If you’re planning an event, there’s one step that is essential to making that event happen: creating the event budget.
The first step to creating a budget is to figure out every single moving part of your event that could potentially incur a cost. By keeping the smaller details that make up your event in mind, you’re able to get a more accurate budget versus one that simply includes the bigger pieces of an event like the venue, lighting and AV. This is a beginning step that you can continue to refine along the way as you speak with vendors and get a more accurate cost of things.
Next is creating a spreadsheet. You can start this step as quickly as opening up an empty Google Sheet or Excel, and entering the following columns: item, description, estimated cost, actual cost and amount needed.
Now that you have the beginnings of an event budget, you can focus on getting your estimated costs closer to your actual costs. Researching prices will help paint a picture what your actual budget will look like.
Calling vendors to get financial data isn’t always the quickest process, but it can help you understand what your budget will be, realistically. Starting a new worksheet to track potential vendors for each line item will help clarify who you’ve reached out to, who’s responsive, and the costs you uncover for each vendor. There might be costs you may have left out like gratuities, service fees, or tax so make sure that the vendor gives you as thorough of cost breakdown as possible. Go through each line item for each set of vendors and figure out which vendors will work best for your event. This step can be tedious so make sure you start the budgeting process way before your event happens.
Here are a few tips to always remember when planning your budget:
-Do not procrastinate creating your budget. It may seem like a daunting task, but it is a vital first step in your event planning journey.
-Explore all you venue options. Some newer venues are transforming into one stop event shops that help eliminate the back and forth in sourcing multiple event vendors. These newer venues could potentially save you a significant amount of money in the long run!
-Don’t underprice an item to make your budget look pretty. Underpricing something may look good on paper (or screen), but it will ultimately lead to losing money when the event comes to life.
-Do your research. If you put in the time when researching venues, catering companies, and AV companies, you could end up saving a lot of money. It may be tedious, but you find the best deals when you compare all your options.
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