Corporate events involve big budgets, and even bigger expectations. As an event specialist, your job is to make sure that your client gets the most out of their investment. Being responsible for a substantial budget can be downright terrifying – that is if you’re not taking the following crucial considerations into account. If you want to ensure that every single cent goes towards positioning your client in the best possible light and creating a world-class event, read on for the non-negotiables of event budgeting.
Accurate event budgeting relies on preparing for every possible scenario.
The old Boy Scout mantra: ‘Always be prepared’ rings true for event managers in particular. If you’ve forgotten to include contingencies for last minute emergencies, your event is unlikely to result in ROI. Having to ask your clients at the eleventh hour for additional money to cover the cost of hiring a generator, due to yet another Eskom failing, is unprofessional. Fortunately, it’s entirely avoidable. Including a contingency of 10% is imperative. Remember that if you allocate a portion of your event budget to ‘emergency proofing’ an event, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this money will be spent, but in the case of a power outage or strike, you’ll have the means to deal with the situation. If your function has gone off without any hiccups, always produce a full recon and be honest about any left-over funds. Failing to do so will only result in a black mark on your reputation.
Reconcile your budget within 24 – 48hrs after an event to ensure accuracy.
It’s not uncommon to leave the reconciling of your event budget to the last minute. After all, planning and executing a high-profile event is exhausting, which means the last thing you feel like is crunching the numbers. However tempted you might be to delegate this to the bottom of your to do list, it’s imperative that you tackle the breakdown of your event budgeting as soon as possible. This safeguards against losing receipts and forgetting to include last-minute purchases. An accurate budget breakdown isn’t only crucial for your client, but for you too.
Smart event budgeting entails negotiating with your suppliers.
Making sure that your budget adequately covers every single element of your event requires a strategic approach. Be savvy when it comes to choosing a vendor. Negotiating a reduced rate from suppliers with whom you have an established relationship allows you to reduce your costs without having to compromise on quality. The majority of suppliers require a payment of 50% of the total amount upfront, with the remaining 50% paid after a function. Many vendors will be open to granting you a discounted rate if you pay them the full fee upfront. If you do get a rate that’s less than your event budgeting forecasted, always be honest about this saving with your clients. In a cut-throat industry, transparency and trust go a long way in establishing yourself as a professional event manager.
Be aware of the ways in which your carbon foot print impacts your event budgeting.
Many planners don’t give a second thought as to the origin of their supplies. Failing to do so often results in spending more money than necessary. If you’re organising a benefit or charity event, don’t import Scottish salmon when locally caught trout will suffice. Be environmentally conscious about every single detail. This includes (among other things) your lighting – LED lights are just as effective as their energy-wasting traditional counterparts, as well as your centre pieces – opt for re-useable plants instead of cut flowers. Besides being an efficient way of cutting down on your budgetary requirements, positioning yourself as an eco-conscious event organiser is a quality that’ll be admired by your clients too.
Transparency is key throughout all aspects of event budgeting.
At the end of the day, corporates want to see how their event translates into numbers. Besides having a detailed breakdown of every single expenditure, being transparent about any left-over contingencies is imperative. It’s far more profitable to pass back a saving of say, R2000, than to keep it and risk being found out. Don’t put your reputation on the line for pocket change. Event planners who are honest about their budgets enjoy the benefits of repeat business from clients.
Your approach to event budgeting is a crucial. Be meticulous about every aspect – from keeping receipts, to researching your suppliers, to timeously compiling a breakdown of expenses. Corporate events involve substantial budgets that require the utmost attention to detail and professional handling throughout.
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