Creative vs. Budget In Event Planning

We should start off by saying, “It can be done!” A professional event planner knows that one of the challenges of executing the perfect event can be the clash between creative ideas and the budget.

Too often, the client will make decisions, like booking a venue, before finalizing the brief, hiring a planner or considering the budget needed to make that venue suitable for the event. Or, they might plan a guest list of 200 when the catering budget will only allow for 150.

What a client wants and what they can afford can be two very different things. For the planner, this can mean planning a champagne event on a beer budget, while managing the client’s expectations to ensure they are happy with the final result.

Most importantly if you are trying to create ‘The Perfect Event’ for your client on a given budget, you need to make sure you have all your creative questions answered and your planning carefully thought out to ensure you stay within that budget.

Finding the balance to create ‘The Perfect Event’

The following points will help you deliver an event that is both creative and fits into the given budget…

Tip #1: Spend time creating a well thought out Event Brief. This is the blueprint for your event. Get your priorities straight by sitting with your client and deciding which elements of the event are the most important. This is where you find out what the objectives are, the size and demographic of your audience, what has been done before, what the deadlines are, and what is expected of you. Making the venue beautiful? Getting the food just right? Ensuring the guests are properly entertained? Once you know what you can spend money on, you can plan your budget accordingly.

Tip #2: Choose the right venue. If your client hasn’t already booked the venue, think carefully before you do. An indoor venue and an outdoor venue have different challenges. Consider the extra costs associated with an empty room – what will you need to make it look great? What will that cost? Also, think about the logistics like where the kitchens are situated; is there a reception area, what kind of lighting exists? If it is an outdoor venue, make sure a ‘plan B’ is costed into the budget for weather contingency.

Creative through careful planning

Tip #3: Add as much detail as possible to your Creative Concept. It’s important to remember that your creative concept is where your client gets to ‘see’ the idea come to life. Using story boards, artist impressions or 3D images means that all the detail can be carefully mapped out and therefore budgeted for. Chances are, you will go through many versions of this creative concept before finding the right one to fit the budget.

Tip #4: Keep up to date with your reporting process. Every professional event organizer will tell you that your reporting process is probably the most important part of producing ‘The Perfect Event’ on the given budget. Without a proper project plan and timeline you are bound to run into logistical issues or last minute changes that will end up adding unnecessary costs to your budget.

Tip #5: If your pre production is faultless, you will experience ‘The Perfect Event’. Make sure your set up is carefully panned and you have made time and budget for necessary rehearsals. Extensive briefing of key staff before the event is crucial to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them, so that you don’t run into additional costs on the day of your event. Your running order should be made available to everyone working on the event, from the head waiter to the chef and the technical team.

Tip #6: Stay Calm. Last minute changes are sometimes inevitable. This can be stressful for everyone, so it is important that you stay calm and in control at all times.

Professional resources

Tip #7: Hire professionals for the job. If you can manage certain elements of the event yourself, you’ll have the budget for elements that need it. There are certain essential ingredients when it comes to any event. Inviting guests and managing the guest list are examples of areas where getting professional help could save you time, money, and energy. Without guests, there is no event so it’s important that dedicated focus is given to the entire invitation process, from invitation design, to sending the invitation, to RSVP management.

Tip #8: Use a system like RSVP Agency’s Event Management Software to maximize the success of your event. It will manage your email invitations and event registration, ensuring the highest possible guest acceptance rate. The system also handles both SMS reminders and calendar integration while the online registration system ensures accurate guest list information, captured during the invitation phase.

As is evident from the above pointers, creating ‘The Perfect Event’ where creativity is maximized on the given budget can be done. If you have a well thought out creative brief, have planned well, found the right venue and hired the right professional resources, you are on the road to success.