25 July 2023
The Art Of Budgeting
One of the biggest challenges when running events is managing the budget and ensuring that there is enough money allocated to deliver what has been promised.
Managing budgets, especially on complex events, is an art form and it has taken me years of perfecting to get the process right. Over the years, I have learnt (sometimes the hard way!) the pitfalls of not investigating everything and asking all the questions. For example, mistakes such as forgetting to factor the VAT in or that extra hidden cost that was in the T&Cs.
When I run an event, I am super meticulous about the financial details and unearthing any hidden costs before agreeing the budget with the client. This is to ensure that they have full exposure and visibility and no hidden surprises during or after the event.
If you are running your own event, here are my top tips for keeping in budget:
Always ask for a full breakdown of costs
This can be from the venue, suppliers, staff – everyone that will be part of bringing your event to life. Make sure you ask about VAT, any service charges or any extra costs and get a final number in writing agreed before you confirm anything. Also, be clear on deposits needed and due payment dates and make sure you are happy with them.
Often, clients don’t fully understand how much things costs so as an event planner, it is my job to relay this and be realistic in terms of what their budget can deliver. This is always done in the initial conversations and when a firm budget is set. Over the years, I have learnt roughly what you can deliver for certain amounts so I can guide them on amending their event accordingly in line with their vision, if their budget doesn’t allow for their initial perception. It is also so important not to over promise – be realistic and honest always.
Have a list of trusted suppliers
Experience is so important in events and over the years I have built up a trusted network of suppliers, freelance staff and venues. Along with this, I know their budget parameters and can plan accordingly who to use for what when a request comes in. If you are hosting regular events, build up a list of trusted people that can deliver; it will save you so much time and energy in the long run.
Have a buffer
No matter how much you plan and organise, there is usually something extra that is needed so when budgeting, always have a buffer of spend for these eventualities. For example, the weather for your outside event is now raining all day so you need to buy guest umbrellas…
There is no harm in politely asking if there are any discounts available from the people you are working with. They can only say no. If there is any haggling to be done, always be respectful, don’t push your luck or make people feel pressured. That is always a big no!
Of course, if you would like any assistance or guidance with budgeting and planning for your event, then do please get in touch!