Work Out Your Budget

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Work out your budget

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Budgeting for your event can be a scary task for even the most experienced event planner, with thoughts of income and expenditure leading to many a sleepless night.  

Because there’s so much to think about, where do you start? And, what can you do to make sure you don’t make costly mistakes?

A great idea to start is to divide planning into smaller segments so that you can micro manage your spending more efficiently. This will also allow you to manage the needs of all stakeholders and budget effectively.

How Much Do You Have To Spend?


Be Realistic

Think about the overall goal for the event; what do you want to achieve? And, do you have an overall budget to stay within? Try to consider the needs of everyone involved, including participants, spectators, officials and sponsors so that you don’t leave anyone feeling unsatisfied by the event. You will also want to figure out your break-even point to ensure you have a minimum target for revenue to ensure the event is worthwhile.

Be Flexible

You may find it hard to stick to a strict, rigid budget throughout the organisation of your event as things can go wrong and unexpected costs may occur, therefore your budget should be flexible. Don’t max the budget out in your plans, leave a pot of money for the unexpected costs and anything you have left at the end can go towards promotion or follow up with attendees.

Be Organised

Your budget should be well organised and structured. When you know how much you have to spend, you should assign specific amounts of money to each section of your event plan and keep a detailed track of your spending, including receipts and invoices. This will allow you to look back at your spending and will help to build future budgets.

Assigning Budget To Specific Areas

One of the most difficult parts of budgeting is deciding what percentage of your budget you need to dedicate to each area of your event. You should do a vast amount of research and get bespoke quotes from your venue, entertainment, promotional activities and the rest in order to assign the best estimated percentage of budget to each area.

Some areas you may want to think about assigning budget are the venue, refreshments, personnel involved, equipment used and the promotional channels you are going to use. You will then want to break each of these areas down into subsections, for example the refreshments can be broken down into specific foods and drinks.

When first creating your budget, it will be a ‘projected budget’ which will contain your estimated costs. You will then create an ‘actual budget’ which will contain the costs as and when you occur them, so you can compare the budgets at the end of the event and see where you went under budget and where you over spent.

Where Can Savings Be Made?

Another aspect of budgeting is to consider where savings can be made. Your savings should be aligned with your objectives, for example, if you want to maximise the number of attendees, you might want to make savings by offering more cost effective refreshments. However, if your objective is to improve the experience of attendees, you may want to reduce your spend on promotion. You should also think about saving money on personnel by inviting volunteers and using your current staff members to help you at the event.

Top Tip

Keeping a percentage of your budget unassigned will leave you covered just in case any unexpected costs occur.

Did You Know?

  • According to a survey conducted by Eventbrite, the average budget per event in 2015 was £65,943, covering everything from venue hire to insurance.
  • From the same survey, it was revealed that venue hire was the third biggest cost on average for event organisers.
  • The average spend on event insurance from each organiser was £3,709. The Average Order Value at Event Insurance Services for a Sporting Insurance Policy is £195.