Whether you plan events as a full-time job, as part of running a business, work with charities or throw your own parties, it’s essential to budget carefully for all occasions.
However, many people forget to factor in all the expenses that can crop up when putting together a special event and find themselves going over budget and stressing out as a result.
Here are some fees to keep in mind the next time you’re planning a party or conference, etc.
One of the biggest things many people underestimate is the cost of labor when putting on events. It’s easy to forget that you don’t have to only order furniture or tents or other pieces, for instance, but also get them delivered, set up, and then taken away again.
These labor costs can skyrocket if you have your event in any spot with accessibility issues, such as a mountain, beach location, or somewhere very remote and far out of a town. Think about the transport costs you may have to pay as well as the number of crew members you may need to pay for on an hourly or daily rate.
Another way labor costs can rise is if there are mistakes and tasks that need to be redone. For instance, perhaps you discover that the dance floor you ordered has been placed in the wrong spot or that someone ordered the wrong type. Or, the guest list might expand suddenly, and you need to hire more wait staff to attend to the larger numbers of people on the night, or the weather turns bad during the day, and you need more personnel to hold up umbrellas for guests as they arrive and depart.
Think about all the different types of labor you may use for events and factor in some flexibility in this part of the budget in case unforeseen problems or human errors occur.
Another service that many event planners don’t think about until the last minute when their budget is already stretched is security. You need to allocate some funds to cover security from a couple of angles, in many cases, to ensure there aren’t any interruptions during the event or risks to those involved in it.
For example, it’s wise to protect all event-related data that gets tracked, shared, and used online from prying eyes, so there’s no chance of hackers breaking in and stealing company, guest, or financial details, for instance. It may be necessary to have some IT specialists set up video conferencing in a way that’s secure enough that it can’t be broken into, too, so you may be paying for these services.
Plus, you could need to outlay some money into professional guarding services if you plan on launching expensive, limited-edition pieces at an event, if guests will be wearing costly jewelry, or if there will be celebrities or other well-known figures in attendance who could become potential targets for an attack of some type.
Tips and Gratuities
Have you factored tips and gratuities into your event budget yet? If not, you’re not the only one to forget to calculate these extras. Even the most detail-oriented planners can easily miss adding in these extras. As you’d imagine, though, most events require hiring numerous external vendors, meaning tips are necessary when thanking and paying professionals.
Remember to keep some cash available at the event or arrange to pay people the day after so you can sort this side of things out later.
Wet-Weather Back-Up Plans
We all hope and pray that the sun shines and the breezes calm on the day of outdoor events, but we cannot predict what the weather will bring. As such, don’t neglect to put some wet-weather (or other extreme condition) backup plans in place just in case. You may need to hire a tent and some heaters or blankets for rainy events or if there’s a sudden cold snap, or you may need to have plans prepared for unseasonably warm or blowy conditions.
Similarly, think about outfitting yourself and your team with some handy emergency supplies for the event in case of other unexpected occurrences. Have a first aid kit on standby and enough fire extinguishers, and create an emergency exit plan and go through this with the venue staff and your own, as necessary, in case of a fire or other problem on the day.
Order in some extra materials in case linens, chair covers, backdrops, or other items get torn or spills on them, and consider buying some flashlights and even a backup generator or related supplies if you plan to host an event in a remote area.
Other event expenses to pay attention to as you plan include potential damages you have to pay to replace or repair, printing and signage, guest goody bags or giveaways, corkage, marketing, and sudden additional guests.
Think about all of the above elements as you go through all the steps involved in bringing your event to life, and you’re sure to find the whole process less stressful and more successful and enjoyable in the end.
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