TO MAKE A BUDGET
In order to make a budget, we need to ask and answer a few basic questions. What is the size of
the event? To who is it addressed? What participation expectations do we have? Where is the
venue? All these questions were answered in part one of this article.
In every budget, there must be a total balance between income and expenditure.
Two examples of budgets are shown below. The first one is for a sporting event while the second one is for a scientific event.
The sport event is a social gathering with a large number of participants as this is a very dynamic
sector that attracts widespread interest from both the audience and the sponsors if the right
Sportsman is chosen. As prevoiusly stated, one of the main goals of a sport event is to have economic
Benefits. In the example given below, it is easy to see in the final balance the benefit obtained, as the income was higher than the expenses, and therefore the organisers will have a surplus either for organising the next event or for their own benefit.
Transport, accommodation and competitors’ and judges’ allowances and salaries, which are
Opening ; Cocktail or opening ceremony with the participants and the media.
Expenses of the corporate image: event programme, tickets, posters, journals, websites
(from which to sell online tickets), mailings (to the prospective participants and sponsors).
Technical and audiovisual equipment: screens for the results, cabins for the translators,
public address system, etc.
Venues and premises: the space necessary to hold the event.
Public-liability insurance will cover the organiser’s responsibility in case of attendees’
accidents, faults in the facilities involving refunds or the cancellation of the event due to
participants’ injuries or withdrawal.
Unexpected costs are included here as they are likely to appear through the event.
There are four parts in the income section:
Participants’ fees: these are the attendees to the event who will pay for their tickets.
Sponsors: Sport labels and sponsors in general who will bring their economic support for
material expenses, easy to justify to the public tax office.
Public Institutions: All the funds received form the local government where the event takes
Local Council: will provide the funds for the venue of the event.
SCIENTIFIC EVENT: A CONGRESS OR CONFERENCE
For a scientific event the budget will include just the necessary expenses to hold it. It is not
necessary to include large sums for design, venue, etc and it will be more economical as the goal is
About the latest scientific developments rather than the economic profit.
The difficulty lies here in the sponsorship of the event as it receives neither much media coverage
nor immediate benefit for the private companies. Most financing comes from research grants or the
support of research institutions. It is usually not more than what is needed to cover
costs. Fees from the participants will help cover all expenses.
A special type of scientific event is the medical one because it attracts sponsorship from the
Pharmaceutical companies interested in presenting their new products, to cover expenses such as
catering (lunches and dinners), travelling expenses for the speakers, the proceedings, etc.
In this example, expenses are:
Transport, accommodation and allowances for invited speakers.
Catering: Coffee breaks and lunches included in the sessions.
Costs from the scientific programme and corporate image of the event. There will be at least
three programmes, two tentative and a final one, depending on the dates provided by the
Organising committee, with updated information to be sent to participants, speakers and the
public in general.
Technical and audiovisual equipment to be used at the sessions.
Organisational expenses: the technical and the scientific secretariat will be in charge of the development of the programme.
ｷVenue. The venue will be a large Auditorium or Conference Centre
ｷPublic-liability insurance and delegates insurances.
ｷUnexpected costs are included here as they are likely to appear through the event. Anyway,
in this case these costs will be less likely to appear as all costs are usually accounted for.
There are two large parts in the income sections:
ｷParticipants Fees: The main source of income for this type of event.
ｷSponsors, Public Institutions and Universities: will cover part of the expenses, usually for
the plenary speakers and printing. These funds are easy to justify.
ｷTransport: Do we need any means of transport? Rent a car, chauffeurs, coaches, air
transport and special vehicles.
Income and Financing
HOW CAN WE OBTAIN THE MONEY? SOURCES OF FINANCING
Once the budget is finished and the scope of the event chosen, the next step is to specify the type
of financing needed for the balance of the budget. In any type of event there are always two types
of financing: internal and external.
Internal financing: This is basically the funds belonging to the organisation itself, resulting from
previous events which were profitable and from the membership fees and private funds from the
External financing may come from:
From the participants and attendees in the event. It is calculated in a first draft taking as a
Reference; a previous edition of the event or a similar one in order to foresee the income and know
the fee to charge. Moreover, it is necessary to know the contribution from institutions, however
rough the estimative may be, before the final fees are set. Fees tend to cover 50% of the total cost
of the event.
Public Institution and Private Sponsor Institutional Help:
ｷPublic Institutions: Local government and Town Council
ｷOfficial grants: local, national, international.
Disadvantages with this type of grants are that they require complicated forms and endless
bureaucracy. Often, these grants are difficult to obtain because all costs need to be fully justified
beforehand and partly or wholly returned if they do not cover the costs originally awarded for.
Another important aspect of these grants is that our event should not coincide in time with similar
ones, as the sponsorship might be shared with similar events going on at the same time or simply
Sometimes, the grants are part of annual budgets established long before the event takes place. It is
therefore necessary to apply long in advance and adapt our application to the amount awarded to
Private Sponsors: Depending on the type and scope of the event it is possible to find private
Institutions (banks, saving banks, companies, sponsors, et.) to support the event partly or totally.
Sponsoring means to contribute in kind or cash in consideration for publicity and media coverage
that the sponsors will receive in the short term.
When the contribution is in kind, the costs in the examples above will be covered. For example,
the town council will pay for the expenses of the venue hired directly or a private sponsor will
cover the travelling expenses paying themselves the tickets they accepted to contribute with.
Private sponsors may be:
Associations: legal entities made up by partners with the same purpose who pay a membership fee
periodically with which to support this type of events.
Federations: Associations as a whole.
Companies: They finance events in order to become well known in the short term. They usually
exchange their economic support for the chance to appear in the events appearing in the media.
Charities: These are non-profit legal entities which may have commercial activities devoting part
of their benefits to support cultural, social or environmental activities.
Sponsors: They offer support, either in kind or in cash, in a long term consideration. The sponsors
are the promoters and organisers of over 80% of the events arranged. Most events would not be
possible without their support.