How to fix your live event budget

Last week we learned about how to create a budget for your live event and today we're continuing that conversation but focusing on how to fix it if it's imbalanced. When you're working with any budget, there are rules that you should follow so that it's balanced. Everything needs to be in correct proportion and relation to each other. So that means that if you have a $10,000 budget for your live event, your venue should not exceed $2,500 because your venue should not take up more than 25%. But sometimes, by the time you've realized this, you've already overspent (on paper or in real life) in one area and your budget is in trouble. Don't stress. Your live event budget may not be perfected until your second or even third event. Today we'll focus on how to fix your budget. I have a simple framework that I use to teach organizers how to fix their budget and it's called the B-A-S-S framework. Let's jump in!

The B in BASS is for balance. Venue should be 25%, refreshment should be 25%, program should be 20% and promotion and miscellaneous should be 15% a piece. Of course if your event is not all-inclusive, you'd have more space in the refreshment part of the pie. In order to check to see how your budget is standing up to the pie chart, you need to allow the spreadsheet to do the automatic calculations for you to keep your planning in check. Let's say you're working on the venue category. Add up all the items under that category. In order to see the percentage is takes up in your budget, click on the cell next to the Venue heading and input the formula =sum(select the cell with the total budget cost for venue / total budget sum). Be sure to format this column to convert to percentage instead of remaining as a decimal. Do this for all the categories to make sure you're within the parameters of the pie. As you continue to plan, it will update automatically and keep you on track. Now, don't be discouraged if your percentages are over. Planning a live event is not easy and it's imperative that you get the budget right and balanced. Fixing an imbalanced budget may cause you to start over completely or redo the numbers for one or more sections. If you find yourself over the recommended percentage for a particular category, move on to the next step.

The A in BASS is for assess. This is where you go through each line item to see if the item is necessary or not. Ask yourself, is this a want or need. This is the difficult part because you want everything and I'm sure you'd find a way to pay for it too but we're not going over budget for our live event and we're not going in debt over it either. So be honest. It'll remind you of cleaning your closet. Do I want this, do I need this, when was the last time I wore it, will I wear it again? So hear we go. The two questions we're asking ourselves is, is it a want or a need. If it's a 'that sounds nice' want, then delete it. It's there for the wrong reasons. If it's a 'this would really add value to my attendees' want, then keep it but find an alternative option that is not as costly. If it's a need, then you can't really question it. You have to keep it. If you can find a less costly option, then of course it would definitely help the bottom line. And helping the bottom line is what this exercise is all about. I often stress the importance of your vision and the important role it plays in your decisions. So don't forget to go back to your vision and your theme. They link back to why you wanted to create this space for entrepreneurs or individuals in the first place.

The S S in BASS is for sweet spot. What sweet spot can you create between an existing high-end item and a low-end item. Stylists use this to achieve a high-end look without the high-end price. It's called the high-low method. This method is used in fashion and home design. Instead of the dress, bag and shoes all being designer pieces, only the dress would be, and the accessories would be more affordable complementary prices. Think about ways you can achieve this when planning or in this case, fixing your budget. You can choose a date during the slow season for venues, seek out local educators or purchase bags or boxes from Dollar Tree for your swag items. Mix up your high-end items with some low-end items. As long as it's done tastefully, no one will know. Here are some other examples:

  1. For a high-priced venue, go for low-priced decorations.
  2. For high-priced bouquets of flowers, go for low-priced vases. Think Dollar Tree
  3. For a high-priced designer, go for a low-priced printer. This may take some time because you'll have to scour the internet for the best options.

Hope you found this post helpful and it gave you some helpful tips to get your budget balanced again. If you're in the idea phase and not sure what goes into planning, I want you to grab my ABCs of Planning a Live Event Roadmap. It walks you through each element of your live event and gets you started on the right path. To get it, simply complete the form below.

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Planning your first live event can be so nerve-wracking with SO much to consider. When you download my FREE “Plan Your Profitable Live Event Roadmap,” you’ll learn everything you need to know to feel completely confident in executing your event.


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Live Event Roadmap

Planning your first live event can be so nerve-wracking with SO much to consider. When you download my FREE “Plan Your Profitable Live Event Roadmap,” you’ll learn everything you need to know to feel completely confident in executing your event.