Overspending? Overlooked some items? Controlling your budget does not only mean keeping figures on spreadsheets but also ensuring continued follow-up.
The easy approach is to assume that the equation is straightforward: X number of attendee at Â€X per attendee. There should be more thoughts that go into this equation. While planning and managing your budget can be a challenge, consider the following:
1) The objective of the event.
Always keep to the objective. This will help you put all the necessities into the budget and what are the luxury items that you can reduce when your expenditure exceeds your budget.
2) Realise what are the revenue and the expenses for the event.
Do up a table that shows you the revenue that is coming in and the expenses that are going out. Are the revenues that you are expecting able to cover the expenses that you have budgeted?
3) Control the temptation to make your event too fanciful.
Unless you have the luxury of a big budget to put in many frills into the event, check what are the items that you can avoid and will not dilute the content and unable the delivery of the event’s objective at the same time.
1)What is the objective of the meeting? Why are we organising this event?
Budgeting effectively starts with the recognition of the true objective of the event. Events can help organisations achieve their objectives and goals differently such as:
– To educate
– To communicate
– To network
– To give recognition
– To motivate
Event organisers are very often, a creative breed. They can have wonderful ideas to make an event different and extraordinary. But before you get carried away by the rah-rahs and the fireworks, consider if the idea can deliver the objective of the event. Analyse the resources (in monetary and in manpower) that you have and what were done in the past, and select the best way to achieve the objective.
2) Revenues Verse Expenses
Depending on the type of events that you are going to organise, the financial components vary differently. Is the event intended to bring in revenues for the organisation? Having a public audience? You may have to consider include sponsorships, ticket sales, advertising, advertising revenue, donations and special give-aways.
The key to budgeting is to identify all the major areas of expected cost. Aside from F&B, administrative expenses and staffing, costs for special events fall into four major categories. For organising an event, there are 8 areas:
Administrative and staffing. These are your cost of having labour to help organise and run the event. Also include transportation, meals, and all personnel-related expenses.
Operations. These are costs that arise for holding the event, such as licensing, copyrights, permits, etc. Also, if taxable sales are transacted at the event, VAT (Value-Added Tax) might be required. Check also if insurance is required for the organisation’s coverage.
Venue. This is the cost of rental for the venue to hold your event. Negotiate with the venue based on your requirements. For example, if you are taking accommodation rooms with them at the same time, you can check if there can be some discounts to package the entire meeting. For some venues, you can work out a profit-sharing scheme with them to reduce your cost.
Logistics. Structural set-up of the event can be demanding in both time and cost. From a stage set-up to a spectacular 3-tiered backdrop, to all the rigging of beams and equipment.
Transportation cost. Do you need to hire transportation to bring your guests from one location to another? This can add up depending on the number of people verses the number of buses to the number of trips and the time the transportation is required. There may be overtime charges when the transportation has chauffeur services and is required off usual hours.
Food & Beverage. Does the event include a sumptuous, gastronomic meal? F&B can take as much as 30% of the total budget of an event.
Promotions and Communications. Letting your targeted audience know about your event may involve some creative and production cost. Getting the word out about a special event requires broader marketing elements than meetings do. Advertising can be costly in both airtime and production for radio and TV commercials. Consider barter deals, which are one way to trade-off some costs. Airtime can be swapped for tickets, banners or signage, for example.
Entertainment. Entertainers charge quite a bit more than most speakers do. Also, entertainers often contract for additional compensation in the form of a Rider (Riders are contract attachments specifying all requirements for the act from technical requirements, to travelling provisions, to the dressing room, catering and chauffeur services. It can be extensive and sometimes can list more than is actually required). Double check to see if there are some frills which you can cut down.
Inquire and research all these above elements, get all the details in writing before agreeing and signing any contracts of engagement.
3) Control the temptation
So often we are sold into adding an item with the good intention to enhance the event. Ask: is the extra sizzle a true value-added item for your event? Does it help to accomplish the objective? Tally your numbers… A Â€10 per person seems like a small amount but for 100 persons, it adds another Â€100 to the budget. Can there be any trade-outs or sponsorships to have items added into the event?
Tackle the challenges of effective budgeting by keeping these points in check and review your budget periodically. Keep a good paper trail of all records and enjoy your event!