Building an Event Budget: The Basics

Putting together a successful event for your company tends to be a rather large undertaking, especially if the event you are organizing is a large one. One of the most important steps in the process - and the one that should be the very first step - is to build an event budget. This budget will help to direct the plans moving forward and help with the decision-making process.

So, if you are new to event planning, perhaps you’ve just recently graduated from something like your bachelor’s degree in accounting, and you haven’t yet had a chance to plan a big event, you are going to want to read on. Here we take a look at the basics when it comes to building an event budget.

Event planning is a job all on its own. People go to school specifically for events planning and learn all the different aspects involved. A degree such as your online bachelor’s degree in accounting will help prepare you somewhat, but there will still be areas where additional information can prove to be beneficial.

Sure, you are good with numbers, but you also need to know what goes into that event budget. There is also the fact that staying within the proposed budget is key when planning a business event.

Request your Eventinterface Demo

The first place you will want to start is with inputting all the information into a central location, such as a spreadsheet. You need to be able to track expenses as they happen so you that you are always aware of the budget and where you stand.

As a side note, there are a number of free event planning templates that can be found online, as well as apps that help you plan and track all the expenses.

Now it's time to look at the actual expenses involved with holding an event. These expenses include:

  • Rental fee for the location the event is being hosted at (if off-site).
  • Catering costs, which should include food, beverages, wait staff, service fees and gratuities. Keep in mind that your catering costs usually take up a large portion of the budget.
  • Decor, this probably doesn't apply as much to work events as it does for personal events.
  • Transportation costs, if you are transporting anyone to and from the event.
  • Audio/visual equipment rental fees; sometimes the event site will offer package deals so you can look into these.
  • Promotional or marketing materials you may want to distribute at the event.

Not only should you be tracking the item and the cost but you also need to keep track of when payment is due and how much is due. And don’t forget to keep track of when you have actually paid it. Just to be on the safe side, it’s also a good idea to build a contingency fund in the budget for those expenses you weren’t counting on.

Building an events budget is all about proper organization, careful tracking, and plenty of planning.


Event and Meeting Planning 101 Infographic

Eventinterface Newsletter for Meeting and Event Planners