Breaking Down the Budget – Part 2: 3 Ways to Increase the Limit
As you work towards getting your event planning certificate, your training will introduce you to all the ins and outs of what it truly means to be a professional planner. One such area you can expect to become an expert in is budgeting.
Earlier this month, we delved into general cost factors that affect your client’s budget, as well as the priorities you’ll need to keep in mind when determining the scope of the project. Today, in Part 2 of this two-part series, we’ll turn our focus to one majorly important aspect of budgeting: how to increase the amount of money your client has to spend!
Let’s get to it!
Why Increasing the Budget is Useful
This one feels pretty obvious. The more money your client has to put towards the event, the likelier the event will be to turn out exactly as they’ve envisioned it. As their event planner, a bigger budget also gives you more flexibility, too.
But the simple fact is, many of your clients will not be able to afford the event of their dreams. This is why it’s up to you to rely on your training and skill-set! Your industry knowledge is the defining factor that can help clients make the most of any budget, in order to get the best possible outcome while still remaining realistic.
In a lot of cases, this is done by cutting costs and reducing spending. While not always ideal, it’s often necessary. There will be times, however, where this method simply won’t be enough. Sometimes, for your client’s event to truly be a success, there’ll be no choice BUT to increase the budget.
At that point, the real question becomes: how do you do this?
Option 1: Internal Funding
This first possibility is basically money that comes from the event’s host, A.K.A. your client(s). If you’ve attempted to cut costs, but have found that more money is still required in order to pay for the event’s biggest priorities, your client may need to explore their options and see if additional, internal funding can be secured.
Here are some common examples where clients may choose to increase their budget through internal funding:
- If a couple planning their wedding can’t afford to pay for it all by themselves, they may reach out to their parents and/or extended family to see if they can help contribute to the budget
- If you’re a corporate event planner and your client would like to increase their budget, they may try and see if the company itself can afford to provide additional funding for the event
- If you’re organizing a private event and your client is dead set on getting more money, they may choose to take out a loan in order to increase their budget
- Your client may want (or be willing) to have a collaborative event, wherein they join their celebration with someone else’s celebration and pool their money into a cumulative budget
Note: While definitely all options are possible, some methods of securing internal funding should be approached with caution. For example, never recommend that your client take out a loan in order to increase their budget. While you may not be legally liable in the event that they be unable to pay the loan back, a move like this has a high chance of ruining your reputation. If your client is considering taking out a loan, advise them to speak with a financial expert before making such a decision.
Option 2: External Funding
This second option is equally as popular, and allows your client to increase their budget by raising money from outside sources. In order to not alienate the guests from your client and their celebration, it’s critical that the choice to donate money to the event is strictly optional. If guests feel pressured into paying for the event, they might not want to go at all!
An obvious risk external funding poses is that you and your client are at the mercy of the attendees, so to say. If a significant percentage of guests choose not to contribute financially, you may not be able to successfully increase the budget.
On the other hand, when the majority of the guests do contribute, it’s a very effective way to achieve this goal! As an added bonus, there’s a good chance that the attendees who have helped raise money will actually value the event even more, since their donation played an active role in the event coming together.
Some common ways to raise external funding include:
- Selling tickets to the event
- If your client is having a wedding, Stag and Doe parties can be organized beforehand, in order to help generate extra funds via donations or ticket sales
- 50/50 raffles
- If your client is from a charity or non-profit organization, external funding is often secured through fundraising and/or sponsorships
- If your client is corporate and/or hosting a live event, external funding can likewise be found through sponsors and/or stakeholders willing to invest in the function
Option 3: Crowdfunding
Over the years, crowdfunding campaigns have drastically increased in popularity. This is due to websites (such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe) offering a straightforward way to receive public donations through a convenient, online platform. Because crowdfunding makes it possible for large numbers of people to contribute, small donations can still accumulate into a large pot of money once all added together!
Crowdfunding can be seen as a mash-up of both internal and external funding, as it shares characteristics of these other two options. The determining factor is when your client would choose to launch their crowdfunding efforts.
Crowdfunding before the planning process begins can help set the actual event budget altogether. If, on the other hand, you’re in the middle of the planning stage and your client is looking for ways to increase their budget, crowdfunding can also be done during the planning process, too. Just be aware that either way, you’re still at the mercy of the donors, similar to external funding.
While your client can set a goal amount, there’s no guaranteeing that it’ll be met. Another thing to keep in mind, if pursuing this option, is that certain crowdfunding platforms are based on reward systems. Meaning, your client won’t be getting something for nothing. Certain sites, such as Kickstarter, are structured so that donors get some sort of reward in exchange for their monetary donation.
If your client chooses to start a crowdfunding campaign on a reward-based model, it wouldn’t hurt to sit down with them and brainstorm some fun and creative ways they can thank their donors – such as providing VIP status at the event, for example!
In order to prosper in your career, budgeting is a fundamental part of the industry that you’re going to need to master. The best way to do that? Getting expert training and earning your event planning certificate!
So, what are you waiting for? Guarantee success in your future by starting your journey on the right foot today!