How to Stick to a Budget when Planning a Conference
A conference is a way to bring together many people, working in the same industry, to discuss topics that interest and impact them. It is also an excellent form of networking and promotion.
Planning a conference takes a lot of work and can be an expensive endeavour, though this doesn’t always need to be the case. In this blog we look at how to plan a conference whilst keeping to a budget that is in your price range.
Below we will look at what steps you can take when budgeting, including:
• Creating a detailed plan
• Researching previous events
• Estimating income/profit
• Delegating effectively
• Finding areas to reduce or eliminate costs
• Channels to promote the Event
Make a Plan
The first step should always be to make a plan. Outline what your goal is and how you wish to go about achieving this. The most successful conferences are those that have been meticulously planned. Plan ahead, plan well, plan everything.
Once the plan is in place you can begin to research what kind of budget is needed, and whether this aligns with what you have available to spend. Don’t just pluck this out of thin air, if you’ve held conferences in previous years then research the cost of these. Alternatively see what information you can find on similar events.
There are many factors to take into consideration when researching the budget, including; number of people attending, the venue, any speakers, catering and equipment, to name but a few. You also need to account for any unexpected extras. Once you have calculated, round up. You are calculating this budget for a reason. Making it too low will mean you are likely to exceed it and will cost you more in the long run.
Help to Keep Within the Budget
There are a few areas in which you can reduce your spending. Firstly, delegate effectively. You will have included necessary manpower into the budget but make sure that you pick the right people for the right job. Don’t over assign work, it may just take a handful of people working efficiently and effectively, rather than a larger group who do not have the experience necessary to complete their assigned tasks. An option is to employ an outside agency, who will have the experience to make this process as efficient as possible.
Look at areas where you can reduce or eliminate costs. Are you paying speakers or inviting them to talk in exchange for other compensation, such as credit or promotion? Are you inviting sponsors to help fund the event? If so, make sure their values align with yours and decide on how much input you are comfortable with them having in the event.
Finally, make sure you have included the cost of promotion into the original budget. If people don’t know about the event it won’t be much of a success! There are ways you can reduce the cost of promoting your conference, by using low-cost or free avenues. These include email marketing, social media and press releases. Also, ask your speakers and sponsors to help with this to.
Whilst there is a lot to consider when budgeting for a conference, with an effective and well thought out plan in place it is more than possible to result in success. Custom Creative are available to help with this process, speak to a team member today to find out how.