How to Create an Event Budget: Your Complete Guide

Event Budget SavingsWhether you’re planning a massive multi-industry conference or a holiday corporate event for your branch of the company, it’s crucial to have a budget.

Having a budget will help you know how much you can spend on each aspect of the event and can prevent you from going overboard.

To help you keep spending in check, we’ve put together this guide to creating an event budget. As you’ll see, it’s simple and easy so there’s no excuse not to make one!

1. Start an Event Budget Spreadsheet

The first thing you need to do is open a new spreadsheet for this event. If you need to share the information with others, we recommend using Google Sheets which makes it easy for others to see your budget.

Be sure to include the following columns in your budget spreadsheet:

  • Item
  • Description/notes
  • Quantity needed
  • Estimated cost
  • Budgeted cost
  • Actual cost

In the rest of the guide, we’ll be going over how to fill out each of these columns, so keep reading.

2. List All Possible Expenses

In the item column, you’ll need to list every possible expense. This could include:

  • Venue rental
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • A/V equipment rental
  • Decor
  • Marketing
  • Entertainment

Some of these may be broken down even further. For example, if you’re hiring a catering company for the main meal, that should be listed separately from any alcohol that’s being purchased or snacks or desserts you’ll be providing.

Don’t be afraid to get as specific as possible. It’s always better to have something listed and then later realize you don’t need it rather than skip something which has to be added later.

This is also the point at which you’ll want to fill in the description and quantity needed columns as much as needed or possible.

3. Get Price Estimates

Before you can go about creating the actual budget, you’ll need to get some ballpark estimates as to how much each item will cost. If you’ve planned similar events before, you may already have an idea. If not, some research is needed.

Don’t be afraid to call venues and service companies to ask for estimates. Just having a general idea can help you know how much you can expect to spend. This information can go into estimated cost column.

4. Create Event Budget

Now you’ll want to fill in the budgeted expenses column. Carefully consider how much you want to spend on each aspect of the event. This number should be based on the estimated costs.

If you were given a total budget for the event, consider this as you do this step. Spreadsheets make it easy to create a cell in which you can have the costs add up automatically as you add them to see how well you’re doing.

5. Track Actual Expenses

Now all that’s left is to track the actual event expenses as you book the venue and confirm orders with other providers!

Be sure to create more formulas to track how far above or below the overall budget you ended up going. Remember that it’s fine if some items go over budget as long as there are enough under that it evens out.

Ready to Plan Your Event?

Now you know the five simple steps needed to create an event budget and ensure you stick to it. Getting into this habit no matter what size the event is will help your business save money which your boss will appreciate.

If you’re ready to take the next step and plan your corporate event, contact us today. We would love to work with your budget and help you design an amazing experience.

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