Keeping Your Event Budget on Track

You have established your event budget—good. Now for the task of keeping your event on track, which is by far the trickiest part of event planning. Leave out a detail or under estimate costs, and you are on the fast-track to crashing the budget. So what are some things you can do to manage your budget wisely? Let’s take a look.

  1. Use the right budgeting tool for you and your group. Using an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets that is shareable, changeable, and easy to keep up to date is crucial for budget management. Make sure to use headings and a format that is clear and easy to understand, giving access for editing only to those who need it. There are also some great event budgeting tools you can find on-line, but make sure they can be manipulated to meet your needs.
  2. Communicate the state of the budget to your team. This is critical for every event team so that each committee head will know exactly how much money they have to work with. As the event planner, communicate 5 to 10% less of the budgeted amount to make up for any overages that may come up.
  3. Update the budget regularly. Your nice and neat preliminary budget will be useless unless it is kept up-to-date. Update the budget maybe weekly at first, but expect daily budget work as the event draws closer.
  4. Replace estimated costs with real figures. As actual costs begin to come in, update estimated costs so you know exactly what you have left to work with. This is the fastest way to find out if you are breaking even, already making a profit or still have a budget deficit to overcome.
  5. Be willing to adjust. To stay on budget, income and expenses have to match. It makes sense that if expenses are getting out of control, something has to be cut. Begin cutting any unnecessary elements for the event; that is, those items that don’t affect the goals and mission of the group or event, or won’t take away from the guest experience. Be prepared ahead of time with what those items could be.

If you need ideas for how to fund your budget, you can review an earlier article I wrote, “Creative Ways to Fund Your Event Budget,” by clicking HERE.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on ways to keep on budget in the comments below.

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