Planning a corporate event can be enough to keep you up at night – there are a lot of tasks to juggle, and details you can’t afford to miss! Having a budget in place is essential to take some of the stress out of the planning, and help ensure you achieve a successful return on investment.

Let’s take a look at a few tips for budgeting.

1. Define the basics

Strangely enough, it’s often the most basic details that get lost in the midst of event chaos, so the first step is to identifying all the essential must-haves. These might include hiring a venue, event catering in Sydney, rental equipment such as sound systems and staging, and things like marketing collateral. Create a line-by-line list, to make sure you’re not missing anything.

2. Create a wish list

Once you’ve covered the basics, create a prioritised ‘wish list’ for the non-essential items that would be nice to have if there’s money available. Think designer décor, fresh flowers, or perhaps an open bar.

3. Do your research

Now that you have a line-by-line list, you can research the cost of each item and work out how much you’re comfortable spending based on your overall budget allocation.

4. Have a safety net in place

It’s also important to leave a little extra padding in your budget. Last-minute expenses can crop up, and having a contingency fund will mean you’re not stressing out if something unexpected happens.

5. Consider where you can save money

Look at areas where you can compromise with cheaper options. For example, unless your corporate event is black tie, a sit-down meal is often much more expensive and difficult to organise than the alternatives. Consider Food catering options that are simple, delicious and allow guests to mingle as they eat. You’ll save on costs for table and chair settings and wait staff, not to mention space in your venue.

6. Book early to save

There are many advantages to having your budget set well advance, and booking early is right at the top of the list. Many businesses offer ‘early bird’ discounts, so it’s first in, best served.

7. Use discipline to track expenses

It’s important to track your expenses with care to make sure you’re not over-running your budget. The best way to tackle it is to approve all purchases yourself, or allocate the role to a trusted staff member with full understanding of the event plan. Create a reporting system, so all expenses are documented and justified.

Ensuring you know what you’re in for - right from the start - is the key to budgeting for events. It takes a bit of organisation and research, but just think how happy you’ll be when it pays off with a successful event that comes in right on budget!