9 steps to plan the expenses of scientific events

Planning event expenses is one of the tasks that most often gives organizers a headache.

Expense is any financial effort made by a team, organization, or company, to achieve a goal.

In the reality of events, it is all the cashflow to organize an event.

Therefore, costs, expenses, profits, losses, and investments are elements that derive from the event expenses.

Organizing an event involves many stages and tasks. During this process, it is essential to plan the expenses you will have with your event. 

In this article, we will give you 9 tips on how to plan the expenses of events in a finance spreadsheet in the best possible way. No stress and no fuss. 

1. Plan ahead

It is critical, when organizing an event, that financial planning is well done and carried out well in advance. 

It is essential to adapt the objectives of the organization to the money available for the realization of the event, without extrapolating the limits of the budget.

All the following actions depend on how this money will be spent.

When event expenses are too high, you need to find alternatives to meet them.

Some strategies work very well, such as searching for sponsorships, partnerships and support grants. 

But always remember to cherish the success of your event!

So, there is no point in making a super economical event – which is very advantageous for the organization -, but that offers a negative experience to the attendee. 

The first step, then, is to make a list of all the things that your event needs—so that you can assess what, in fact, is feasible and how the money will be managed.

2. Know how to differentiate which event expenses are fixed and which are variable

It is essential for an organizer to be aware of which event expenses are fixed and which can vary!

It makes it easier to make decisions and plan your event in the best way.

After all, the budget is what determines the path you should take when choosing a service or product for your event. 

It should be borne in mind that there are two types of event expenses: fixed and variable.

The fixed costs  are the ones you will need to have, regardless of the number of attendees in your event. Without them, the event does not happen. 

We have put together a list with the main expenses of events that are usually fixed:

  • Place where the event will be held
  • Pre-event production
  • Advertising and promotion of the event
  • Technical equipment for the rooms (sound, projector, furniture, decoration, etc.)
  • Graphic production: printing of posters and all signage that will be used at the event.
  • Transportation and accommodation (if needed) of speakers and special guests
  • Translators (in case you have attendees who speak different languages)
  • Event management system for registration, checking in and certificates
  • Equipment and personnel insurance

The variable costs depend on the number of attendees! Here are some examples:

  • Material of check-infor the assistants (badges, schedules, brochures, merchandising, gifts or souvenirs, blocks, pens customization, etc.)
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Tips
  • Parkings
  • Temporary staff for the days of the event
  • Computers and furniture for the check-in sector
  • Coffee-break service
  • Expenses with security and cleaning service

3. Make your budget, do not imitate that of others!

Often, organizers choose to manage event spending from a ready-made template or formula.

However, each event has its own expenses and characteristics, so planning needs to be as personalized as possible. 

Any additional detail can make a total difference in the final budget of the event.

If you use a finance spreadsheet template, adapt it to the reality of  your event.

Remember: what makes total sense for some events may not make sense for others!

4. Search in detail

Why not take advantage of the ease that the internet gives us and look for more affordable prices?

With a simple Google search, you can find the companies that provide the services your event needs.

In addition, you can search for applications and systems that assist in the management of the event (and that are often free)!

Before contacting the companies selected by you, it is important to check the experience of each one within the market. 

Listen to the opinion of other organizers who have used the same service or product.

This way, you can hire a company that has credibility in the market and thus avoid possible losses or damage to the image of your event.

Just use your creativity and search a lot before closing the deal with companies and suppliers. Bargain, quote, and profit from transactions! 

5. Use spreadsheets to stay organized

Once you have defined the partners, sponsors, and companies you are going to hire, it is time to wrap up the budget.

At this time, organize yourself so that your budget stays within what was stipulated, avoiding confusion and financial losses! 

To help you organize, how about using a finance spreadsheet?

Using this finance spreadsheet allows you to visualize the value of each service and the expenses you will have from the beginning to the end of the project, without letting anything go by.

This way, you can have an overview of the financial part and you will know how to control the expenses of events. 

Just don’t forget to adapt it to the needs of your event.

6. Prepare for unforeseen events

It’s worth remembering that not necessarily what was planned corresponds to what will be definitive.

You know why? Unforeseen events happen in almost all events and, therefore, it is recommended that the planning of event expenses be done with a certain “slack”. 

It is important to have a margin of error in the total cost.

Work with an amount destined for emergencies and already include it in the initial preparation of the financial spreadsheet of your event. 

7. Stay tuned for sales and free solutions

Do you know a great way to reduce event expenses?

Pay attention to sales and ask for discounts on the purchase of materials for your event. You can use the large-scale argument, for example.

Besides, that’s what partnerships are for! You can ask for their service or product in exchange for merchandising, for example.

Look for free alternatives, such as using a free event system to manage all stages of the event. 

Social networks can also be valuable – and free – means of promoting and disseminating the event.

8. Study before setting the price of registrations

Many plan the expenses of events taking into account the amount that will be collected from the sale of tickets for attendees.

If this is your case, you should pay special attention and be very careful when determining the price of registrations!

9. Make adjustments according to the priorities of the event

The last tip is to be careful and define well the priorities when it’s time to create the financial planning of your event!

You must identify the main purpose of your event.

From this, you will have to set aside a larger amount for the most important expenses.

Once this is done, set the event expenses that can be minimized or even cut off if there is no money for everything that has been proposed.

It is important to structure all the necessary services at your event (cleaning, receptionists, decoration, etc.) within a funnel. 

And now? Do you already know how to structure an event spending plan? Have you tried using an online platform to manage the event as a whole?

Even3 is an event platform that came with the mission of facilitating completely the work of organizers!

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