When you are creating a budget for your meeting there are several essentials to include. Among these essentials are; registration fees, food and beverage, speakers and entertainers and the cost of the meeting space.
1. Registration Fees
Make sure that when you are beginning to plan your budget for your meeting you include the registration fees. Include full-paying registrations, spouses, speakers, guests and advertising in your planning. You must also factor in any deposits or late charges for registration as well.
2. Food and Drinks
Another essential to include in your meeting budget is the food and beverages. Keep in mind such things as; minimum guarantees, gratuities, table centerpieces, menus, programs, place setting, and surcharges.
You may also want to factor in bottled water or the use of a water station in your food and beverage budget as well. All of these things play an important role in the cost of food and beverages and how your money will be spent.
3. Speakers and Entertainment
Include any special presenters or guest speakers in your budget. Determine the cost for fees, travel, equipment and handouts for the speakers and any charges that will be associated with additional entertainment. If you are having a DJ or live music during the dinner or reception it is important to also factor this into the budget equation
4. Meeting Space
When you are figuring out your budget make sure that you include the meeting space. Look at such things as the rental for the space, the fees for set up, the cost for the chairs, tables and any other items that need to be used and any other additional charges for using the space for your meeting.
Along with the general requirements for the meeting space you must also consider things like the use of telephones, fax machines and other communication devices, security, labor, staff gratuities, cleaning and any licenses, permits or fees that are associated with the meeting space usage.
5. Transportation to the Event
If you are hiring a driver or using a limousine service it is important to factor that into your overall budget. You should also include the transportation of the food, beverage and other supplies, parking, shuttle services to and from the airport and transportation for any off-site events.
The decorations and staging for the event must also be considered. Things such as any draping, risers, lighting, tables decorations, carpet rental or hard flooring for exhibits and other demonstrations, podiums, AV equipment and necessities such as pens, pencils and other meeting supplies.
7. Postage and Printing
As you begin to plan the advertising budget consider some of the following; promotions, signage, envelopes, handouts, press releases, stationary, maps, event evaluation forms, brochures and registration materials. You must also consider any paper that you will be using and the amount of copies you will be making and the ink that you are using as well.
8. AV Equipment
The use of AV equipment is typical for a business meeting. It is important to include this in your budget. You will need to consider things like labor for set-up, equipment usage fees, sound checks, rehearsal rooms and any other lighting or sound requirements when you are planning this part of your budget.
9. Registration and Check-In
Another element to add to your budget is the registration and check-in materials. Include name tags, admission tickets, service and information desk usage, computer equipment and personnel. None of these items should be overlooked as they are important to the meeting process.
10. Additional Fees
You may encounter additional fees such as contract review and legal fees, Union charges, cancellation fees, insurance, furniture rentals, taxes and license fees. Make sure that you are allotting enough money for things that may come up toward the end of your planning so that there are no surprises.
When you are mapping out the budget for your meeting there are several things to consider. Make sure that you make conservative estimates for costs so that there is no room for underestimation. Use these 10 tips to help you to get started on the right track and to insure that you have everything that you need included in your budget.
What should you do next?
Since you are planning a meeting, learn the golden rules of negotiating with a hotel for a room block. You’re guaranteed to save money!