Our first events training class took place on Tuesday, March 11. This class covered a wide range of topics about various elements of producing an event at GSU. Many of these topics are also applicable to events in general, so let’s recap about budgets!
First, the most important thing to keep in mind is the goal or objective of the event. This can be something that you will refer back to when making decisions for your event. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details, and remembering your overall message/goal/objective can help you trim the excess and get you back on track.
A necessary thing to keep in mind from the beginning is budget. Events cost money – usually more than most think. In order to avoid unexpected expenses, there are things you can do to prepare yourself. If the event has occurred in the past, the previous expenses can be a helpful guide to figuring out about how much you will need to spend. If you are drastically changing the event, either to cut back or add on, use those past numbers to help figure out where you can cut or add.
If no budget is available, figure out how much you think you are willing to spend on the event based on what you have and quotes from vendors.
Some things to keep in mind when getting quotes and preparing a budget:
Food and beverage – This can include alcohol if you will be serving it at your event. Many caterers will include the cost of service, tax and gratuity, but be sure to check if you are comparing multiple quotes, so you can make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, and not just the total number they give you.
Parking can be a forgotten and expensive item, so be sure to ask your venue about their parking policies. Other sometimes forgotten items are linens, decorations (which can range from flowers, to themed items like casino tables), lighting (decorative or necessity), give-aways (gift bags and the items that go inside them), awards, name badges, other printed materials such as invitations, flyers, or posters, design services for those materials, A/V needs, security, and more.
For questions on budgets and more, contact Jessie Weintraub in University Events Management at [email protected] or 404-413-1350.