Event Budget Planning: A Comprehensive Guide for Organizers and Companies

Annie Fan Mar 9, 2023
event budget



Organizing an event can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a daunting task, especially when it comes to managing finances.

To ensure the success of an event, organizers, and companies must carefully plan and manage their event budget.

This article will explore the basics of event budgeting, including best practices, tools, and templates to help you plan and manage your next event. 

event budget

Understanding Event Budgeting

What is an Event Budget?

An event budget is a financial plan that outlines all the expenses required to organize an event.

It is a detailed list of all the expected costs and revenues associated with the event, including venue rental, catering, marketing and promotion, transportation, equipment rental, and any other costs related to the event.

Event budgeting is essential as it helps organizers manage their resources effectively, avoid overspending, and ensure they stay within their financial limits.

The responsibility of event budgeting lies with the event organizer or company hosting the event.

Why is Event Budgeting Important?

90% of event planners suffered from insufficient budgets in 2018, making budgeting an extremely critical aspect of event planning. 

Budgeting is crucial because it helps organizers and companies to plan, track, and control their expenses, ensuring that the event remains within budget.

It also helps to identify potential cost savings and prioritize expenses based on their importance to the event's success. 

Who is Responsible for Event Budgeting?

The responsibility for event budgeting varies depending on the organization and event size.

In most cases, the event organizer or project manager is responsible for creating and managing the event budget.

However, a finance or accounting team may be involved in the budgeting process in larger organizations.

event budget

Creating an Event Budget

The first step to creating an event budget is to identify all the costs associated with the event.

These costs can be categorized into fixed and variable expenses.

Fixed expenses are those that do not change regardless of the size of the event, while variable expenses are directly proportional to the size of the event.

Once all the costs have been identified, it is important to allocate the budget by prioritizing expenses and setting a budget vs. actual costs to ensure that the event stays within its financial limits.


Identifying Costs

The first step in creating an event budget is to identify all the costs associated with the event.

This includes fixed costs, such as venue rental and equipment costs, and variable costs, such as catering, transportation, and marketing expenses.

Fixed Costs

Fixed costs are expenses that do not change regardless of the number of attendees or the scale of the event.

These include venue rental fees, equipment rental, insurance, and other expenses required to host the event.

Variable Costs

Variable costs are expenses that vary depending on the scale and complexity of the event.

These include catering, transportation, marketing and promotion, speaker fees, and any other costs related to the event.

event budget

Allocating Budget

Once all the costs have been identified, allocating the budget is time.

This involves prioritizing expenses based on their importance to the success of the event and estimating the costs associated with each expense.

Prioritizing Expenses

Prioritizing expenses is crucial in ensuring that the event stays within budget.

Organizers and companies must decide which expenses are critical to the success of the event and allocate funds accordingly.

For example, suppose the event's success is dependent on attracting high-profile speakers.

In that case, most of the budget should be allocated to offering competitive speaker fees and accommodation fees such as travel expenses. 

event budget

Event Budgeting Best Practices

Some best practices for event budgeting include allocating funds for marketing and promotion costs, speaker and talent fees, printed materials costs, and venue costs.

It is important to consider all these expenses when creating an event budget to ensure no costs are left out.

Marketing and Promotion Costs

Marketing and promotion are essential components of any successful event, which make them the top cost associated with event planning.

According to a survey of event creators, 43% of event costs are attributed to marketing and promotion, making it a critical component to consider when creating an event budget.

The budget should include costs related to advertising, social media promotion, and email marketing campaigns. 

event budget

To reduce marketing and promotion costs, event planners can explore different strategies, such as leveraging social media to promote the event, partnering with relevant organizations to promote the event, and creating targeted email campaigns to reach potential attendees.

Event management software can also be used to manage event promotion:  Our attendee generation function enables attendee acquisition at a low cost- the more people attend an event, the more likely they are to share their experiences with other potential clients, allowing attendees to promote your event indirectly.

The function also generates a list of emails, allowing smoother pipeline construction- This all-in-one generation solution saves a great deal of time, effort, and money in promoting, making your event more budget-friendly. 

Speaker and Talent Fees

Hiring speakers and talent for events can be a significant cost for event organizers, as indicated in a survey where 32% of event creators reported it as a top cost.

However, speakers and talent can also be crucial to creating a successful event.

To manage speaker and talent costs, event organizers can consider negotiating fees and looking for speakers who are willing to participate for free or at a reduced rate.

It is also important to consider the value that speakers and talent can bring to an event and weigh that against the cost of their fees.


Event organizers can also explore alternative solutions that can help reduce speaker and talent costs.

For example, they can consider virtual speaking engagements instead of in-person appearances.

This can eliminate travel and accommodation costs for the speaker and reduce costs for the event organizer.

Additionally, event organizers can consider using event tech solutions, such as pre-recorded talks or virtual sessions, to further reduce the need for live talent and potentially save costs.

event budget

Printed Materials Costs

Printed materials such as name badges, brochures, flyers, and handouts can add up quickly. Budgeting for these costs and considering digital alternatives to printed materials is important.

Printed materials are an important aspect of event budgeting, accounting for up to 29% of the total costs of an event.

Printed materials are among the top expenses, alongside marketing and promotion, speakers and talent, and venues.

Our event web app covers everything for you to reduce conference printing needs.

One of its features is the lobby page, which acts as a homepage- this means you can easily access every part of the event just by your fingertips, reducing printing costs and making navigation simpler than ever.

Attendees can also understand more about the speakers in our speaker list function, which includes speaker profiles, allowing attendees to locate the speakers of their preference.

All these make it feasible for your event to go entirely paperless, saving a great deal on printing. 

Venue Costs

Venue costs can vary widely depending on the size and location of the event.

Researching and comparing different venues is important to ensure you get the best value for your budget.

One way to reduce venue costs for virtual or hybrid events is by cutting down on onsite days.

This can instantly reduce venue, travel, and accommodation costs, saving the entire event budget.

Another way to reduce costs is by converting an in-person event into a hybrid one.

If planned properly, hybrid events can potentially reduce the overall cost of the event.

Additionally, strategically selecting vendors and having more control over the cost of each item can help reduce hybrid event costs.

Event organizers can select strategic hybrid event partnerships to limit extra spending.


event budget

Tool for Reducing Event Cost: EventX

Organizing an event can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to managing budgets.

Fortunately, event technology companies such as EventX offer solutions that can help reduce event costs by helping organizations streamline their processes, eliminate manual tasks, and make better-informed decisions. 


We offer a wide range of features to help with event planning, including our attendee generation system targeted to have organizers acquire attendees at a low cost.

Attendee generation can have the fixed costs associated with an event, such as rental fees and staffing costs, shared with attendees, resulting in lower costs per attendee.

More attendees can also make your event more appealing to sponsors, allowing additional revenue to flow in and offset the event cost.

A higher negotiation power with vendors and suppliers can also be acquired, potentially lowering the overall cost of your event.

Furthermore, event management software can help organizations manage their manpower and time more efficiently by automating tasks like registration and check-in, freeing up staff to focus on more high-value tasks.

This can also help reduce the need for additional staff, saving labor costs.


EventX can also help with team and organization management, enabling users to streamline complex procedures and reduce overall event production costs.

Our instant badge-printing feature allows the check-in process to be accelerated- manpower for manual check-in can be saved, and security costs can be reduced since the function ensures that only authorized guests or individuals have access to the event.

We also support VPN-free connection for participants and attendees in China, greatly boosting accessibility.

Staff and attendees can easily access the event network anytime, anywhere, without extra IT support.

Overall user experience will be enhanced due to saved VPN license costs, faster connectivity, and overall convenience.

By streamlining these processes, event management software can help reduce the time and manpower required to plan and execute events, ultimately leading to cost savings.

By doing so, they can reduce their expenses and maximize their return on investment.

event budget


Creating an event budget is an essential part of organizing a successful event.

It helps organizers manage their resources effectively, avoid overspending, and ensure they stay within their financial limits.

By following the best practices and utilizing various tools and templates, organizers can create a comprehensive event budget that ensures the success of their event. 

Interested in our solution?

Are you looking for a great one stop hybrid event solution for your virtual, physical or hybrid events?
You may want to have a chat with our event consultant.


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