6 Budgeting Tips From An Online Event Planning Course
Starting an event planning business? Whether you’re working solo or with a team of other event planners, be sure to know how to handle the budget conversation with your clients before diving into the planning process.
Find out the top 6 tips you’ll learn in QC’s online event planner courses that will make your job as the planner so much easier!
The most important aspect of setting an event budget—whether it be corporate or a wedding—is setting the budget range. During your first consultation, you’ll find out what your client wants, needs, and what their vision is for the event. This will give you a general idea of which vendors are best for your client based on their ideal spending limit.
If you are working with a client who has big dreams and a small budget, it’s crucial that you address their expectations. Some clients may just need a reality check—and others might have a full meltdown. Either way, your job is to give your client what they want depending on their budget. If you know right away that the budget is $5,000 short of their dream venue, it’s important to speak up before they get carried away.
Know Your Contact
Although you’re planning the majority of the event details, you’ll be in close contact with your client to discuss options and finalize decisions. When it comes to putting down the payment, you need to make sure that everyone is on board with the final choice. As any event planner knows, this can be extremely difficult if you need to please more than one person.
An easy way to narrow down the list of contacts? Consider the two most important people you’ll be in contact with…
Whoever is paying for the event will be your number one priority. This person is responsible for approving the final choices on vendors, food, drinks, décor, etc. Think of it this way: if the person paying doesn’t like it, they won’t be happy to pay for it.
Although you might be working with another person to plan the full details, be sure to get approval from the spender before finalizing them.
This is the second person you’ll need to consider. Sometimes you’ll luck out and the person planning is also the person paying! But realistically, larger events have more than one person working on the project. In this case, be sure to make the event manager your number one contact so details aren’t lost through the grapevine.
When you meet with your client to discuss the event or wedding budget, be sure to have some rough numbers ready. Chances are, your client doesn’t know what the average cost is for each service. They might have an idea of the total event cost, but you’ll want to break down the services for them!
Whether you create a quick spreadsheet for your local vendor prices or just jot them down on the spot, you’ll want to be as close to the actual price as possible. However, it’s super important to point out to your client that these are rough numbers and will most likely change as planning continues. This is why it will be important to contact the person footing the bill!
Each client is going to have different expectations, so it’s important to navigate their vision carefully. Depending on their budget, you may have to cut costs in certain places. To give them the most accurate design of their ideal event, decide with your client on which areas you don’t want to cut costs. If food and drink is a priority for them and their guests, don’t cut on catering! Or, if décor and music is high on the list then be sure you put more money into centerpieces and the band.
Having this conversation at the beginning of the event planning process will help you choose the right vendors for your client. You can also recommend common cost-cutting ideas, like a backyard venue or DIY décor!
Build Your Budget
Rather than cutting costs, you can pitch the idea of raising more money for the event. For weddings, the popular “Stag and Doe” party is great for raising money to pay for the wedding. Using fundraisers will get people involved and give them an incentive to donate. If they’re going to attend the event, they’ll want it to be exciting!
Fundraising is the most common way to raise money for an event—hosting a bake sale or garage sale is a great way for the community to come together and work towards a common goal. To take it a step further, you can reach out to businesses and public figures to ask for sponsorships. Sponsorships are mainly used to promote companies, but they’re an easy way to add some extra padding to any event budget!
What Will Break the Bank?
Before putting down large payments on any vendor or venue, be sure to let your clients know which services have higher costs. Consider open bars, plus ones, and special venue additions—these can run up the bill fast.
If your client is okay with additional costs, you still need to make them aware of just how much more it can be. No one wants any last-minute surprises with the event just around the corner! Talk about stress-city…
How do you start your budget planning? Let us know in the comments and give us your feedback for working with clients with tight event budgets!