Top Tips to Nail Your Event Budget Planning

The first and most important step in any event planning process is to plan an event budget. If you’re an employee involved with event management in any way, you know that estimating costs, properly allocating funds, and mastering your budget outline is an absolute must. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of event budget planning and provide some must-know tools that will make the process both easier and more efficient than ever before. 

Why is event budget planning important?

Event budget planning is important because it prevents planners from overspending. It allows the team to measure their progress and identify areas to improve.

It also helps planners work within their allocated budget without constantly requesting expense approvals. With an event budget, the entire team can keep track of costs related to their event and limit them to a certain amount. 

There are many types of planners who work with events and meetings. Some of these are corporate meeting planners, event planners, and third-party planners. Event budget planning will benefit them all. 

There are many different levels of budgeting that include full event budgets or subsegments, such as chair rentals. From a general budget for all events to a specific program for each event, it is important to keep track of all the predicted purchases associated with each one. 

The purpose of an event also affects the budget. If the event aims to raise money, then sponsorships can provide a great deal of revenue, which you can account for in your budget. However, if the goal is to improve brand awareness, then attendee feedback is also an important metric to measure event success, which may result in additional spending. If you use event budget planning, you can ensure that the cost does not exceed the goal, no matter what it is. 

Last but not least, the budget is also a vital component of event ROI. It can be used to determine how much revenue the event should generate or how much money it should cost. Without this information, it will be challenging to approve event plans or connect all of the money, time, and effort spent to any real results. 

How to create an event budget

Creating a budget can be overwhelming, especially if it involves handling a huge list of expenses. But having a clear budget can help you avoid making any hasty decisions.

Build a strong budget in less time by working through the following steps: 

1. Consider your “why”

Why are you planning this event? What does this event mean to your client? Before you start planning an event budget, it's important to first answer these big-picture questions.

A budget should also be clearly defined for the goal and type of the event, since it will have a direct impact on spending.

2. Look at related budgets

Your past events can help you create a budget for your next event. Look at old budgets or recurring monthly budgets and identify areas of improvement. For example, if you overspent on food during an event, you might want to cut back for the next one. 

3. Do your research

Examine the average budget for your chosen event type and audience. A budget for a backyard barbeque will likely be more reserved than a budget for a highly anticipated corporate conference. Along those same lines, an audience of children may not be as invested in quality table linen rentals as an audience of adults, which will be one budget area you can save on. 

4. Define the big picture

A good event plan should outline your goals and provide a basic idea of how you'll manage all of your finances. Mapping out all of your major expense categories can help you start estimating.

5. Fill in the blanks

This is when you’ll receive quotes, estimates, and pricing for your event budget line items. Get real data directly from the sources in order to accurately lay it all out. 

6. Get approval 

If someone needs to sign off on the budget, make sure you present the information in a way that will make sense to them. Once it’s approved, you can share it with the team. 

Key event planning expenses to consider

  • Venue plus valet, decor, and supplementary lighting
  • Speakers and sound equipment
  • Live music or DJs
  • Staff for both the event and catering
  • Signage, branding, and onsite advertising
  • Drinks, food, and snacks
  • Attendee safety and experience features
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Event technology
  • Transportation to and from the venue
  • Rental furniture
  • Event check-in software
  • Wages and fees associated with vendors

How to keep track of your event budget

It's important to keep track of your expenses so that you can make adjustments when needed. Doing so can help you identify areas of your budget that are not as bad as they seem. A paid project and budget management tool may be worth the time it takes to manually track it all. 

During the event planning process, make a note of all of your event-related accounts to keep track of how much money you spend. Also note which accounts it’s all coming from. This will help you get a better understanding of your cash flow. 

Also, group all of your expenses into a few categories so that you can easily identify which ones are costing you the most. 

Aside from spending on fixed expenses, make sure to set aside a portion of your income for other unexpected event expenses that may come up. Keep in mind that lowering your fixed event expenses, such as venue rental or insurance, can make a big impact on your budget.

Why use Wrike's event planning template to help with event budgeting

Event planners typically use a variety of tools to manage their projects. Some of these include budgeting, task planning, and communication apps. With Wrike’s event planning template, event managers get all three in one. 

Wrike’s budgeting feature gives event planners the opportunity to easily organize and monitor their budgets throughout the entire timeline of their event. Here are just a few of the budget-related tasks you can manage with Wrike: 

1. Manage multiple currencies

You can set the preferred currency and view accurate conversions created automatically for money going in and out. So whether you’re welcoming international guests to your conference or want to start accepting Bitcoin payments, you’ll be able to better manage it all in the same place. 

2. Accurately plan events and their expenses

Wrike’s advanced features also allow users to organize large projects and coordinate events with hundreds of people. Whether you’re planning one office meeting or a series of ten seminars, Wrike has you covered with project planning tools that will keep your budgets and tasks on track for all ongoing projects at the same time. 

To start, simply create one folder for each project and assign high-level folders to each event.

Each project can then be organized into subfolders that contain all of the team's responsibilities. This feature also allows the users to set their own deadlines or use communication tools such as @mentions to notify team leads if spending is reaching the limit on a certain item type. 

3. Manage and measure registration profits

The registration folder in Wrike contains all the necessary details for attendee registration. You can use customizable reports that detail financial breakdowns with up-to-date information on where and how your event profits are coming in. 

4. Use our template

Wrike’s event management template will allow you to plan and execute events from start to finish. It features a visual timeline and multiple stages so you can easily break down your plan into manageable steps.

Event planning and budgeting is a complex process that requires a great deal of planning and organization expertise. This template simplifies the work of event managers by providing a complete event management system that works seamlessly across various platforms.

Wrike's event planning template also streamlines budget-related tasks that hold teams accountable for managing expenses at every stage of the event.

Ready to master your event budget planning and reach all of your event goals? Get started with Wrike’s two-week free trial

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