Planning an event requires a lot of different steps. One of the most important steps in this planning is the budget. If this is your first time planning the budget, it can get very confusing. The whole event and the success of the event depending on what the budget turns out to be. Although budgeting is same for all the events, with just a few changes here and there. So, make a framework once and use it in the future planning of the events. As an event planner, this can not be done since the clients provide you with the budget and you need to do the planning accordingly. The key to success here is to stay organized and use the money judiciously so that you avoid going over budget.
There is a lot to think and a lot to do and the task might seem daunting at times. For the people who feel the same, here is a list of all the things you should do to plan a perfect event budget.
What is the event budget for
The first and the foremost thing to consider while making a budget is what will the budget actually cover. Have a separate budget for everything in the plan. Be as specific as possible. Do not settle for rough estimates. This is not a good idea and will cause problems in the future. Know what every penny will be used for. Write a detailed description of each and every item. This might not seem as an important task but it will be very helpful while explaining your need to the vendors or the caterers or the venue people. Decide the accurate amount of whatever you need. Any quantity small or large can easily alter your budget.
Avoid paying for things that can be easily excluded. Estimate the cost of everything beforehand. The two options of the things that you need can be set at different costs. So, know the ballpark figure to select the perfect thing for your event.
Do some Research
After a small plan of the budget is ready, it is time to do some research and find the actual market price of everything. Try to bring the estimated cost as closer to the real cost as possible. Do a lot of research and not settle for just one thing. Talk to the other event planners and take advice. Start early so that you can get the best choices for the date of your event. Last minute bookings can turn out to be a mistake. This applies especially in the case of venue search. Call vendors and sellers and estimate the cost. The more people you enquire from the better it will be.
Get the Real Look
Now since you are done with the planning, it is time to get the actual cost and do the bookings. Do this at least a week or two before the event. Imagine what the event is supposed to be like and what things will be needed in every step. Do not just think of the big things but also include tiny details. Small hidden costs can easily make or break your budget. If the event does not take place in the same city, calculate the cost of traveling to the venue for the whole team. Never ignore the service fees and taxes. Go through the list of things you want and do the ones that are the most important and then do the less important ones. A big chunk of event budget goes into marketing, so take a note of that.
The emergency budget is the amount that is kept aside for any mishappening or emergency situation in the budget planning. Sit and think about the worst thing that can happen at the event and then decide the budget accordingly. Keep this amount aside even before starting the bookings. The first thing to decide when you are calculating the cost is the emergency money. Apart from the emergency money, have a backup plan. The backup plan includes a backup venue, vendor, caterer etc. This means an alternate for every service that could possibly go wrong.
Here are a few tips that will help you make the budget with an ease:
Do not delay the budget. The task is daunting but delaying it will only make it harder to complete. This is the first step of any event planning task. If you do not take the first step, it puts everything else on hold. Secondly, do not leave everything for last minute to save extra expenditure.
Remember the most important thing
Remember what is the USP of your event. If it is food then focus more on food services, if it’s the ambiance focus on the ambiance. After deciding divide the budget accordingly. More funds for the more important things.
Remember that the budget of one thing is directly or indirectly linked to the other thing. So, if there is a change in the budget of one thing, you will have to compromise with the budgeting of other services. So, leave a margin in the particular budget for situations like this.
Do not estimate the cost of some service or amenity as less than the original. Although it might seem good at the time of planning but can ruin the execution. You will have to pay that money when the event comes eventually.
Do not spend the emergency budget
This is one of the most important rules of budgeting is that the emergency budget is for emergencies. No matter how tempting it might sound, the emergency budget is for emergencies. It might lead to a bigger catastrophe.
Put in a lot of research
Do not finalize anything without putting a lot of research on it. Invest your time in checking out the various options for the caterers, venue and other services, to save a lot of money from it. This is the only way to find the best deals and save on some money.
Do not always go for the cheapest product. If the budget allows, spend leniently. The quality of the product is much more important than saving a little money on the papers. That small difference can make the event amazing from just mediocre.
Keep in mind these steps and tricks, and you will soon be a pro at planning event budgets effectively.