Budgeting for an event is by far the most important aspect of a successful event. While budgets can be as varied as the occasions being planned for, a budget lays the groundwork for what can be included in the event, what details must be scaled back, and what ideas must be abandoned during the planning process.

Determining a budget is most easily accomplished when a specific amount of money is dedicated for the event in its entirety. Factors to be considered are deposits for event venues, speakers, caterers, photographers, bands, DJs, fireworks, audio-video and sound equipment, furnishings, rented lighting, limousines, floral displays, booth standards and panels, portable dance

floors, stages, and printing services.

If advertising and promotion are to be part of the event equation, funds will have to be allocated to newspaper, radio, and television advertising as well as contracting the services of writers, actors, voiceover talent, photographers, videographers, ticket master services and website marketing.

Event personnel and payment for such services must also be included. These cover security and information desk staff, food servers, bartenders, valets or parking attendants, set up and tear down workers, sanitation crews and drivers for transporting people and equipment to and from the event location.

Other expenses to consider are gifts, signage, banners, posters, carpet runners, money to cover lodging and transportation of speakers and event personnel, special uniforms, cell phones, internet access to the event, special music CDs and the services of professional decorators, event and space planners.

Even the most carefully crafted budget is prone to the need to cover last-minute surprises or overlooked necessities. Rule of thumb suggests an additional 10-15% above and beyond anticipated costs be allocated for unexpected expenses.