Managing money

Managing money is an essential part of the event planning process. As part of your initial plans you should be getting an idea of what your event will cost to put on. Many of the elements of the event will cost you something. It doesn‟t hurt to start getting an idea of costs from contractors or hire companies. Some of the core costs you need to consider are:

  • permissions and licences
  • insurance, e.g. public liability insurance
  • hire of equipment
  • hire of services and staff
  • hire of venue/site
  • administration costs
  • performers and amusements costs
  • materials used on the day
  • catering

For every event you should produce a budget which details the income you expect to generate alongside the anticipated expenditure for your event. The budget should detail all transactions both in and out but there are some best practices you may like to adopt when dealing with cash.

  • You may find it beneficial to open a separate bank account to keep your funds safe but easily accessible.
  • It is safer for as few people to have access to your available funds. Consider assigning somebody the role of treasurer. This person would have access to funds as well as being responsible for signing cash in and out.
  • All transactions should be accompanied by an invoice or receipt and these should be filled in an organised fashion and in a safe place.
  • A petty-cash box will help you keep track of smaller incidental expenses such as stationary and refreshments. Any money that leaves the cash box should be signed out detailing when it was taken, who has the money and the amount. Any change should be signed back in and receipts filled safely.
  • Any excess money should be paid into the account at the earliest opportunity and each deposit should be logged with an explanation of where the money has come from.

You will also need to think about your income. Once you have established your costs, where is the money coming from to cover these? An event can cost anything from under £100, to upwards of £500,000, depending on the nature and scale of your plans. Depending on your ambitions for your event, and how much support you have from the local community, you may need to fundraise to cover your costs. Most events gather money from more than one source, for example:

  • ticket sales
  • sponsorship
  • selling market, bar or food stall pitches
  • fundraising

For help with the key considerations when raising funding your event, see the Fundraising and Sponsorship pages.

It is worth thinking through all aspects of your budgetary plans, including;

  • If the event makes a loss, who will carry the responsibility?
  • If it makes a profit, where will the money go?

Both of these considerations relate to your Contingency- an allocation of money held within your budget for unanticipated costs. For more information on how to calculate the recommended level of contingency, see the Contingency page.

For information on how to set up a budget, see Budgets.