Whether you need to produce a seven-figure annual conference or a small corporate event, the same tricks apply to budget management:
It’s one decision that never gets enough consideration – the timing of the event and which season works best with the allocated spend. Unless time constraints call for it, do not throw a party in the middle of wedding season. Why? The cost of rentals (props, furniture, decor, venues, transportation and even music options) is much higher throughout this time of year. And sure, it might sound festive and instagram-worthy, but we recommend that you skip throwing an outdoor party in the middle of winter in order to avoid paying for tents, heaters, and blankets.
Be diligent about updating your budget sheet as costs roll in. Initial quotes don’t usually include taxes or gratuity but if you’re throwing a large-scale event, taxes could add up to 5-7% on to your overall cost. To put that into perspective, on a $50,000 budget that’s an extra $3,500 that you may not have accounted for.
Don’t focus on printed collateral. It’s expensive, wasteful and does not provide much value for your attendees. Instead, and save your budget experience items like a DJ. Go digital with invites and tickets and trial beacons (mapping technology with location alerts) in place of printed programs. Replace entrance signage with a hologram projection onto the side of a building or flat surface. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it will create a more unique experience for guests and will likely cost less.
Set aside 5-25% of your overall budget as a contingency fund. Think of this as a party fund for your staff. Best case scenario, your team can be rewarded once the event has wrapped. But what’s more likely is the stash (5-25% of your budget) that you set aside will act as a contingency fund to, for example, pay the generator bill when the power quits or cover any other unexpected unpredictable issue. It’s rare that an event will roll-out without a hitch. Save a backup fund to alleviate stress and keep your budget on track.