So, you have an amazing idea for an event and are faced with one of the largest challenges in coordination – budgeting. Staying inside the client’s budget can be harder than it sounds, making the need for expert organization key in pulling everything off.

Get your Excel spreadsheet ready, this is your 10 step guide to making any event a cost savvy production.

1. Start With The Site

Without a location, there is no event! Since this is where the initial cost is going to accumulate, this is where you will want to get started.

Meet with your venue’s sale manager and track all of the projected rental fees. Keep things like housekeeping, baggage handling, and other expenses for renting this venue in mind, adding them all into the spreadsheet.

2. Catering Adds Up, Fast

Food and beverages are an essential part of any event. Whether that includes a hot meal for every guest, a Sweet Services dessert buffet or wine and cheese pairings, mark down every expense the caterer will charge. You will also want to take gratuities into consideration, which can be up to 30%.

3. Transportation And Travel

Will you need a shuttle or coaches? How about event transfers? Write down what transportation could be used for the event, narrow it down to what is absolutely necessary. Don’t be afraid to utilize a cheaper company when you can. Just make sure to include any and all related expenses.

4. Décor Matters

If there is a general theme to the event, this step is made a little easier. However, many event planners are responsible for centerpieces, floral arrangements, and more.

Doing these yourself can drive down costs. If you cannot afford to hire someone to do this for you, create pieces you can pick up and arrange around the venue. As always, go with what is cost effective.

5. Entertainment And Equipment

In this step, you are simply documenting A/V equipment or any entertainment hired. Pro Tip: this is an excellent place to list honorariums to speakers.

6. Printing Charges

You’ll want to make sure that you have included every single small item cost for the event. Start with the easily overlooked like invitations, nametags, program booklets, and banners.

7. A Separate Line Item For Gifts

Never allow the guests from leaving empty handed, but also don’t forget to track the cost of gifts separately. These might be small charges, but they can add up quick. Tracking them separately will help you keep them in check.

8. Are There Activities?

Now that the bulk of the event’s cost has been written down and estimated, you can move on to additional costs. Golfing, spa services, tennis and more can fall into this category. Summarize the total cost, then attach a breakdown to keep your client thrilled.

9. Funding

At this point, you will want to in touch with your client to double check the price tag of the event and their budget. If you happen to be planning and funding your own solo venture, you might want to consider a crowdsourcing option, like Plumfund, to meet your estimated costs.

10. When It’s All Said And Done

After the event is over, calculate your total expenses and compare them with the actual cost. This is the best part, because you get to see where you saved money. Make sure to show what you brought to the table by letting your client see those savings, or pat yourself on the back for a job well done if this was a solo venture.

Author Bio:

Zachary Whatule

Zachary Whatule is a super-connector with ManageBacklinks.io who helps businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. Zachary frequently writes about the latest advancements in the SaaS world and digital marketing.