Budgets are a tricky deal. Little things add up, big things end up costing more than expected and then there are the surprises that catch us off guard.
Before you head in to plan your future events’ budgets, take these few points to task!
- Review and Revise: You know the ole sacred cow issue, if you have some sacred cows that must be set free, do so. Just because money has been going to a particular area, year after year, does not mean it must continue. If there is a VP person who loves the sacred cow, be sure to set up a meeting with them. Be prepared to suggest better uses for the funds with some solid ROI to back it up. Also, be up front with yourself. If you have been using the services of a vendor that just isn’t up to snuff, find another. I know you don’t have time, but that vendor could actually be costing you money in terms of time and energy! I have contacts just about anywhere your meetings go and would be happy to put you in touch with people who can help you find that indispensable vendor you’ve been hoping for.
- Crunch Numbers: Knowing how many tickets, how much booth space, how much sponsorship and more that needs to be sold is a team effort. Weekly updates to the team will keep everyone on task and provoke ideas and plans to continue to meet goals. Also share budget updates so everyone is aware of where money is being spent. This open communication and transparency will go a long way to bringing in that impressive ROI!
- Save for a Rainy Day: Having a bit of a backup budget will provide you with peace of mind for when unlikely expenses occur. Don’t make it a habit to dip into this “cookie jar,” however. It truly does need to be used for emergencies and surprises only.
- Utilize the Resources You Have: Meeting Managers have a tendency to take on too much (you know you do!). It’s the nature of the Meeting Manager Beast; we know how to do everything, and we are crazy efficient at it, so we tend to just take on all tasks at hand. Instead, use what you have outside of yourself. Create processes engaging your sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers to help market your event. Make it easy for them by providing posts and pictures they can cut and paste to use on their social media. Even attendees can get involved! Run some contests and incent attendees to share it with their connections. Of course, I highly recommend you utilize the amazing services provided by a site selection specialist who will not add to your bottom line, but will add to your peace of mind, negotiations, and happiness (I’m pretty fun to work with, just putting that out there).
May all your budgeting make sense, be easy to adhere to and be ever-increasing, dear Meeting Manager!