Production Expense Budgeting 102 – Focus on Income 

In the beginning of July, we posted a blog titled “Production Expense Budgeting 101” which focused on expenses. Today we are back with Part 2, which will focus on income. We are always striving to find   ways to offset costs to our events while still producing a safe and fun experience for our participants. Take a look below at four ways we’ve identified any organization can incorporate to enhance the bottom line: 

Charge for Items Previously Free. Without nickel and diming participants, look at items they can purchase to add to their experience instead of providing them for free. Be clear on what is included with registration and what is available for purchase. On one event we previously worked on, lunch was provided for free to all participants. After taking a closer look, we realized that roughly half of the lunches were being consumed; e scratched that plan in favor of offering free snacks and having lunch available for purchase. This resulted in a big cost savings for the project without impacting the participant experience.

Incentivize Participants = Both Parties Save. If parking is tight or expensive, consider letting motorcycles and vehicles with three or more people park for free but charge $5 for other cars. Or be green and set-up free bike parking if your participants might use that. Have a great packet pick-up plan? Make on-site pick-up free, but offer the option to mail participants their packets if they register/fundraise by a specific deadline.

Evaluate Giveaways. Take a hard look at what you are giving each participant. Fewer events are offering free shirts with registration and opting to sell them and offer some other trinket that is cheaper and not size-specific (head band, coozie, etc.).

Incorporate Sponsorships into your Revenue Plan. Look for creative opportunities to both provide prominent logo placement and possibly even involve volunteers from the sponsor. For example, get a business to sponsor the gear check area which includes logo placement on the tent, a volunteer opportunity for their staff, and the volunteers working that area can wear store shirts. Bam(!), you’ve just saved yourself from having to buy volunteer shirts for that team. Sponsorships are great for supplementing revenue but they can also bring a lot of fun to the event. Encourage your sponsors to go beyond just handing out brochures and having banners. They can add value to their investment by getting creative. Invite them to set-up team games or other activities that participants will enjoy. We’ve seen everything from kick-ball, to tug-of-war, and even water balloon dodge ball. If a sponsor brands the heck out of those activities, everyone wins!

Take a look at the ways your event can incorporate the ideas we’ve shared today. And can you come up with some that we haven’t included? Use the comment section below to share additional ideas with us today. In the end accurate expense budget creation, coupled with implementing some income generating programs, will allow you to keep those dollars with your cause.

Sarah Coniglio has been building meaningful experiences and managing the production of fundraising events for over 13 years. She has a deep passion for photography, loves to travel and has been fortunate to help various causes throughout the world through her Images for Better project that she began a couple of years ago after returning from a trip to Kenya. You can find more about Sarah on LinkedIn and also see more of her photography work on her blog.

Slade Thompson has been with Event 360 for more than 10 years and has played a role in planning and executing more than 100 events. Slade lives in Minneapolis and loves to be outdoors whenever he can — he even enjoys the frigid winters. You can find Slade at LinkedIn.

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