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Event Budgeting

A beginners guide


Keeping track of your event budget

Event budgets can be a challenge to manage. If not carefully (and we mean carefully) controlled, it’s very easy for event budgets to spiral out of control as factors you may not have thought of pop up, plans change and people just generally get a bit excited at spending!

There’s a few techniques that can help (like drawing on the expertise of someone who has done this a thousand times, but we’ll get to that). Here’s your beginners guide to budgeting for events…

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Set your objectives

Start by setting clear goals for your event. What do you hope to achieve with your event? Once you know your objectives, you can start to develop a budget that will help you achieve them.

For example, if hosting a conference, your goals might be to generate leads, increase brand awareness, or educate your audience. Getting your goals clear first will help you stay laser focussed and ensure each area of spend is driving toward them.

Get real

Be realistic about your budget. Remember that you need to factor in all of the costs, including venue rental, food and beverage, entertainment, third party costs and travel.

It’s important to be realistic about how much money you have to spend. If you’re not sure how much your event will cost, it’s always better to overestimate than underestimate.

Gather your quotes

When it comes to third party costs – whether that’s the venue, food & beverage, entertainment or anything else, get quotes from multiple vendors. Don’t just go with the first vendor that you find.

It’s important to compare prices from different vendors before making a decision. This will help you to get the best possible deal.

Second to this, once you have your quotes, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Many vendors are willing to negotiate prices, especially if you are planning a large event.

Of course, if you’re working with Gray Dawes Events, we’d take care of all of that for you.

Be flexible

Things don’t always go according to plan, so be prepared to make changes to your budget if necessary.

It’s important to be flexible with your plans. If something unexpected comes up, you may need to make changes to your budget.

You might need to be flexible with your dream location too – taking everyone to Hawaii for your team offsite would be lovely I’m sure, but it all comes at a cost.

Often, we’ll be able to find amazing venues that you just might not have thought of for your event. A little trust often offers a big surprise.

Keep track

It’s important to track your expenses so that you know where your money is going. This  helps ensure you stay on budget and avoid overspending.

And make sure you think of all of your expenses, not just the obvious ones – it’s all to easy to push the travel expense (for example) down the usual business travel expense route… which will not be giving you an accurate view of the total event budget spend.

Tracking everything centrally will help you to see where your money is going and make sure that you’re not overspending in unnecessary areas

Use an expert (the sales pitch)

Consider hiring a professional event planner like Gray Dawes Events. Events management agencies can not only help you to create a budget that meets your needs and goals but have a wealth of experience in ways to keep budgets low while not cutting any important corners.

Our experience and insight make event management so much more straightforward and our long-standing relationship with venues and group-backed buying power mean we can often secure better rates.

By following these tips, you can manage your event budget effectively and ensure that your event is a success.

As we’ve said before, using an expert like Gray Dawes Events can make all the difference an in fact end up saving you not just time (and a lot of hassle) but money with our ability to access the best possible rates and vendors that you may otherwise not know of.

Get in touch today for support in budgeting for your next event.


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Join the Gray Dawes Events team for the Experience if Everything podcast. Each episode we'll be chatting with a different member of the team to get an insight into their experience within the industry and current hot topics in events.

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If you're looking to make your next event the next big thing, no matter how big or small, we'd love to hear from you.

Start a conversation with us by using the contact form on the right, or give us a call.

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