Planning and Organization
For starters, we recommend using one of a few basic tool options for laying out your budget in a simple, trackable way. The most common format here is to use an Excel spreadsheet, of which there are numerous free templates directly aimed at budgeting for events.
There are also a few other options, however:
Smartsheet: Another free event budget template that requires very little personal information.
Albert: Another great budgeting app that tracks all your accounts and offers specific recommendations on ways to meet your goals while cutting costs.
Mint by Intuit: Helps you track your money and add budgetary goals.
We’ve mentioned goals a few times here, and this is a vital area to think about. What are you looking to accomplish with this event? What kinds of themes have and haven’t worked for recent similar events in the space? Factor in your own level of experience and potential return-on-investment for any costs. Finally, plan to leave some wiggle room in case you go over-budget.
Budget Template and Items to Consider
Once you have your goals and basics laid out, it’s time to create a budget template. Here are some of the items that should be on virtually all such templates:
Items required and their basic descriptions
Number of each item needed
Estimated versus actual cost for each item
Additional cost of any labor or related services
Be as detailed and realistic as you can here. If possible, we recommend intentionally over-pricing your estimates for certain items or services – this will make things easier for you if they actually end up a bit cheaper in reality, rather than vice versa.
Vendor and Other Research
Once your template is set, it’s time to reach out to specific vendors. This process will vary widely depending on your specific event and the planners you work with. Research vendors based on past events and recommendations you’ve received, plus do a basic cost-benefit analysis based on all available information.
For more on budgeting for a major event, or to learn about any of our event crew services, speak to the staff at Upstage Crew Services, Inc. today.