budget.
So, here’s the scenario – you have an exciting event concept and want to hit the ground running to plan the festivities. Great, but how do you get from concept to actualizing your vision? There’s a large leap between envisioning an event to actually going live.
The event budget is an essential component to the success of your event. A well throughout and organized budget will keep you on track and position you within your financial limits. For our corporate and nonprofit partners seeking sponsorship dollars, sponsors may request access to your budget to ensure their contribution is being utilized effectively. Even if you’re not seeking sponsors, your department will likely need to get budget approval prior to moving forward in the planning process, thus making the budget a vital component of your event.
If you’re not familiar with planning events, you may not be aware of the various components necessary to produce your event. We can’t tell you how many clients come to us with a vision for an elaborate, over the top, jaw-dropping launch party, conference, wedding, etc., but are amazed when we tell them that “X” amount of dollars is not going to achieve their desired goals. It is our role as a professional event planning company to educate clients on what it takes to produce an event that will provide clients with the elements they are looking for within their budget parameters. One of the many benefits of bringing on a skilled event planning team is that we insist on a carefully constructed, detailed, and realistic budget.
In over fifteen years of planning, negotiating, and organizing different types of events, including weddings, conferences, launch parties, pop-up shops, etc., we have learned that the successful planning of an event is often dependent upon the accurate financial planning for that function. That means it is a necessity to formulate a workable budget to guide the planner and organizer prior to starting the planning process.
Your event budget is the framework for how you will plan and design your event experience. We’re going to share five things to consider when creating your event budget:
- Be realistic with your number from the beginning. The initial planning phase of an event is crucial, thus knowing your financial resources is vital.
- Recognize that your budget is not set in stone, it evolves as you go through the planning process.
- Ensure that you build in ten percent of the total budget for unforeseen contingencies.
- Remember, only through reliable budgeting can you be certain that your event will be fiscally sustainable.
- For weddings, in particular, be sure that you know where all of your financial resources are coming from. Are your parents assisting financially? Your fiance’s parents? Grandparents? Bring all of the key stakeholders together to determine how they will contribute.
Below we’re sharing a budget from one of our client events (we’ve omitted the name of the organization for privacy). This budget is pretty straight forward. Our budgeted amount was $49,050.00 and our client ended up spending a total of $51,717.86 (4.3% above the budgeted amount).
We hope you found this information helpful as you begin mapping out your event budget.