One of the most important early components of an event is the budget: Your event budget needs to be accurate, informative, and flexible – a resource the whole team can refer to. So let’s talk about several tips on event funding that should be kept in mind.
- Clarify the Budget as Your Team Begins
It’s common advice but still valuable: You need to start by setting a budget very early on when your event team first forms. Sometimes your budget limit is handed down from on high, which makes it very easy to tell everyone exactly what the event budget will be. At other times, you need to send in a proposal or suggest an amount or event predict a budget limit based on future events like fundraisers. That takes a little more attention, so sit down and go over basic budget parameters: What the total amount that should be spent on the event? What sort of revenue is expected, if any? What do comparable events cost? It’s important to remember that the sooner you set the budget, the better deals you can usually get by making booking decisions in advance.
- Research Your Line Items First
As soon as you move a line item from “this would be cool” to “this is now on the official event list,” it needs to go on your budget, along with a description of exactly what this item entails (how many people it fits, etc.). Get this line item list completed ASAP. It will give you a valuable event funding template to use throughout planning, and it’s important to make these decisions before deciding on more particular budget details.
- …And Then Research Expenses
Those details, of course, include individual line item expenses. Research prices after your items have been decided to save time…and probably save money, too. With a list ready to go, you’ll be able to spend more effort looking for particular deals or vendors that offer exactly what you want. It may be a good idea to include several price options for each item at first, which can be narrowed down later.
- Remember the Legal Side: Taxes, Permits, Etc.
Your budget needs to be all-inclusive, which means thinking about some expenses that may not be expected. This includes any extra taxes – sales taxes, for example, may be higher at the event location that at your headquarters. Money for permits or registration may also be required based on decisions made by cities and states.
- Ask About Anything Your Are Unsure Of (Applies to Everyone)
No matter what your role on the team or in event funding is, always ask about anything that’s not sure or confirmed. Budgets suffer when there’s too much uncertainty – and it’s a good practice to get into.
- Arrange Funding and Transaction Details Early On
This is another situation where, if your payment methods have already been confirmed by prior decisions, then you don’t have to worry much about it. Otherwise, important decisions need to be made about where event funding is coming from and how it is being moved for each item in the event budget. Include account and transaction information for everything, and always have a payment plan.
- Put in a Contingency Item
This amount can vary – many suggest 10% of the total budget – but you will need wiggle room to cover the unexpected. Create a contingency fund, and plan on using it at some point.
If you are worried about creating the proper budget, some expert advice can prove valuable: Contact McVeigh Global Meetings and Events to learn more.