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Cover the cost of your event before you open the door. A 4-Part Series

As part of my event production responsibilities, I work to make sure my clients cover all their costs prior to walking into an event. The idea to have events is not to make “lots of money” it is about covering all your costs. Most events are a preamble to purchasing a larger program, service, mastermind, event or retreat. So I want to share with you 4 ways to make sure you have your mind in the money of the event and not caught up in the event itself.

Step 1: Know your numbers. If you don’t know your costs you will never be able to cover them.

Budget, Budget, Budget; I can’t say this enough. You MUST begin with your basic costs:

  1. Location: what is the cost of the event facility. This includes ALL the costs; room, tax, service charges.
  2. Audio/Visual: you should always have a microphone, screen, projector and a stage. What are the charges for all these items? Do you want to have music, you need audio hook ups? Are you bringing in your own projector, etc. Is there a service charge for that? Ask all the questions and get your final numbers or at least an estimate for budgeting.
  3. Food and Beverage: Are you offering coffee and tea in the room? Are you having lunch or a cocktail party? You need to know what the cost of each of these things will be. Understand that there is a tax and service charge, which can be in excess of 25% additional to your cost.
  4. Parking: is there a “special parking cost” for your attendees? You do not have to pay this, you offer it to your guests, it always looks good if the cost is lower than their daily fees.
  5. Printing: are you handing our binders, pamphlets, forms and what are the costs?
  6. Name Badges: are you pre-printing name badges and using lanyards or clip on tags. There is a cost to all of this.
  7. Staffing: are you bringing in staff to help you run the event that will be paid. Volunteers are a great way to keep your costs down. Make sure those volunteers have your back and are not busy networking with the guests instead of working the event.
  8. Marketing: are you going to purchase Facebook or LinkedIn advertising? Are you printing flyers or postcards to had out to potential guests? What is that cost?

There are more items that you may need for your specific Signature Event. Add those costs in to the budget (centerpieces, pens, giveaways). Each event is different and has different needs. Put all these costs into a spreadsheet to determine your break-even cost and thus your ticket price. See below:

 

Sample Budgeting Form    
Item Cost  
Location $500 Rental for room/tables/chairs/linens
Food & Beverage $1,000 Cost of all Drinks/Food during event
Audio Visual $750 Microphone/Screen/Audio
Parking $12 Paid by Attendees ($17 reg price)
Printing $500 50 packets
Name Badges $125 50 Lanyards/Nametags
Staffing 0 Volunteers
Marketing $150  
Total Estimate $3,037  
     
50 Attendees $60.74 pp $3037 divided by 50
100 Attendees $46.62 Cost for Printing/Nametags/Food & Beverage doubled – $4662

 

Now you have a cost per person; you can determine cost per ticket. If you have 50 people at $60.74, charge $97 and have a $34.26 profit – or more money to spend on the event to break event. 100 attendees can your profit become $50.38 at the $97 price point per ticket.

Now here is my bonus tip to cover your costs:

VIP Lunch: If you offer your guests an opportunity to join you and the speakers at your Private VIP Lunch you can charge them an additional fee for the lunch. Let’s say $50 to be a part of this event that could also include a mastermind session. If you had 25 of your guests pay the additional $50 your will make $1250 which will cover your Food and Beverage Costs. You need to make sure the lunch they offer is less that $50 including the ++ (tax and service charge). Your profits go up immediately as you are now covering your food and beverage minimum of $1000. You can also offer coffee and tea in the morning or afternoon as you have more money to spend. I will also be showing you how you can cover that cost as well in one of the next 3 blog posts.

Set the date and start putting your budget together. Next week I will show you how to maximize your costs by having vendors inside and outside of your meeting space.

Want to talk personally about your Signature Event? Pick a time that works for you on my calendar for your complementary discovery consultation.

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