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Corporate Event Planning 101: Budgeting and partnerships

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Following up from our previous blog post, here is part two of a seven-part blog series on B2B event planning. Creating a budget for your event is usually done in parallel with the ideation phase. The budget is one of the most challenging parts of the event plan because event planners do not give it sufficient attention. A realistic budget needs to account for every aspect of the event and keeping track of what is required involves more than just creating a grocery list. Here you will learn the importance of an event budget and how to go about structuring one.

The two-part budget system

Corporate event planners often have a two-part budget to maintain. One that details the estimated income and expenses and the other that contains the aspects of the actual income versus actual expenditure. Breaking it down to the finest possible details helps in focusing costs and prioritizing the important parts of your budget.

The first step would be creating a list of all the methods through which revenue flows in. Jot down everything from booth rental fees and ticket revenue to merchandise sales. Be as detailed as possible. Next, make a note of every venue of expenditure. List down expenses ranging from invitations to food and beverage expenses.Be sure to update this list with quotes from suitable vendors as frequently as possible.

Important note: Always prepare yourself for unexpected expenditure. Make sure to include sufficient buffer (10% of the total budget should provide ample cover) for last minute expenses. Certain venues require permits. Ensure you apply for them as early as possible and account for the expenditure. Tax is something that can be easily overlooked. Ensure your vendor and venue quotes include tax provisions.


Riders are documents that explain specific requirements and how to set up the stage for the talent. Participants sometimes have very specific requests. Be it technical or hospitality related, they need a bit of attention. Items on hospitality rider lists are usually negotiable but be fair when you scrutinize them. Technical riders, on the other hand, need to be dealt with tactfully. Technical provisions might cost higher than estimated. Therefore, be sure to get your technical team to evaluate and collaborate as required.


Postponing things can only have a negative impact on the planning process. Letting things go down to the wire is one of the main reasons of panic. Set strict deadlines to every single task that needs to be closed down. Make sure you also give a certain degree of leverage. Tick off tasks as and when they are completed and create an actual timeline for your event.

Strategic partnerships

Vendors: A vendor is an extension of your team. So pick vendors just as you would pick teammates. Make sure they understand your vision for your event before you pick them to represent you. Once you propose your event concept and explain your expectations for them, get their suggestions and expertise on venue selection and set-up.

Sponsors: Corporate sponsorships have been a strong standing concept in today’s event industry. Sponsorships need to be seen as strategic partnerships that can mutually benefit both parties. Be selective with who you ask for sponsorships. The purpose needs to be in-line with what your event stands for. There are two types of sponsorships. Sponsors can either make donations in exchange for brand visibility and association or provide services or products and let the event promote them. Choosing the right type of sponsorship also matters. Ultimately, creating an event costs money and so you can’t have an event completely run by sponsorship in kind.


Managing the financials of your event involves a major chunk of effort. Create a healthy mix of funding and support partnerships to create a stellar event. And remember, It is always better to be over-budgeted than underprepared.

For more trends in B2B event marketing and corporate event planning, visit the Jifflenow blog.