Step 3: Budgeting

An event budget is a great way to map out all the areas of income and expenditure. The budget will ensure that the event is viable to organise and execute. The costs will vary dependant on the type of event you are looking to hold.

We have created an event budget template to assist you with your planning.

It is good practice to set a budget before confirming any venue, planning marketing campaigns and inviting speakers.

Things to consider/include:


  • one of the major costs of holding an event is the venue
  • consider a partnership with a local company who could sponsor the room or provide a venue for free
  • new venues are always looking for early promotion, therefore special rates are sometimes negotiable

Technical equipment

  • the majority of venues will provide the technical equipment, audio visual equipment etc., although these costs are often high


  • we recommend that you provide tea and coffee for evening events and finger food and non-alcoholic beverages at larger events
  • free to attend events usually experience a high dropout rate (approximately 30%), so it is worth adjusting your catering costs accordingly if you suspect a high dropout rate will occur
  • learn from previous experiences by monitoring how much food is left after each event and adjust future orders accordingly

Speaker expenses

  • decide if you will pay speaker expenses and if so decide how much budget you can allocate
  • ensure potential speakers are clear about the available budget to cover travel and accommodation. Having an open discussion in the early stages of confirming a speaker is much easier than securing a speaker and then being presented with their expenses which exceeds your allocated budget  

Filming content

  • filming speaker’s presentations is a great way to ensure the event content is available to a wider audience
  • there are two ways to capture event content;
    • using a hand camera to film the speaker, edit the footage and then upload onto your community area
    • invite (the IET’s web based service) to film, edit the footage and upload the content for you (the IET’s web based service and TV channel) is available upon request. There is an associated cost, so this does need to be factored into your budget. It is important to make the request early via the Community Operations team. Contact the team to find out about costing and scheduling.

Partners / sponsors

Securing a sponsor or partner can be a great way to engage relevant companies in the region, support your event marketing campaign and can help support the budget, for example venue hire or delegate refreshments can be supplied by or paid for by a sponsor.

The potential benefits to the sponsor include:

  • raise their profile within area of expertise
  • opportunity to promote products / services / activity
  • access to relevant community
  • networking opportunity – meet experts, build personal contacts

Gaining a partner will often assist in extending the reach of the marketing campaign. For example it can be beneficial to work with a relevant University, sector magazine or institution that has access to the target community. By supporting the event it will allow them to raise their profile within the community.

For a real life example of how partnering with an organisation can benefit an event, please see the ‘Case Studies’ section.