Budgeting for some people is really... well... unsexy. But it is SO necessary if you:
+ Want to know exactly how much money you have made on your event
+ Want to determine if your event is financially viable as an income stream or if it should be used as more of a marketing exercise
+ Want to make positive changes to lead to a better financial outcome
Any event should have maximum impact for every dollar invested so doing the numbers is crucial!
My toolkit features a comprehensive budget that covers income and expenditure by group, but the basic premise of a budget is that you list your expenses and income to get a true picture of your profit or loss. It is something that you keep adding too and track regularly.
The key to a good budget is to make sure you list ALL of your expenses.
I am talking about things like:
+ Decor and floral arrangements
+ Speakers fees and gifts
+ Attendee gifts and goody bags
+ Graphic design and printing
+ Professional services
+ Travel and parking
+ Your own food and drink
+ Hair and makeup
Some people forget to put these things in and that can skew the numbers dramatically. If this is the first time you are holding an event, I wouldn't worry about putting in your own time as an expense.
Events will always take a lot of effort initially and because you will be learning so much new information, you could literally put in hours and hours of work. This is all just part of your learning as a business owner and is part of your professional development.
Once you have done your expenses you can then list your income. Your income doesn't have to be just ticket sales.
Do you plan on offering additional programs, products or services on the day?
If you do, make sure that any sales made directly as a result of your event are also noted on your budget.
Once your event is over, you will have a clear picture of how your event went financially.
Consider these questions in your review:
Were there any blow outs that you didn't see coming?
Were there unexpected expenses that you will need to prepare for next time?
Is there anything that you can remove or change?
Do you need to increase the ticket price?
Is there something that you would like to gain sponsorship on next time?
How can your finances be improved next time around?
A clear budget will allow you to assess all of these questions easily and put you on the path to a fabulously successful event. Please promise me you won't leave this key part of your planning out!