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Creating an Event Budget
Budgets don't have to be overwhelming; they're your roadmap and are critical to event success. Budgets set prices, provides an outline of items and necessities, and helps with predicting future events. If you save money on one item, you can splurge in other areas; but it is best to always budget high on expenses and low on income.
- Simplified Budget Spreadsheet
- Cost Recovery Spreadsheet - Template 2021 Version: Use this excel document to create your event budget during your planning process. It will help you estimate your income and expenses prior to the event and then will also help you record your actual income and expenses after the event.
Creating a sound budget is the key to planning a successful event. The budget will determine the registration fees and ensures fiscal responsibility for the event planner. If properly maintained and updated on a regular basis throughout the event from planning to completion - the budget will indicate where and how the financial resources are being spent. Taking the time to tend to the finances along the way is a good business practice. A well done budget will also show whether or not to increase or reduce the registration fees for future events and in some cases, if it is cost efficient to hold the event again.**Tip from the Pros: Always budget high on expenses and low on income to insure that you have enough funds allocated for your event. For unforeseen expenses, a good rule is to add 20% to the total expense line to ensure some flexibility in your operating budget.
Examples of Expenses and Income
Expenses: speaker costs, facility costs, administrative fees, sales tax, design fees, materials for participants, supplies and equipment, advertising, travel costs for staff, transportation such as buses, ferry boats, airfare for group excursions, signage, staff expenses including hourly wages and fringe associated with on-call and temp staff.
Income: participant fees; early, regular and late registration as well as student rates and member discounts, sponsorship monies, donations and in-kind contribution, sales from materials; books, DVDs, etc.