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How to Budget & Develop a Plan for Your Conference


Anytime you are planning a big event, it is a good idea to set a budget and stick to it as closely as possible. When you begin to plan your next conference, there are several simple organizational tips that can help you budget properly and develop a perfect action plan to bring everything together nicely. You will also find that developing a good, solid budget will help you to decide on a proper registration fee for your conference.


Develop Your Budget

· Be sure to start off by doing plenty of research. If you have access to the budgets from previous conferences use those as a starting point. Know the maximum amounts you are able to spend in total on the conference and for each individual expense category.

· Create a list of different expense categories including: rental fees, entertainment, guest speaker/host fees, catering, marketing, printing costs, security and insurance. Be sure to mark which categories are "fixed" expenses and which categories are "variable" expenses that are determined by the number of attendees.

· Determine your possible attendance numbers. Many people use a general rule when planning to always budget lower and be sure not to budget for more than the previous year’s attendance numbers.

· Be aware of possible hidden costs like taxes or gratuities and plan accordingly. Be cautious and always leave room for error by rounding your cost estimates up.

· Establish the proper registration fee for the conference and be sure that this fee will cover paper/printing costs, badges, welcome packages, refreshments and meals.

· Calculate registration fees to determine if you will be able to make a profit. Simply divide your total expenses by the cost of registration to discover the number of attendees you will need to break even and to make a profit.

· Take the time to thoroughly review your budget and make the proper adjustments. Be as realistic as possible with your attendance estimates to avoid a negative impact towards your budget.

Choosing the Right Venue for Your Budget

Another important aspect to consider while developing the plan for your conference is finding the right venue. There are many venues that are able to work easily within your budget and help guide you along the way. An effective venue will be flexible and make it easy to accommodate last minute changes in attendance numbers, catering changes and also offer multiple conference room options. The Bell City Conference Event Complex offers several different conference room styles to accommodate smaller and larger groups. From the theatre style seating that can house up to 500 in the "Ball Room" to the tiered seating for 100 in the "United Nations" conference room, Bell City has the perfect options for any size and style of conference imaginable.

One other great advantage that many venues now offer is the ability to have your venue combine services for you, which will often help you to cut down on specific costs. Many venues will offer packages that include refreshments, catering for meals and other important perks. When you are able to save in these vital areas you can then invest the money you save into other important "fixed" expenses like your keynote speaker and entertainment costs. This will also allow many event planners to go from just breaking even after all is said and done with the conference to actually making a profit.



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