Example of an event budget template
To make your life easier, we’ve provided you with a corporate event budget template to work off of below.
Notice how our spreadsheet breaks items into subcategories and includes a line for “Subtotal” for each expense area. This will help you see what the biggest chunks of your budget are being spent on and make it easier to identify any costs that need to be cut down.
And don’t underestimate the “details” column! Be as precise as you can because it’s easy to forget the details when you’re in the thick of event planning.
You don’t want to miss anything or make mistakes down the road due to negligent note-taking.
Experience from someone else in your shoes
Wondering how well this works out in the field? Don’t worry; we’ve talked to someone whose situation may sound similar to yours.
Just take it from Stephanie Thomas, Senior Field Marketing Manager at Demandbase, who plans and executes upwards of 100 B2B marketing events each year.
When Stephanie plans an event, she breaks down costs into four main buckets:
- The venue
- Food and beverages
- A/V equipment
- The decor
To help streamline the process and ensure that her events stay on budget every time, she looks to Peerspace to handle all four event areas.
“Considering my workload, any service that can combine my contracts and costs into one location has my business,” Stephanie says. “When tracking quarterly event costs, I am able to refer to a single, central location for all my event costs and modifications.”
Creating your own event budget planner from scratch
When crafting your event planning template, establishing the goal of your event will help you prioritize the most important expenses.
For example, the main focus of a company’s happy hour would be to entertain employees. This means calling for a fun and convenient venue location and plenty of booze.
On the other hand, a product launch party would require an entirely different focus, and its needs would be largely promotional.
So how do you ensure you cover all your bases and budget wisely no matter the event your planning? We have you covered. In case you’re left to your own discretion, here are a few things to always include on your spreadsheet:
Expense categories and subcategories
Break out as much as possible within each category to avoid any potential missteps. Rather than simply listing “Food and Beverages,” create separate line items — especially when multiple vendors are involved.
Not only will this column keep you sane, but it’ll also minimize miscommunication if you’re working with a partner or if your client requires approval. Be as descriptive as possible. If you can’t quite explain why a particular item is essential, it may be worth reconsidering.
As you reach out to various vendors for quotes, you’ll start to get an idea of how much every expense category will set you back.
Note a ballpark figure during the preliminary stages of planning to see where costs fit into your budget expectations.
This should be the final figure you’ve agreed to pay your vendor. In addition to helping you keep track of your budget, this column will be a valuable resource to refer back to when planning your next event.
Cost difference (Estimated vs. Actual)
Assuming that the total of your estimated costs is well within your budget, the Difference column will reveal how much over or under budget you are. Evaluate your most important expenses and trim costs as needed.
If you don’t quite know where to begin, it’s always helpful to ask your company or client for past figures. Knowing how much they allotted to each category for a similar event will serve as a great sample event budget and help guide you in the right direction in the future.
Hoping to rent a warehouse for the day for your event? Here’s precisely how to do so.