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Planning and orchestrating different types of events requires a strategic approach to budgeting. While your events may differ wildly in nature, for example, a fundraiser compares to a conference, the budgeting steps to set you up for success will largely remain the same. This article will walk you through the key steps to take that will help you keep even the tightest of budgets in check, (and help you to make the most of your event spend while you’re at it). 

Start with a ballpark figure that includes every single aspect of your event

It may not be possible to create a detailed budget right from the get-go, but it’s important to try to get as close to a final number as possible. As is the nature of events, things change.  In fact, it’s highly likely that you’ll have to deal with hiccups like needing a bigger venue, a growing attendee list or an unforeseen expense  –  but this doesn’t mean your carefully-planned budget should go out of the window entirely. The best approach? Roll with the punches and adapt your budget accordingly. Start with listing the ‘guesstimate’ amounts for big-ticket items like the venue, catering, security, equipment & lighting, décor, and RSVP management. Briefly outline your needs and allocate a ballpark figure to each – this will help you to get an idea of what your final budget will be. If you’ve already been assigned a budget that’s set in stone, listing out the various elements of your event will enable you to see how much you can allocate to each requirement.

Opt for creative alternatives to stretch your budget

Identify the must-haves and then the ‘nice to haves’. What are the things that are crucial to pulling off your event, and what are the things you can leave out without guests batting an eyelid?  The majority of the time, small changes can make a big difference in your budget – without compromising on the guest experience. For example, creating talking points and shareable moments at your event is crucial (especially for millennials who are increasingly making up a large portion of event-goers). But the way you go about this task can make a massive difference in your bottom line. For example, an ice sculpture may be great attention-grabbing addition and encourage ‘talkability’, but comes with a high price tag when the creation, transport and other logistics are factored in. The good news is, there are numerous creative alternatives that are just as effective at generating buzz but cost a fraction of the price. Opting for alternatives like a few strategically-placed towers of plastic champagne glasses, bold (temporary) wallpaper, or a sidewalk chalk art installation are just as effective at getting guests talking – without requiring a massive sum to pull off. 

Embrace digital alternatives to tap into further savings

Making use of event technology is a smart way to keep costs down (and elevate the event experience at the same time). For example, a paperless alternative like an event app cuts down on the printing costs of agendas, invitations, brochures and the like. What’s more, by eliminating unnecessary paper products, you green your event It’s a win all round! A recent study found that event tech not only reduces associated costs by 30%, but increases attendance rates by 20% too.  That said, choosing which event technology to incorporate and where to use it requires a strategic approach. Event tech non-negotiables include digital RSVP channels and an event website for guests, as well as the use of an event app to encourage sharing through social channels. Importantly, this offers more than just immediate benefits, as the traction gained on channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can also help to greatly reduce your marketing costs of future events.

Wondering what’s better than using event tech to reduce your costs? Making the most of Flock Eventing Platform’s much-anticipated annual July promotion. They’re offering 20% off their software during July – an offer well worth investigating if you’re serious about stretching your event budget (and elevating the guest experience as a whole). Get in touch with Flock today to cash in on the event tech sale of the year.