After setting your objectives and goals, establishing an event budget is an essential step in your planning process. Every year, chief financial officers are tasked with reevaluating and planning the company's financial actions, and event marketing is one of the most important items used to validate and provide more revenue to the organization. Therefore, the need to prove the value of a company's event or event ROI (return on investment) is more crucial now than ever, with event organisers or planners anticipating budget cuts for their events approaching 2022.
Restricted budgets bring the need to properly plan how you'll intelligently allocate and spend each dollar, and therefore the importance of event budgeting cannot be overemphasised.
In this guide, you'll discover the best steps you need to plan a reliable event budget for your team and company. We've put up the different stages of the event planning process to help you keep track of every event budgeting stage.
● Control the basic event expenses
● Think About Your Sources of Revenue
● Plan for Different Scenarios
● Establish your event goals
● Use your event's data history
● Be updated on the latest event trends
● Optimize your event costs
Food and beverage, audio/visual, and venue rental are the basic event expenses that should be at the top of your budget item list. According to the PCMA CONVENE survey, 33% of the total expenses represent F&B (food and beverages) alone. The event is all about the attendees' experiences; you, therefore, need to ensure that where money is spent adds value to your target attendees or audience. Prioritizing what will bring satisfaction to your attendees will help you control the basic event expenses. Just remember that your audience will not care how much you spend, but they'll care more about how they feel and their overall experience. Food and beverages will hold a significant component of your attendee satisfaction. PCMA CONVENE suggests that you spend 55% of the total budget on beverages, food, audiovisual, and entertainment, because these are the important items that directly impact your attendees' overall experience.
To cover your expenses, you can leverage different avenues of revenue. For instance, advertising revenues, management fees, event sponsorships, exhibit rental fees, concessions, and registration are considered sources of revenue. When planning your event, expenses and revenues would form one line item in the budget. Consider grouping your expenses and revenues per your specific event. For instance, your potential categories could be 'decorations', 'site' and so forth. Assigning specific categories or titles will help you track and report your expenses. It's also important to know whether your event or meeting is financially viable. Once you determine your budget, you can consider other elements such as venue, equipment, and promotions.
Planning for different scenarios means you need to include a contingency plan or contingency fund to help you prepare for unexpected outcomes with unforeseen expenses. This basically means that you write a commitment to plan for the possible scenarios because things may go wrong sometimes. Think about the possible outcomes that could trigger additional expenses and develop a plan to address the matter. For example, how will you manage your outdoor events in case of a thunderstorm? If you included a contingency fund in your event budget, you wouldn't worry.
To create a successful event budget, you need to set your event goals. Once you control your basic event expenses and know areas where you can tighten up your expenditure, you can set your specific event goals to help you stay focused. Keep your vision and objectives in mind when event budgeting because they'll guide your priorities and help you invest in items that will enhance your overarching goals. Consider setting your targets early on; for instance, how many tickets you need to sell, and the amount of sponsorship revenue you need to generate are some of the goals that will help you allocate your event budget properly. Keeping your goals in order will help you stay on a budget and keep your income on track.
Your event's historical data is an excellent indicator of what strategies worked or failed. As an event manager or marketing planner, data from previous events allows you to make tough decisions regarding your event marketing budget. However, keep in mind that utilising historical data can be a challenge when it comes to virtual or hybrid events.
If your company has executed several event marketing strategies before, be sure to review and utilise the previous data templates you can access. Also, pay attention to all the necessary information because knowing what worked before and what didn't will save you time and help you make the proper decisions when planning your event budget.
Having an effective event budget means that you have to strategically and intentionally spend money, apart from finding great deals. You need to understand your audience and try resonating with them. But how do you achieve this? One of the best ways to manage your event planning budget and adequately allocate the event spending costs is by staying updated on the event industry trends, which will help you understand the best investments to prioritize for your event.
Being updated on the latest event trends is especially crucial in the ever-changing digital world of hybrid and virtual events. Technology is fast evolving, and it's essential that you stay on top of tech event trends. Knowing your customer base and resonating with them will let you know where to decrease or increase spending, leaving you with an intentional event budget that will increase your business' ROI.
With event budgets getting tighter and expectations around events remaining the same or even higher, optimizing your event costs has never been so crucial. You want to maximize your event costs without scrimping on its value or content. The first step is to be clear about your event goals before creating an event budget. Once you have your goals in place, take time to plan your event. Some areas to allocate your budget include the event venue, event speakers, event software, event marketing, and event extras. After noting all the areas you need to invest in, forecast your budget by splitting your costs into two; variable and fixed event costs.
Optimizing your event budgets can be daunting, and that's why you may need professional help. However, keep in mind that getting the right event management platform is crucial to the success of your event. So, are you ready to optimize your event costs? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
The State of Event Management Report 2021 is based on over 175 responses from event experts. Find out what drives Event Managers and how they overcame many of the challenges of 2020. Download now!
With virtual events, you have access to more data than ever before, from which you can draw valuable conclusions about your target group and their needs. Not sure where to start? We'll walk you through the entire process step-by-step, showing you how to properly collect, analyze, and ultimately use data to make future events even more successful.
Event Sponsorship: A very effective marketing tool to increase sales and external funding. Learn more about it here.