Did you know that overspending is one of the most common problems in the event space? It’s true. 

Even if you scout out the best venues, secure world-class vendors, and order your schedule meticulously, the castle can crumble if you bottom out on your finances. While no one sets out to throw a bank-breaking event, it happens all the time.

Of course, you already know the importance of financial management, but if you’re like many event planners, you might be asking the question, where do I even begin? 

And the answer is…right here. In this post, we’re going to give you our best tips on managing finances. 

Tip 1: Draft a Budget Document

When pilots get ready to fly, it’s a given that they will review a checklist to make sure the flight will go according to plan.  Similarly, you need to be aware of your financial plan for your event. 

Too often, event organizers will plan and spend as they go: a financially fatal mistake. 

Before you sprint down the runway with your planning, determine whether event takeoff is possible by creating a rough draft budget. Pull data from your past events, or if you’re a first-time event organizer, research similar events and case studies. 

From marketing to merch, list all the expenses and projected revenue generators. Aim for ballpark accuracy on the larger expenses such as venue and food, but don’t agonize over hitting an exact bulls-eye. 

Your goal here is to kick off a working document, so keep it flexible enough to change. 

Pro Tip: Checkout HubSpot to download a budget template and see our sample budgeting table below.

Tip 2: Talk to Your Vendors

As you search for your vendors, get a detailed picture of the industry landscape and collect several different quotes for comparison. 

Keeping multiple quotes in your mental back pocket will offer you some negotiation power. 

Tip 3: Leave Room for Unexpected Fees

In event planning, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon unexpected costs. A surprise thunderstorm calls for a tent installation, or the corkage fee turns out to be enormous…

Whatever the charge, don’t let hidden costs sideline your event budget. If you set aside 3 to 10% of the total event cost as a buffer, you won’t regret it. 

Tip 4: Price Your Event Right

Once you solidify the mission-critical details of the event—venue, keynote speakers, vendors, sponsors, etc—it’s time to face the budget and set the right price for your event. 

Rather than selling the best-case scenarios, sell what you know you can deliver beyond a shadow of a doubt. 

Tip 5: Update…Constantly

As the event draws near, ensure that you don’t have to spend your precious, limited minutes scouring your inbox for receipts. 

Instead, throughout your entire planning process, keep your budget document up to date with all relevant information.  Include quotes, expenses, revenue, and anything else you might reference. It takes a few extra minutes on the front end, but it’s well worth the effort.

Finally, if you follow these tips, you’ll be speeding down the runway with enough cash in the tank for take-off. 

Here to help you host your most successful event ever!

— The TicketSpice Team