You sign on for one thing, and by the end, it's turned into a whole different beast. Whether you're starting a new role or managing a production, you might be on the verge of what we refer to as Scope Creep.
One of the hardest parts of planning an event is budgeting. How do you build estimates and set targets? How do you keep on those targets once things get going? And most importantly, how do you engage the client when things aren’t going as well?
The fact is, most event managers get very little training before having to build their first budgets. In fact, many universities don’t even broach the topic, especially coming from the technical theatre side of things. Suffice it to say, learning on the fly can be an expensive endeavor.
Event and production managers talk a lot about budgets. And for good reason. Budgets are hard. Hard to set and hard to discuss openly without someone feeling uncomfortable. Yet when it comes to planning events and building your checklists, you’ve no choice.
No matter how a project comes to you, whether it is brought to you at the beginning or somewhere mid-project, it's critical you spend time laying some groundwork first. Why is this so important? Simply put, the event industry moves fast. Once a job is secured, we often need to go, go, go and there is always more to do than time available. So, it makes sense that some crucial steps may be missed. These mistakes are most likely to happen during this early investigation period. By taking the time to look at the components that go into this all important phase, we can save ourselves major headaches once event production really gets going.
I can’t tell you how many times in my career I’ve been approached to manage an event where its scope significantly outpaced its budget. We spend the majority of our careers making incredible events happen without enough money.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know where to start. How do we do it? What are some ways we can control the costs without sacrificing quality and experience? Here's how to create a budget for an event, think creatively about ways to marshal your resources, and produce successful results even when working on a tight budget.