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Financial Management

To work within the event budget and carry out a successful event requires detailed planning and constant updates and reviews in all areas, but especially the finances. After the event’s purpose and how best to accomplish it are decided upon, preliminary estimates of the costs should be made (after research) to determine a realistic financial strategy. In addition to tracking the overall budget by event department, there should be mini budgets for each department. The majority of events, whether a seminar series, convention, sports event, award event, fundraiser, tradeshow, or product launch are aimed at a target audience with the intent to raise awareness in either staff or customers with subsequent increase in company productivity and revenue.

At this point, the event organizers should decide if it makes logistical sense to bring in professionals, and where. Does the organizing agency have staff who are both experienced in planning this type of event and who can be freed from their regular work in order to take on the event management? If the host organizer is holding a smaller event that needs to be high impact and absolutely flawless, or a larger event, especially one with a marketing component, a professional event coordinator is a good idea. A professional event coordinator will save time, will not overlook any of the thousands of details that go into a successful event, and will have plans in place to keep the event running smoothly in case of the unexpected. Ultimately, because professional event coordinators usually have access to discounts from caterers, florists, and rental companies, hiring an event manager may not cost as much as anticipated.

Part of a successful event is looking at each line item in the budget to decide if the expected outcome is worth the cost. A company wide training weekend for sales and technical staff on a new product was scheduled at a mid-sized hotel. A senior manager attended another event at the venue four months before his company’s training weekend. He discovered that, after about an hour, the hotel chairs became very uncomfortable. He brought this up with the event’s coordinating committee. They reviewed the budget and decided to opt for a themed buffet instead of a formal sit-down dinner, and rent padded chairs from a supply company so that guests would be comfortable for the eight hour long training sessions.

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Chapter 9: Financial Management

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