Basic rules to create your event’s budget

Basic rules to create your event’s budget

Often men­tioned in our blog posts, it was time we ded­i­cat­ed an arti­cle to this key ele­ment of your event plan­ning: the bud­get. It can some­times be a hin­drance or even a source of anx­i­ety for new event organ­is­ers, but a few basic rules will help you get start­ed in com­plete seren­i­ty. By read­ing this arti­cle care­ful­ly, you will be able to cre­ate your bud­get and plan your event. Over time, expe­ri­ence will make you an increas­ing­ly savvy man­ag­er. But for now, let’s dive into our topic!


  1. List all future expenses
  2. Eval­u­ate the costs
  3. Do not con­fuse bud­get and cash flow

1. List all future expenses

When prepar­ing a bud­get, it is best to start by list­ing all pos­si­ble expens­es that come to mind — even those you are not sure about. The objec­tive is to draw up a com­pre­hen­sive list, even if it means remov­ing some of the expens­es lat­er to adjust your bud­get. You now have a fore­cast bud­get, whose pur­pose is to help you pre­pare and antic­i­pate rather than pre­dict to the pen­ny what will actu­al­ly be spent.

Cat­e­gories of expens­es vary accord­ing to the types of events organ­ised, but some are manda­to­ry and should be paid spe­cial atten­tion. We have iden­ti­fied five of them.

The venue

When receiv­ing a quote for the rental of a venue, you should pay atten­tion to the time and dura­tion of the rental. Some­times, rates are quot­ed on an hourly basis, and addi­tion­al fees will apply if your event over­runs into the night — or if you are still at the venue the next day to clean or tidy up.

The music

Few events don’t have a DJ or a band. In addi­tion to the fees charged by these ser­vice providers, don’t for­get the fees to col­lec­tion soci­eties —  such as PRS for Music in the UK. For­get­ting them means you may receive a fine if you are audit­ed by the rel­e­vant bodies!

The staff

If you use pro­fes­sion­al staff, you must obvi­ous­ly take into account salaries, and don’t for­get any bonus they may be enti­tled to if they work night shifts or over­time. If your staff is made up of vol­un­teers, it is gen­er­al­ly expect­ed that you will pro­vide meals and accom­mo­da­tion for them.

Our tip: Draft­ing con­tracts is nec­es­sary when using volunteers.

Food and drinks

Food and drinks are too crit­i­cal to be for­got­ten! How­ev­er, be care­ful about the deliv­ery date and quan­ti­ties as these are per­ish­able goods. Do not have them deliv­ered too ear­ly or in too large quantities.

The unexpected

You can add an “unex­pect­ed” or “mis­cel­la­neous” cat­e­go­ry for expens­es that you may have for­got­ten or that are unpre­dictable. The watch­word for this cat­e­go­ry is: do not hes­i­tate to plan an over­es­ti­mat­ed amount to avoid any unpleas­ant sur­prise after the event.

2. Evaluate the costs

Create a tracking document

The eas­i­est way to estab­lish and mon­i­tor the evo­lu­tion of your bud­get is to cre­ate a table. As far as the right tool is con­cerned, you have a choice between:

  • Office soft­ware (Google Sheets, Excel, Numbers…)
  • A note­book or a blank sheet of paper
  • A pre-print­ed table to be com­plet­ed by hand

Time for action! Start by cre­at­ing two broad cat­e­gories “Expens­es” and “Rev­enues”. Inside these, add the below columns:

  • Title
  • Quan­ti­ty
  • Unit price (exclud­ing VAT and incl. VAT)
  • Total (exclud­ing VAT and incl. VAT)

In order to facil­i­tate the read­abil­i­ty and mon­i­tor­ing of your bud­get, it is rec­om­mend­ed to cre­ate expense and rev­enue cat­e­gories with subto­tals. Depend­ing on your objec­tives, aim for prof­its (expens­es < rev­enues) or a bal­anced bud­get (expens­es = revenues).

Request quotes and make estimates

In order to know your expense amount and make an esti­mate of your pos­si­ble rev­enues, you have two scenarios:

  • Ask­ing for quotes from your local ser­vice providers or online will allow you to know exact­ly what your expens­es will be. Feel free to com­pare sev­er­al providers to study their prices and offers. This will give you nego­ti­at­ing pow­er and allow you to have good deals. Be care­ful not to con­fuse the prices exclud­ing VAT with the prices includ­ing VAT dis­played on the quotes!
  • Make your own esti­mates when you can­not request a quote. Con­sid­er over­es­ti­mat­ing costs to avoid unpleas­ant sur­pris­es when it comes to spend­ing the mon­ey. In con­trast, you should slight­ly under­es­ti­mate rev­enues. It is even pos­si­ble to con­sid­er sev­er­al finan­cial sce­nar­ios: rev­enues low­er, equal or high­er than expected.

Final­ly, if you have already organ­ised sim­i­lar events, you should look back at your pre­vi­ous quotes and invoices!

3. Do not confuse budget and cash flow

Final­ly, it is impor­tant to keep in mind that rev­enues often lag expens­es. While it is some­times pos­si­ble to arrange with a ser­vice provider to pay them at the end of your event, it is often nec­es­sary to pay them a deposit before the event. It is there­fore crit­i­cal to have a pre­cise knowl­edge of the amount that will be avail­able in your bank account when the invoic­es arrive.

Before the event, you will usu­al­ly need a cer­tain amount to pay a por­tion of the expens­es, which will have to be less than the expect­ed rev­enue at the end of the event. With Weezevent, for exam­ple, you can launch your tick­et sales sev­er­al months/weeks before your event, and receive the rev­enues from tick­ets sold every 15 days. You will thus gain in seren­i­ty and will be able to pay part of your expens­es if necessary.

To organ­ise events with sim­pli­fied account­ing, dis­cov­er the ben­e­fits of our solu­tions by click­ing on the but­ton below:

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