FunPlanners
Book your next event today
407-955-4949

Category Archive: Budget Tips

How to Create a Budget

If you’re new to the world of Orlando event management, planning a budget can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be! With these suggestions, you can stay relaxed, on deadline, and under budget.

Don’t Procrastinate
Finances aren’t fun, and you might feel tempted to put off creating a budget. But it needs to be one of the very first things that you do! It determines every step forward.

Spreadsheets Are Your Friend
Spreadsheets are the way to go when it comes to creating and tracking your budget. Consider Google Sheets; it can be accessed from anywhere, multiple people can be in the document at once, and it displays live updates. Make sure you:

  • Record the budgeted expense versus the actual expense.
  • Identify deadlines for payments.
  • Break down every single item in your budget; don’t lump items together. While certain categories might make sense to group together now, it could get complicated later on if you need to make changes.

Details, Details, Details
The more details you record, the more accurate your budget is. If anything goes wrong, it’ll be easier to explain with details, and it’ll be easier to recycle your budget for similar events! A single surprise item can make the difference between being over and under budget. Add a column to your spreadsheet where you can write down any miscellaneous information, especially if your budget needs to be approved by someone who isn’t directly involved in the process and doesn’t understand why certain items are budgeted for.

Estimated Cost Versus Actual Cost
Look into similar events to understand the finances. Historical data will help get your estimated costs closer to your actual costs.

Don’t Underprice
While your budget might look nicer if you underprice an item, it will only lead to losing money in the long run.

Ask Vendors
Many vendors are happy to provide estimates. Offer as many details about your event as possible, and make sure that the vendor gives you a comprehensive breakdown so you know the price of gratuities, service fees, or tax.

Research
While it’s time-consuming to research a variety of venues, caterers, photographers, videographers, and AV companies, this can save a significant amount of money. Compare every option thoroughly before deciding.

The Rainy Day Fund
Build in 15-20% of your budget for plan B. Think about the worst case scenarios for your event — everything from a complete cancellation to a change in the weather — and plan accordingly. Resist the temptation to use this financial cushion to add luxury; only use it for emergencies.

When you work in Orlando event management, you spend a lot of time working with your budget. With these tips, you can plan and follow budgets with confidence! To find out how we can help make your next event memorable, contact us at 407-955-4949.

Winning Negotiation Strategies

Finding the perfect venue is critical, but it can be a challenge — and a major expense. It’s important to approach venues with the mindset that everything is negotiable as long as you know what you’re doing; after all, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Don’t Share Your Budget Right Away
Rather than divulging your budget, say, “We’re still working on our budget, so just give me your standard rates for now.” The venue will likely share their top pricing, and you can negotiate from there. (This changes if you’ve used the venue before; if you have a good relationship, sharing your budget at the beginning could help you get more for your money.)

Be Flexible
A venue’s goal is to be booked all the time. If you have a few dates you’re willing to consider, you may get discounted pricing for a day they’re having difficulty filling. However, if all of your dates are around the same time and the venue is fairly full, there’s a chance they won’t be as flexible with pricing! Do some research and find out when the “off season” is to save money.

Don’t Overestimate Attendees
If you’re working with a hotel and you give them your dream attendance number — rather than a more practical one — you’re locking yourself into a higher minimum pay for food, beverage, and reserved rooms, meaning there’s a chance you’ll have to pay a penalty if you don’t meet those minimums.

Prove Your Value
If you’ve held similar events in the past, it can be helpful to show the venue that you’re known for meeting your food, beverage, and guest minimums. They need to see that you’re a reliable source of revenue. If so, they’re more likely to negotiate with you.

Maximize Your Comped Ratio
Many hotels offer a standard deal where they comp one room’s fee for every 50 booked. Depending on the overall spend of your event, you can try and negotiate this for an even better deal.

Don’t Be Fooled
“We have another interested party for this same day and time, so I’d act fast if I were you.” “This pricing is only available for the next 24 hours!” These statements may or may not be true, but you have no way of knowing for sure, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to make a hasty decision based on a predictable sales tactic. At the end of the day, if a venue wants your business, they’ll work with you — and if they don’t, that’s one less candidate for you to worry about.

Free Meeting Spaces
If you’re meeting your minimum spend, the venue is likely willing to work with you! Ask if they can provide a complimentary meeting space or hospitality room.

Required Vendors
If your venue refuses to let you use an outside vendor, get quotes from outside vendors to negotiate with the venue on the prices of their approved vendors. A venue would rather work with their vendor to lower the price than lose your business!

For tips on tricks on negotiations, publicizing your event, writing a winning proposal, and more, check out our blog! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Orlando event planning experts at Fun Planners at 407-955-4949.