Event Budget Planning for Beginners

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Event Budget Planning for Beginners

Creating an event budget can seem daunting, but it is an essential part of the event planning process. There are so many moving parts, so much to consider, and so many different ways to approach the process. If you are not an experienced planner, there are steps, however, to creating a successful budget that will make things easier on you, and save you money along the way.

The first step is to simplify the process. This is where we begin our journey together. We’ll walk through each phase of budget creation, and give you tips on how to manage the process successfully. By breaking down the entire process into three distinct stages, you'll find that the process becomes less intimidating, and more manageable.

Stage 1: Prioritize Your Needs

To determine what needs to go into your budget, you must first identify your priorities. This can often be dictated by the type of event for which you are planning. What do you want to spend money on? How important is this event to your brand? Who else is involved? These questions will help you prioritize your needs, and figure out what you really need to focus on during the budgeting process.

Once you know your priorities, you can move onto the next stage.

Stage 2: Determine Your Costs

Now that you've identified your priorities, it's time to dig deeper into the actual expenses associated with your event. This includes fixed costs and variable costs alike. So, let's take a look at some of the most common expenses where people tend to underestimate the cost of events. This is by know means a complete list, but it should get you in the right frame of mind regarding overall costs for your event.

1. Venue Rental Fees - If you're renting a venue for your event, be sure to include all fees in your budget. This includes any additional charges such as cleaning or set-up fees. Will chairs be provided or do you need to factor in chair rentals? Any other equipment rentals? Also, if you have a contract with the venue, be sure to factor those costs into your budget.

2. Catering - When it comes to catering, it's easy to overlook the fact that food costs money. Be sure to account for everything in your catering costs, from appetizers to desserts, and even beverage costs.

3. Event Staff - It's not uncommon for event planners to forget about staff when they create their budgets. Make sure to include all of the necessary staff members who will be working at your event. From bartenders to servers, make sure to account for them all.

4. Insurance - Many people think insurance is free. Not true! In fact, it can add up quickly. Be sure to account all of the insurance costs associated with your event, including liability insurance, general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and workers compensation insurance.

5. Transportation - Another area often overlooked by event planners is transportation. Whether you're hiring caterers, vendors, or other service providers, be sure to account for transportation costs.

6. Permits & Licenses - Finally, be sure to account all of your permits and licenses. For example, if you plan to serve alcohol at your event, you'll need to purchase a liquor license. Other examples include permits for sound equipment, photography, and video recording.

7. Miscellaneous Expenses - Lastly, be sure to account any miscellaneous expenses that may arise throughout the course of your event. Examples include postage, printing supplies, promotional items, etc. This is also a good place to account for unexpected costs.

8. Total Cost Estimate - After you've determined your total estimated costs, you should now have an idea of how much money you'll need to raise. Now that you have a rough estimate, you can start looking for ways to fundraise for actual expenses.

Stage 3: Find Ways To Raise Money

There are many different ways to raise funds for your event. Some of these options include:

1. Fundraising Events - One of the easiest ways to raise money is through fundraising events. There are so many opportunities available to you, whether it's hosting a bake sale, selling raffle tickets, or holding a silent auction. The key here is to choose something that fits within your budget.

2. Donations - While donations aren't always considered "fundraisers," there are plenty of organizations out there that welcome donations. These organizations range from local charities to national foundations. Be sure to research each organization before donating to ensure that the donation goes towards the cause you care about.

3. Sponsorships - Another way to raise funds is through sponsorships. By partnering with businesses, individuals, or non-profit organizations, you can help promote their brand while raising funds for your event.

4. Fundraising Websites - You can also use websites like GoFundMe to raise funds for your project. Just be sure to do your research on this option first to ensure that you don't run afoul of any rules or regulations.

5. Crowdfunding Sites - If you want to take things one step further, you can also look into crowdfunding sites like Here, you can post a request for funding and allow others to donate what they feel led to give.

6. Social Media Campaigns - Finally, you can also use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness for your event. This is a great option for those who are comfortable using social media.

In Conclusion

Planning an event budget can seem like a daunting task at first. When you break it down into stages of prioritizing your needs, determining your costs, and raising funds, it becomes much easier to manage and can help set you up for a successful event.

If you are planning an event budget and considering an affordable event venue for your next event, please consider the Commonwealth Commerce Center in Jackson, MI.