How Do I Create a Budget for My Event?

Hey Lauren,

I know you always preach finding out the financial cost before you jump into creating a live event, but how exactly do I go about doing that? What do I need to consider before I can actually launch my event?

Hey lady!

Great question! You're right; I don't want anyone to lose any money on events.

While I do always preach that you only need a venue and a ticket price to launch your event, if you want this event to be an income-producing event, you'll need to go a little deeper with your budget before you can decide whether or not it's worth it to host your event.


Venue - your venue is going to be the biggest cost of your event and also a good indicator of how much you may spend on your event (anywhere from 20% - 50% of event budget).

Catering - If your event is over 2 hours, it's nice to feed people. It adds to the experience and makes them more likely to rave about the event to their friends. While it's not necessary, think about the last time you went straight from work to a networking event and there was no food. Hangry, right?

Anticipate people's needs the best you can and they'll love you for it.

Special Add Ons - Do you want to offer swag? Gorgeous name badges? Glassware instead of paper cups? A coat check? These all need to go into the budget, too.

Advertising and marketing - did you have to get flyers printed? Put an ad in the paper? Take out some Facebook ads? Add it to the list, sister.

Your Time - The ONE thing I see people forgetting to add-on is their time. For me, it took me about 50 hours to conceive, execute and plan my first event. A lot of times, people will tell me "I made $400 on my event!" But, does that cover the time it took you to plan and execute? If it took you 40 hours, that's $10/hour. Does that feel good to you?

Now what?

Write it down.

Literally. On a piece of paper, or in an excel spreadsheet, write down the cost of all the things I mentioned above. Round up (because it always costs more than you think).

That? Is your budget. It's also your event's financial model (hey! Go pat yourself on the back! You created a financial model!)

Lauren CaselliComment