Having a budget is crucial to any event you may be planning to ensure costs don’t get out of hand from the very beginning. Organising your expenses well will help you stick to your allocated budget by recognising opportunities to increase revenue streams and areas you can reduce costs. After years of experience in the event industry ourselves, we recognise it is all too easy for costs to spiral out of control when planning an event, so we’ve put together a list to help you plan an awesome event on a budget.
Making solid financial judgments at every step is crucial to controlling your event costs completely. Staying focused on the big picture helps avoid getting bogged down in details. A smart event budget is organised and adaptable and having the entire list of project requirements laid out from the start allows for areas to be adjusted.
How do I make an effective event budget?
To create a budget to keep your costs on track, you must first identify and cost all possible sources of revenue and expenses. All conceivable expenses must be included, categorised, and tracked, from venue hire to event marketing, food and AV equipment hire. All potential sources of revenue, from ticketing and sponsorship to merchandise sales and participation fees, must be identified and added to the budget as potential income.
Consider using live webcasting at your event to increase the opportunity for revenue through an expanded audience (potentially worldwide) and added sponsorship.
Quotes, research and negotiations will save costs!
When planning an event, it’s critical to keep all of your options open. Research is an important bargaining tool, and it’s easier than ever before to use the internet to your advantage.
When costing things like audio visual hire through AV companies find out what other services they can offer. Consider using the same vendor for other equipment and negotiate a bundle reduced price; for example, find an AV company that you can use for projector hire, PA hire, LED wall hire and speaker hire. Often organising many services through the one company can not only cut costs with discounts or bulk offerings, it can also save your stress levels by trusting the experts and shorten your planning time (and time is money!).
You should always receive at least two quotes before signing a contract and parting with your stakeholder’s money. While pricing is often the most essential consideration, it’s also crucial to read the fine print and compare quotations depending on the services offered. The cheapest option isn’t necessarily the greatest, so shop around and discover the best deal and suppliers you can trust have the valued experience to support you throughout your event.
Having a team you can trust to be there on time, with the best audio visual equipment available and the personnel to ensure your event runs seamlessly can be an asset that won’t show on any budget but will absolutely be an asset that shows when your event reviews come in! Glitches and supplier issues can be costly, a cheaper quote can often seem like a godsend initially, but correcting issues last minute can be expensive and add very unwanted costs to your budget in the end.
Avoid last-minute emergency purchases to keep your budget looking healthy and your event running smoothly!
Consider the impact your choice of venue can have on your event budget.
Choose a venue that suits the type of event you wish to have; for example, if it’s a networking event for busy professionals, a place in the CBD of Melbourne that can cater for breakfast may be ideal to ensure working professionals attend prior to heading to the office for the day.
Considering the timing and location of events for maximum attendee participation is a great way to help ensure your ticket sales get a boost, always a positive impact on the budget!
Regardless, the venue you choose will most likely be one of the biggest expenses. Check all the inclusions in the quote for the venue, you may find they have a partnership with a preferred AV company or other suppliers that can save you outsourcing (and potentially expenses). After you have decided on a venue, negotiate with the venue manager by reviewing any arrangements that can be made. Sometimes a simple change to the menu can cut some potentially excessive costs while still giving your guests a great experience! Always ask the question; the results may surprise you.
If budget is tight, consider opting for a virtual event to remove many of the expenses associated with an in-person event, as well as giving you the option to expand ticket sales to a wider audience – worldwide if you please, the options are endless.
Can virtual events save costs?
For a fully optimised and branded virtual event, here are some common expenses that planners should consider budgeting for:
- The virtual event platform use to connect with your audience;
- Animation and branding of your virtual event space;
- Event registration & ticketing;
- Live webcasting;
- Audio equipment;
- Project management
While we list a few of the costs associated with going virtual, there are many ways going virtual, or even switching to a hybrid event can make a big impact to your budget in a positive way. Find out why a virtual event platform should be considered for your next event here.
Stick to your budget and avoid unforeseen changes
Be prepared for unexpected charges that you didn’t account for when creating your budget by avoiding them with good planning. Use experienced vendors and do your research to ensure you get the most out of each supplier for service and product. Consider any variables like weather and additional needs that may pop up last minute, budget for the unforeseen. Have a plan in place with suppliers that can pivot quickly if issues arise.
Calculate how much your fixed and variable costs sum up to. Fixed costs include things like marketing materials, LCD screen hire, venue hire, variable costs include things like food and other products where the price varies depending on how many people attend.
Sponsorship and collaboration can be a great way to offset some of the cost associated with holding events. Reach out to local businesses or communities that may be happy to help with your event, it can be a great way to expand your audience and alleviate some budget issues.
Find a team you can trust.
Yes, we have said it and we will say it again. The biggest value can be found in suppliers you can trust to include everything necessary in one quote for your event, with no last-minute additions or considerations due to poor planning.
As an experienced AV equipment hire & virtual event planning specialist with over 15 years of experience helping Melbourne businesses create events that wow, the results speak for themselves. Ask us about our happy clients, our expertise and how we can help you create your next event within your allocated budget.