Four Event Budgeting Tips Planners Must Know

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

For many planners, few things are more challenging than establishing a budget for an event. However, it’s an integral component of the initial stages of discussion, because most monetary concerns usually lead back to the financial estimate allocated for the job. Therefore, it’s imperative to build the event around how much the client is willing to spend and not the other way around. Giving yourself sufficient time budgeting won’t just enable you to keep costs from spiralling out of control, but it will also save you from a lot of trouble through the elimination of costly variables.

1. Outline all expenses

The expenses of an event can originate from many different sources if you consider all the facets that are generally involved when staging functions. Of course, the venue, party suppliers, and catering services are the most obvious costs but expect more depending on the type of affair. And overlooking even a single expense can potentially have a catastrophic impact on expenditure. For this reason, you’ll want to outline all fees before you begin committing to purchases carefully. In this way, you’ll mitigate the risks of putting yourself in a financial bind.

2. Ask the client the right questions

As is the case with any service-oriented profession, the role of an event planner is to offer professional assistance with the financial management and coordination of the affair. Most people will dream big, and their judgment will usually be clouded on what’s feasible given how much money they’re comfortable spending. Therefore, you’ll want to bridge any gaps between their expectations and the finances allotted from the outset and to do this, you’ll want to ask them as many questions as possible. It may sound simple, but the right inquiries can go a long way in helping you draft a budget successfully.

3. Create a draft for the budget

Once a financial estimate and your vision for the event have been established, the next step is to structure the draft budget. A critical step is to let your client know that it’s just a working draft and that there will likely be some changes as more things are added. You’ll also want to keep in mind that many people have little to no experience with the fluctuation of fees and costs in event planning. Due to this, it’s a good idea to create a financial cushion of at least twenty per cent to keep yourself from losing all the money before the project’s completion.

4. Trim non-essential costs

It’s rare to work for clients who are willing to give you unlimited financial resources on an event. More often than not, you’ll find yourself at a point where you’ll need to begin cutting expenses to fit everything within the given budget. Talk with your clients and help them identify the options that may have a significant impression on the guests and which don’t to trim non-essential costs.


Budgeting is a critical component of event planning. After all, it will ultimately determine what’s possible to achieve and what isn’t. With that being the case, be sure to follow the tips listed above. It’ll aid you in creating a budget that will fit your client’s vision for their event.

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