Setting the budget for any event is possibly the most critical aspect of event planning. If not properly managed, it can be easy to go over budget, and in some cases under budget for the event, especially when budgeting or planning events is a new experience for you.
Budget creation and management starts with sitting down, looking at your ideas and event plan and goals to start forming an appropriate budget. Matching the financial implications with the goals you have for your event is crucial.
Years of experience have taught expert event planners that the key to event budgeting is Return on Investment. An event that comes in under-budget isn’t a huge help to the client if the return is also small. The ideal event is one that squarely matches the budget target at the same time delivering the maximum value back to the client.
The first step in the budgeting process isn’t finance orientated. It’s actually to understand your clients goals for the event – whether that’s a certain level of media reach or a set target of new attendees at the actual event, or a given amount of new business generated at or after the event itself.
Every client is different, each have their own unique requirements and desired outcomes, and an event planner needs to know how to help their clients budget appropriately to get them to, or even above those goals.
Keep an Eye on Your Budget
Once goals and budget are defined and fully clarified, then the negotiation with vendors and suppliers commences. Getting the absolute best value for your client is prime, while still continuing to stay on budget. Throughout every event planning process, you will need to continue to monitor the budget strictly and ensure that costs aren’t getting out of hand, keeping a super steady focus on the areas where your client wants their event to shine. Providing a guiding hand based on your industry experience, seasoned advice, preferred suppliers – at the end it’s all about ensuring that your clients goals are reached, and that their event has an ROI that will truly stand out and gain you a reputation as events planner extraordinaire.
Helping your client to understand that a thousand white doves being let loose at the end of the wedding ceremony may not fit in with their budget, but coming up with alternative budget conscious and unique ideas that are just as exciting and help them capture the same look and feel, is one of the many tasks of an event planner, and as time goes by you will become a budgeting guru.