Event Budgeting Made Easy

Do you know the basics to building an event budget? Most don’t understand the idea of planning and forecasting on a large scale, this can be overwhelming and a bit scary in some cases. As an event planner it is imperative to stay within your clients budget, all while maintaining integrity as well as staying consistent with the expectations and experience of the event.

One of the most important tips I’m going to share with you….is track every item cost, this means if you are in a meeting with the venue, ensure you write down everything that pertains to what you are looking for and your budget. This way when you get back home you and your planner have extensive notes and can then decide what you need for your specific event. 

Whether you’re looking at planning an in-person or virtual, the constant moving parts of an event blueprint are definitively bound together by the event budget. As we all can agree that an event’s financial foundation is a direct correlation to a successful event outcome, creating a thorough and realistic event budget is paramount to the event success. The primary purpose of an event budget is not solely to keep tabs on spending, however that is a large part of it. Rather, the purpose should be guidance to efficiently allocate funds to the most valuable event elements.

In retrospect stating how much you want to spend on each variable becomes a direct reflection on which component is most important to you and your event. Regarding an event budget, there is never a such thing as being too detailed, in retrospect its the exact opposite! There are plenty of ways to break down the elements of an event budget. How you dissect your budget depends on your personal preference and the strategy driving the event budget.

Important Aspects of an Event Budget

For a small scale event, such as a seminar or dinner party, you cab definitely use Excel or other spreadsheet programs that can be helpful. List the main categories: item, projected expense, actual expense, details. From there, you just fill in the spreadsheet and manage it like you would any other part of your business.

  1. Venue & Rental Expenses
    • As you plan the event itself and as you meet with your venue sales manager, track all projected rental fees for the event and function space and related expenses.
  2. Catering Expenses
    • This includes all food and beverage charges, including tips and gratuities, which can account for up to 30 percent. Catering budgets can increase right before your eyes and its a great idea to manage this with care, as they can be a great source of savings.
  3. Decor expenses
    • Most events include expenses for decor, such as centerpieces, florals, tent rentals, etc. This is where you list those costs, you want to make sure you have as much detail regarding this step as possible, even down to napkin rings of you want them or not.
  4. Entertainment & Equipment Expenses
    • It’s a great idea to prioritize in this arena, you may have an idea of what you want but the best way to complete this expense as well as keep this expense down is single out exactly what you want.
  5. Summarize printing charges
    • Several small item charges actually combine to make a larger expense line item, this includes items such as invitations, banners, programs etc.

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