How to budget your virtual event?
Budgeting a virtual event is no where near as budgeting an in-person event. While in-person events focus mostly on logistics and venue, virtual events are about software or virtual event platform investments. Virtual events are mostly about finding the right resources for achieving specific event goals.
First, establish the virtual event goals and then make a list of all the resources that you will need to achieve your goal. With this you create a budget template for your event. Budget templates are crucial for all of your planning tasks.
The best approach is to start with most common virtual event objectives. Those would be the objectives that are constant such as virtual event platform, marketing and promotion or key-note speakers. Of course, the expectations of the event need to be set and clear prior to event planning. The size of the event should correspond to additional event features. Because size of the event should dictate the budget.
A clear budget will help you keep track of all your expenses much easier. It makes everything much more organised because you can easily discover what expenses gave a clear return on cost. As mentioned, key expense consists of virtual event platform, email marketing or social media marketing, exhibitors, and speaker costs along with personnel costs. Additional expense could be gamification features or other specialised features that you can choose for your event.
Once the fixed expenses have been established, we move on to event marketing expenses.
After you have carefully chosen a virtual event platform, determined the size and type of the event, found key-note speakers and exhibitors, the other portion of budget goes to marketing department.
Marketing is one of the essential ingredients to each virtual event because it brings back return on investment by collecting attendees.
Return on investments:
In other words, those would be cash inflow sources. Mostly, the way virtual events make money is through selling tickets or sponsorship deals. It is extremely important to keep track of all your data. In other words, ticket sales, leads and revenue generated, visitors in each booth and so on. With this strategy you get the full picture of your return on investment.
Now, that we motioned everything needed to create a budget list, you need to have a to do list in order to successfully create a budget.
First on the list should be evaluation of event goals. Are they achievable? What should be changed? What is the targeted number of attendees? And so on. Answer all of these questions and similar questions that lead towards your goals. After you collect your answers, you have a better roadmap for your ticket and sponsorship strategies. Next, is dividing your budget priorities. Which objectives do you plan on spending the most? How much? Proper budgeting leads to quality resource allocation.
What helps keep track of all your data is a budget spreadsheet. Make a table that is easily used and accessible to everyone working on the planning of the event. Remember to keep separate budget spreadsheets for marketing and event.
Another important objective is knowing your budget sources and keeping track of them. It is important to establish are you using company resources and how many? How much of sponsorship investments will be spent? And other similar questions.
When you know what money you are spending, you will know if the money was spent efficiently and will it have return on investment.
Of course, not everything always has to go according to a plan. So, you don’t have to be strict about your budgeting plan. Always leave room for small changes if needed.
Budgeting is a concept that is always changing due to many external and internal factors, so there is always room for improvement and learning. Keep in mind the internal factors that are prone to change because those details are easiest to manage.
We are positive that if you follow these tips, you will inevitably become a budgeting pro!