Congratulations! You’ve won the business with the help of the ‘tight event brief and ‘great event proposal’. You now need to get busy planning the event. Your next step is to create a comprehensive event budget. Whether you’re organising a professional conference, product launch, or business seminar, a well-thought-out budget ensures that you stay on track financially and allows you to allocate resources efficiently. Now let’s have a look at the key components you’ll want to include.

Budget document Create a working document which breaks down your overall event budget into specific cost categories including venue, catering, marketing, audio visual, and miscellaneous expenses. You should update it regularly to track all outgoing costs plus any incoming revenues. This document can provide you with a useful snapshot of where your finances are at any point in the event planning cycle enabling you to stay within your financial limits and providing valuable insights for future event planning.

Research and gather quotes Thorough research is a fundamental part of a reliable event budget. Reach out to potential suppliers, venues, and service providers to gather detailed proposals and quotes. Try to pull together  three comparable supplier quotes for each event element and negotiate prices where possible to ensure you work with suppliers who best meet your needs whilst offering great value for money.

Venue hire The venue is often a significant portion of the event budget. Some venues will include furniture, audio visual, Wi-Fi and may even offer free car parking for attendees. Check what the venue will provide is of a high enough standard to meet your needs and factor any such extra inclusions when comparing venue hire costs. For venues not including the same provisions you will need to pay to hire these elements separately which will increase the time required to source their supply and deal with additional suppliers. Be sure to note any extra fees or deposits required by the venue.

Catering The quality and service levels of your event catering can significantly impact overall attendee experience in both positive and negative ways. For paid events in particular, attendees will expect the quality of food and drink to be in line with the ticket price and event style. Try to finalise your catering order as late as possible which should allow you to have a good idea of final numbers. This will keep catering costs and food waste to a minimum.

Marketing and promotion Effectively promoting your event is vital to its success. Allocate a portion of your budget to marketing and promotional activities, including content creation, digital and print materials, social media advertising, and any collaborations with influencers or media.

Technology and audio-visual needs In today’s digital age, technology plays a vital role in events. Event attendees now expect access to reliable Wi-Fi. Many events will need to budget for audio-visual equipment, lighting, a PA and sound system, videographer, online streaming platform, and any other event specific technology requirements. Factor in technical support and device contingency plans to mitigate against potential issues during the event.

Speaker and talent fees If your event will include expert speakers, performers, or special guests, you may need to budget for their fee, as well as travel, and accommodation expenses. Clarify all financial arrangements with speakers well in advance to avoid last-minute budget surprises.

Contingency fund No matter how meticulously you plan, unexpected expenses can arise. Allocate a percentage of your budget to a contingency fund to handle unforeseen costs and emergencies. This buffer ensures that you can adapt to changes without compromising the quality of your event or going over budget.

Creating a comprehensive event budget is a key part of successful event planning. By carefully considering and accounting for all relevant expenses, and income you can ensure that your event stays within agreed financial parameters and on course for success.

Follow us for the next blog in our series during which we’ll share our insights on how to ‘Assemble your event A-Team.’

Contact us today if you need expert help with your next event ✨