We invited experienced planners to continue the conversation on the event budget planning process, and as always the responses flooded in. The original conversation can be found here. We’re thrilled to share the additional comments with you in this post.
Vicki Funk, Senior Account Executive at SEI Meetings & Incentives shares it is crucial to have pricing confirmed and in writing from all vendors. If the budget is created two to three years in advance, it must have an estimated % increase per year and you must make sure that this is noted in your budget to the client, and that final budgets will be confirmed one year out when all vendors have confirmed pricing.
Carson Tang with Carson Worldwide shares that in this day and age contingency is a must. He comes up with and is able to stay within budget by chunking the production down to categories and working out budgets based on each category independently while keeping an eye on how the collective affects the bottom-line budget number.
Bob Cherny with Paradise Show and Design states that a failure to plan means planning to fail. The single most effective way to maintain a reasonable budget is to devote the necessary time to develop a detailed plan for your events. Examine all your vendors. Are your designers looking out for you or are they more interested in padding their resume at your expense? Are they bulking up your event with equipment you do not need? Are you spending a lot of money on name talent when local talent would be just as effective?
Margaret 'Peg' O'Donnell, an independent Marketing Events Professional always pads a “slush fund” somewhere within a budget category that only she know about. After years of planning experience, she has found that even though management wants a tight event budget, they are always the ones coming forward at the last minute with a must have addition to the event. She can always respond calmly and relay that she will figure out how to find the necessary funding, and come out smelling like roses.
Marlene Vollmer, Owner and CEO at bei de.vine international events + marketing uses the resource potential of local event agencies. This is far more cost efficient than bringing her personnel to the destination. In addition, locals always have better insights to the people´s habit, mentality, price policy and legal provisions.
Tanja Nandor, Event Planner & Special Projects at Canada's Technology Triangle, Inc. shares that sometimes planning events doesn't happen all at once. She finds it helpful to create a skeleton budget and fill in line items as the pieces of the event come together and sponsors are added or services are secured. Saving all the work for when she has "time" to sit down can lead to forgetting important line items.
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