Conducting an event is no cakewalk. It involves intricate planning and above all, excellent budgeting skills to ensure the event is enjoyed and remembered long after it is over, to make it successful. One wrong move or miscalculation can severely misfire on the event organizer by making the guest and host feel miserable, taking away joy from what could otherwise have been a memorable event.
What is Event?
Some decades ago, the term ‘event’ signified a major celebration, rally, feast or gathering conducted by political parties, companies, charities and social groups. Understandably, everything that attracted masses to attend was billed as event.
Over the years though, the definition of event has become more localized. A birthday party for your spouse or kids, gathering of residents in a housing complex, mass celebration of a festival at fixed venue, condolence meetings and conference of all staff of a company and even a wedding are now termed as event.
With the term ‘event’ assuming newer dimensions, hundreds of small and large event management companies have cropped up all over India. Indeed, event management companies existed in India since decades: in the form of informal, unorganized contractors who managed everything from decorating the hall to preparation and serving food, among others. These contractors have somewhat faded into India’s glorious culinary history.
However, they have been replaced by highly efficient event management companies. These companies have qualified, trained and skilled staff who can handle specific functions required by a client during an event. These range from meeting and assisting invitees to compering, arranging food and beverages to maintaining order at the venue.
Due to stiff competition, event management companies now handle everything from a condolence meeting to a grand celebration by corporate giants. Hiring an event management company can be expensive for individuals. Hence, here are some tips to create your own budget for an event.
Five Point Program
You can draw a near perfect budget for your event by following some simple steps. You can also use these methods while hiring an events management firm. These will enable you to keep costs of an event in check.
Finalize Your Invitees
The first step towards proper creating an event budget is to find out how many people will get invited. If you are inviting couples, you can expect kids to come along. Hence, you need to include them in your budget too. This means, you need to include extra seats, food and entertainment for any children that will attend the event. Allot a small portion of the amount you intend to spend on expenses incurred on kids accompanying parents.
If possible, seek RSVPs from people. Call up and find out whether they will be attending the event. Often, people end up spending more on food, drinks and other stuff for guests who never turned up for the event. You can avoid this by confirming participation well before the event date.
Scout for Venues
Unless you are celebrating a festival or a public holiday, you can be very flexible about the venue. Often, party halls are available for cheap when the demand is low. New and upcoming banquet halls, school auditoriums, dining areas of Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) and banqueting facilities at star-rated hotels are available cheaper on certain days.
Scout around and seek quotations, stating the number of anticipated invitees and facilities required. Compare these quotations. This will give you a fair estimate of how much budget you need for a great venue. Banqueting facilities cost a small fortune and hence, proper scouting can help save money. Select a venue that is easily accessible for all invitees.
Research worldwide indicates between 30 and 40 percent food ordered for events ends up in trashcan. This is due to three major factors: Hosts want to ensure that all guests have ample to eat and hence end up ordering more food than would be consumed. Secondly, hosts usually try to have a wide array of dishes to impress guests. Thirdly, some people pile their plates high at a buffet and throw away surplus food, mindless of the expense the host has borne.
You can draw budget for food depending upon what time your event will be held. Take a look at menus offered by various catering contractors. Make your own customized menu to suit invitees while reducing or eliminating food wastage. In India, serving food at events is customary- whether it is a celebration, get-together, corporate meeting or even mourning.
Wet or Dry
Serving or not serving alcohol at an event is often a tricky question. It involves several considerations. For example, a condolence meeting sans alcohol is considered sacrilege of sorts in some communities while booze at a wedding or birthday is frowned upon by others. Company events usually include alcoholic drinks but this means your staff gets tipsy and inebriated seniors can blurt sensitive information or become laughing stock.
Alcohol can throw an event budget out of gear since the common tendency among people is to drink more when free. Here you need some very complex calculations about how many drinks can you afford for guests to enjoy reasonably rather than getting drunk and out of control. Look for wholesalers who can offer you alcohol at below market prices.
An essential component of any event is the support and service crew. Based upon the number of invitees, size of the venue, food and alcohol you intend to serve, finalize how many service crew you will require. Enlisting help of family members, friends, colleagues or your counterparts at work, can rob them of the pleasure of enjoying an event.
While some venues offer services in the package, others charge extra. While drawing your event budget, find out the areas where you will need support staff and in what numbers. You need such crew to keep the event flowing rather than coming to a standstill for lack of service.
Understandably, budgets will differ according to the nature of your event. Hence, an increasing number of families, organizations and companies prefer to enlist the help of event management companies. For a fixed price, they are assured the event management company will take care of every minute detail while guests and hosts can socialize and enjoy.
You can create your event budget only for small home-based parties since they involve limited costs. Often, planning and executing large scale events is tedious. Worse, it can actually lead to money being wasted than being spent on the right purpose. The above mentioned tips can help you overcome some hassles related to creating an event budget.