One of the crucial things to think about when planning an event is your budget. Paula Gibson from Venue Scanner gives her top tips to make sure your event finances stay on track.
Tip 1: Clear Budget
Make sure you know exactly what your budget is to start with. Your boss may ask you to book the Christmas part or a networking event but before you start the process get clarification on the exact budget you're working with, either overall budget or price per head. This will allow you to be very direct in your search, not wasting time and energy on venues that end up being over budget.
Tip 2: Breakdown Budget
Have a very clear understanding of the type of event you are looking to host. Create a spreadsheet with a very clear breakdown of everything that needs to be considered for this event to go ahead. This should include compulsory items such as food and drinks, to those extra luxuries such as decorations. By documenting everything you require you can put together a very specific cost breakdown, you then have individual item budgets in mind before approaching the venue. It will not only make the process much more efficient, but ensure you don't go over budget.
Tip 3: Put Monday Aside
When budgeting for your event always put a little aside to cover last minute costs. However much you budget, plan, create spreadsheets, an added cost always seems to pop out at the end. Whether this is you run out of drinks (people get thirsty at Christmas parties!), you need to pay a little for taxi's, you've forgotten a last minute crucial decorative piece, you'll never be disappointed that you have that extra emergency cash. And hey, if you end up not needing it, I am sure you'll be the cherry of your bosses' eye when you tell them you went UNDER budget.
Tip 4: Events Agency
Depending on the size of the event you may want to enlist the help of a third party events agency. Before doing this, do your research on any extra's they may add to your bill at the end - it's always best to be completely transparent from the start. Equally it's worth considering the free events service certain platforms offer, such as VS Events, where you can work with an events expert at no extra cost.
Tip 5: VAT Consideration
Do not forget to factor into your budget the potential 20% VAT or service charge on your final bill. Check with your venue whether the VAT is included and ask about service charges for any restaurants you use.