How to Create an Event Budget

We have prepared a guide for budgeting the event. Having a budget helps you detail your event cost and control expenses. In the guide, Nick Wilson, CEO of AdvanceSOS and accomplished financial expert, tells you how to calculate the costs and save money if there is not enough for the event. 

A few words about AdvanceSOS, it is an innovative loan connection service founded by Nick Wilson in 2019. Its easy application matches borrowers with a network of legit lenders to instantly get cash loans, installment loans at Advance SOS in emergency situations.

Items of Expenditure

When calculating the budget, you need to detail the costs. At the first stage, these can be approximate amounts as they will give a general idea. In the course of planning, you will clarify the number of expenses. As a result, you will form the exact budget of the event. This includes rental and decoration of the premises, rental of equipment, food, and entertainment.

Premises for Rent

The search for a location is started as soon as the format of the event and the number of participants are known. They book a restaurant, a country estate, a modern loft, or a club: it all depends on the goals of the event. Rent is the most costly and least flexible item of expenditure. Budget cuts often lead to a search for a new location, in which case you need to have a fallback.

The location should be booked as soon as possible. If you do not do this in advance, then someone else can rent the room for the desired date. For example, a location for a large conference needs to be ordered approximately 2-3 months in advance, and for a seminar, several dozen people: that is 2-3 weeks in advance.

Decoration of Premises

Much depends on the format of the event because sometimes the cost of registration is completely deleted from the estimate. But often, without this, nowhere will it be possible: the decoration of the show, the design of the stage, and photo zones will be required. This expense item includes direct costs for the production of decorative materials and related costs:

  • idea development
  • creating scenery
  • delivery to the venue
  • assembly

Equipment Rent

Events require sound equipment, plasma panels, and projectors. Sometimes all the necessary equipment is already on site. In this case, the landlord needs to clarify whether the use of equipment is included in the cost of renting the premises. If you rent premises and equipment from different companies, the cost will be higher. You will have to pay extra for transportation and installation.


The format of meals depends on the type of event. Often this is a banquet, buffet, or coffee break. The most expensive option is a banquet. It involves the seating of guests, several changes of dishes, and service. A buffet table is cheaper to organize. It is organized at forums, exhibitions, and other events with many guests. The most economical would be a coffee break as participants can have coffee or tea and light snacks.

Coffee breaks are held at conferences, presentations, and business training. You don’t need to create an exact menu. It is enough to know the number of participants and report general requests for nutrition. The organizer will make options with different average checks per person.

You will choose the appropriate menu. If the landlord does not offer catering services, then catering must be arranged. The catering company will take care of the catering of the event and organize a coffee break, buffet, or banquet.


The format of entertainment depends on the budget. The costs of the program should be detailed as they are easier to control. These include, for example:

  • Presenter. A professional presenter costs several thousand dollars. If the client wants to see a media personality, then the cost will be higher.
  • Entertainment decorations. To conduct quests, competitions, and masterclasses, you will need stands, racks, and other details.
  • Unforeseen expenses. No one is insured against force majeure, and event organizers are even more so. Often there are situations when expenses need to be increased after approval. It can be anything: the supplier raises the prices for services, you urgently need to buy gifts for partners, or you need to rent additional equipment. To get rid of such problems, lay an additional 10-15% to the total amount.

Budgeting Guidelines

We’ve put together a few tips to help you set your budget: from the very beginning, define the purpose of the event. This will help you choose the format and allocate costs:

  • Don’t delay budgeting
  • Start work as soon as the date and number of participants are known
  • Don’t ignore petty expenses
  • In order not to exceed the budget, write down everything in as much detail as possible
  • Check out the prices of different contractors

In this way, you may choose the best option in terms of cost and quality. Then review the budget as the event costs may change.

How to Save?

It happens that the project does not fit into the budget, and you have to cut part of the costs. In order for this not to affect the quality of the event, it is worth prioritizing correctly. You can learn about the priorities from the customer: ask them questions about the format and goals of the event. For example, if the event is part of a PR campaign or a way to attract investors, then you can’t save on entertainment.

If a corporate event is for company employees, they save on decoration, rent, and show effects. It is worth saving on the main expenses as the bulk of the money goes to them. Savings on staff, presenters and equipment will not have such an effect but will spoil the impression of the holiday.

Decide on Budget Limits

It is advisable to know in advance how much money the company can allocate for the holiday organization. Sometimes the budget for corporate events is laid once a year. Then the cost of the holiday is calculated in advance, taking into account the number and scale of annual events. In this case, you will have a specific amount that you can focus on when determining the purpose and format of the event.

It happens that the company does not have a dedicated budget, and it is formed directly for the event a few months before it takes place. Then it is worth clarifying the upper limit of the amount, which is not worth going beyond. It is also worth knowing in advance whether the company has the opportunity to find reserve funds in case the limit is exceeded.

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