What To Do If Your Event Goes Over Budget

Your event has gone over budget, now what? It may be a little too late for us to tell you stay calm, but we have a few tips that may help you relax at least a little. The first thing you need to do when you realize your event has gone over budget is to take a deep breath, drink some water and maybe repeat a few positive mantras to yourself. Then grab a pen and paper to start writing down these tips on how you can recover from going over budget.

You’ve already completed step number one (congrats!). That is, staying calm enough to visit Events.com to figure out what you should do instead of panicking. The second step you need to take is figuring out what you’re over spending on. Whip out that budgeting sheet you’ve been paying close attention to (maybe not close enough) and go line by line to see your expenses so far. Once you’ve identified the culprit of your over budget nightmare, determine whether it is something you can fix or if it’s a necessity to keep. If it’s something that your event cannot survive without (maybe some hidden fees you were unaware of appeared) then look at the remaining items you need and determine how important they truly are. Some things that may be a bit easier to cut from your event is:

  • Decorations can be costly! Decorations are an element of your event that are easier to negotiate and can help you cut costs of you find yourself in a budget bind
  • The food is a crucial aspect, but can also be something a bit more easily altered to save money. If saving a few hundred dollars means going with the generic sparkling water than the on-brand sparkling water, it’s most likely worth the money you’ll be saving

You can often cut small things that won’t make a drastic difference at your event. However, it’s important that we urge you not to skimp on anything that will be noticeable to your attendees because we promise you, they will notice.

Negotiating Event Details

Once you’ve figured out what you’ve overspent on and determined if you can cut or reduce anything from the budget (without taking a huge hit on your event experience), it’s time to do some negotiating. If you are working with event vendors and haven’t fully signed any binding contracts that are non-negotiable, put your charm to good use and see if there is any prices you can negotiate. If you are unable to negotiate lower prices, it’s important to keep in mind the relationships you already have with your vendors. Don’t build a bad reputation for yourself as someone who tries not to pay full price because you faltered on your budget.

If there are no solid ways to reduce your spending, it’s time to get creative and make up new ways to make up for the deficit in your budget. Sometimes you’ve got to spend money to make money. You’ve already gone over budget but spending extra money to make that money back may be your best option. Some ways you can consider earning extra money is:

  • If you are able to sell more tickets to your event without overcrowding hampering the experience, then get selling!
  • Sell VIP tickets to your event. Of course, this requires creating a VIP experience but it may be worth the extra effort to make sure you’re not over budget at the end of the event
  • Sell branded merchandise. You can easily make a profit on branded merchandise sold at your event and it’s another way for your attendees to help advertise your event even after it is over.
  • Host a live stream of your event. Can’t sell extra tickets because your event is already at max capacity? Consider selling tickets to a live stream for a lower cost that will allow you to secure more attendees without having to spend even more money accommodating them in person

Have a Backup Plan

Going over budget can mean having to make some tough choices and saying no to things you may want for your attendees but don’t really need. It’s good to have a backup plan or backup budget in case overspending does happen. It’s also important to remember that you are a continually growing event professional and obstacles such as going over an event budget only make you stronger.

Looking to give your attendees an event experience they’ll never forget while sticking to your budget? Create your next event on Events.com.