Event Budgeting and Planning Checklist

We use a checklist  similar to the one below for planning and budgeting for your event. Many items are often missed in planning events. Include every item as part of your planning, even those in-kind donations and services. When considering all of these item you will be able to compare apples-to-apples quotes you will be receiving when planning your next event.

Event Venue Planning and Expenses

  • Event space
  • Holding room, business office or pressroom
  • Dressing or break rooms
  • Set-up and clean-up
  • Lights/sound hookup
  • Special electrical, internet or telephone hookups
  • Venue/Stage managers
  • Stage crew
  • Coat check staff
  • Security
  • House staff
  • Other

Food Service Planning and Expenses

  • Number of people to be served
  • Cost per person
    • Food
    • Beverages
    • Total cost
  • Waiters, Bartenders
  • Bar setup and glassware
  • Rented table service, Table linen, Waiters trays and stands
  • Catering kitchen rentals
    • Tables
    • Ovens
    • Heating lamps
  • Gratuities/Service charge
  • Sales tax
  • Other

Equipment Rentals

  • Canopy or tent
  • Backdrop or trellis
  • Tables, Chairs
  • Flooring or carpeting
  • Risers
  • Ropes or stanchions
  • Podiums/podium lights
  • Props
  • Registration tables and chairs
  • Portable restrooms
  • Booths
  • Heaters
  • Fans
  • Easels/Sign standards/Weights
  • Coat racks/Hangers
  • Mirrors
  • Trash containers
  • Fencing
  • Generators
  • Delivery
  • Other

Print Items/Advertizing

  • Design concept and package
  • Advance announcements/save the dates
  • Invitations
  • Confirmation notices
  • Programs
  • Tickets
  • Maps
  • Place cards/table assignments
  • Signs
  • Registration packets
  • Name tags and holders
  • Table numbers
  • Alphabetical registration cards
  • Awards
  • Any other printed materials
  • Other

Shipping and Postage Costs

  • Postage for mailing printed materials
  • Bulk mail of promotional materials
  • Mailing house charges
  • Shipping and handling
  • Other

Transportation Costs and Fees

  • Shuttles
  • Traffic control and parking attendants
  • Valet
  • Traffic directional signage
  • Other

Decorating and Venue Design

  • Flowers
  • Table decorations
  • Extra plants
  • Candles/candelabra/votive
  • Podium décor
  • Stage scenery
  • Other

Music and Audio/Visual Planning and Expense

  • Slide, data, overhead and film projectors
  • Teleconferencing services
  • Screens
  • Extension cords
  • Projector carts
  • Microphones
  • Mixers
  • Speaker system
  • Computers
  • Tape recorder
  • Television monitors
  • VCRs
  • Pointers
  • Flip charts
  • Blackboards/white board
  • Technician and operator services
  • Other

Entertainment – Live or Digital

  • Fees
  • Instrument rental
  • Promoter fees
  • Additional equipment (i.e. speakers, monitors, music stands)
  • Hospitality
  • Other

PR – Promotions

  • Advertising
  • Website
  • Social Networking
  • Photographer
  • Printed photos/photo albums/proof sheets
  • Videographer
  • Slides
  • Entertaining/hospitality for the press
  • Press room office equipment (computers, fax, copiers)
  • Banners
  • Other

Internal Office Expenses

  • Overtime and compensatory time
  • Additional staff (temporaries, students)
  • Data processing
  • Telephones and toll charges
  • Duplicating
  • Postage for general correspondence
  • Supplies (pens, pads, decals, folders, nametags)
  • Committee materials
  • Hospitality for committee members/volunteers
  • Staff accommodations
  • Staff travel and expenses
  • Other

Additional/Miscellaneous Expenses

  • VIP travel and expenses
  • Honoraria
  • Gifts
  • Mementos
  • Security
  • Fire marshal
  • Medical personnel
  • Taping and transcribing proceedings
  • Permits
  • Certification
  • Internet access (Web design, Web-casting)
  • Complimentary tickets
  • Other

Other Unplanned Expenses

  • _______________
  • _______________
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