How to create your event budget proposal like a pro
Ready to get the ball rolling on your event? Crunching the numbers is an essential to make sure you’re investing well. You want to make the most of all the money, resources and efforts you’re putting into your project. Truth is, planning your event budget doesn’t have to be boring or confusing at all. When you’ve got clear goals and the right technology to support you, you’re onto big wins with a rock solid budget. We’ve got your back event managers — here are some simple ways you can create a budget proposal that’ll keep your clients happy and help your event succeed.
Simple Ways for Planning Your Event Budget Like a Pro
Establish Client Goals
Knowing the specific overall budget for an event is a no brainer essential before you even begin. However, specifying a budget requires first figuring out your client’s goals. When you’re having those first crucial meetings, consider your priorities:
- Are you trying to expand your network and build relationships?
- With which specific audiences are you trying to increase brand awareness?
- Are you trying to establish credibility in your industry?
- How is your business trying to give back to the community and existing customers through your event?
- How and why are you trying to equip and inspire your employees?
With a clear purpose in mind, you’re equipped to make appropriate estimates and set down your priorities. For example, different marketing channels will resonate with specific audiences — depending on your audiences and their preferred channels, you’ll need a smaller or larger marketing budget to promote your event effectively. Alternatively, if you’re planning an event to thank and celebrate current customers, you may be able to draw on those existing networks of influencers to promote your event.
Research the Must Haves
Once you’ve got clarity on purpose and budget, the next steps are to outline the other event must haves. For common starting points, it’s time to research your:
- Break even point — how much revenue will you need from ticket sales and advertising to make your event viable? Your break even point and ideal audiences will help determine the price point for tickets.
- Venue — what kind of venue, catering, audio equipment, decor are you aiming for? A central location offers a higher price point, however may provide more affordable transport options.
- Speakers — how are you going to identify and attract great guest speakers for your conference? Many great speakers will also help to draw crowds, so they may be invaluable for effective marketing. For corporate training events, attracting well respected speakers helps to raise the profile of your event and further establish you as an industry leader.
- Marketing and PR — it’s crucial to establish your ideal audiences from the get go. Once you’ve got these people in mind, you can figure out the associated costs of reaching out to influencers, investing in print invitations, and promoting your event across socials.
Find the Right Tech
Event managers and planners have got an ever growing toolbox of tech to rely on — you want your tech to support you and help your event go the extra mile for your audience. Whether you’re in the nitty gritty of research or actively building out the budget, there’s an app for that! Have you tried:
- Slack for ditching email and streamlining team communication
- Asana for team management
- Evernote for note taking and brainstorming
- Hootsuite for social media scheduling and monitoring
- Zeetings for audience engagement, pre event polling and Q&A
- Boomset for a seamless guest experience (with little to no queues)
- Etouches or Planning Pod for event budget management
- Picatic or Eventbrite for ticket management
Ultimately, finding the right tech will mean your team has the tools to succeed and your audience has the experience that they want — providing opportunities for audiences to engage is at the heart of unforgettable events.
Define What’s Fixed and Variable
Budgeting is a challenge for a reason — managing client expectations and liaising with vendors means there are so many moving parts to keep track of. It’s useful to define your fixed and variable costs, as early as possible, so you won’t get carried away with nonessentials.
Fixed costs are the absolute must haves to take your event from idea to launch. You’ll need to pay your venue deposit, secure great speakers and invest in technology such as ticket management and audience engagement. These costs are unlikely to change and are often necessary to pay upfront — so make sure there’s priority room in the budget.
Variable costs are the prices that change depending on the needs of your event. Many costs, such as catering, security and additional venue fees, will depend on the number of attendees. Furthermore, travel expenses may fluctuate depending on flight costs or price of petrol.
Planning your event budget well requires prioritising your variable costs and remaining realistic with potential fluctuations. No one likes the surprise of getting a hefty bill you weren’t expecting.
Leave Some Wriggle Room
A 10% buffer is a must for every event budget proposal. Unfortunately, things do go wrong — no matter how well you communicate priorities with clients, negotiate with vendors for possible discounts and collaborate with existing networks to reduce marketing costs.
The extra padding allows you to effectively prepare for all the unexpected costs that’ll come your way. For example, if your venue is outdoors or includes outdoor areas, wet weather contingencies will come with a cost. You won’t know exactly what’s around the corner, but you can do your best to prepare.
Leaving some wriggle room when planning your event budget will also mean you’ve got the resources to be spontaneous and proactive. Reaching out to your audience and polling them before the event may uncover invaluable feedback that’ll help you answer specific audience desires and pain points.
Over to You
Creating an unforgettable event from scratch is no easy gig, so it’s important to work out the budget you’ll need early on and ask for it.
There’s plenty of hard work, planning and patience in making sure every audience has an incredible experience from start, to finish and beyond. That’s why we’ve been hard at work too — to bring you a a guide brimming with thought-starters from the best events around the globe.
Take your event from idea to unforgettable using this free, downloadable handbook!