Make your boss happy by knowing your budget before you start planning your business meeting or event, and then stick to it. Follow these tips to help you control costs:
a. Shop around, but don’t wait too long making a decision about your eventual meeting location. Did you not receive an offer or quote in a timely manner? Chances are this will be happening during the actual planning of the event as well. Eliminate risks that involve time consuming elements because this eventually leads to more stress for you and a hazard to the level of success of your event.
b. Build a 10 percent contingency into your budget to accommodate unexpected expenses.
c. What can you charge participants to cover costs and still make a profit (if that is one of the goals)? Make a budget spreadsheet listing the major cost items of your wish list – location rental, speakers, meals, audio/visual equipment, printed materials, giveaways, and fun extras. Don’t forget to include costs for marketing the event, such as a (new) website, online (social media) ads. Build in a 10 to 15 percent cushion in case expenses run over.
d. Avoid surprises when renting a facility or working with vendors by getting all agreements in writing.
e. Limit the number of people authorized to charge items to your master account at the meeting facility.
f. Watch out for currency conversions when planning meetings from overseas.
g. Question all charges that don’t seem to compute.
h. Check all invoices against written quotations.