When organising an event, you’ll often have to prepare your event budget in Excel or another spreadsheet program. Budgeting can be a real pain in the neck, but every event organiser will eventually have to deal with it.
You’ll want to understand relevant terminology and consider realistic line items like venue costs, ticketing staff, catering expenses, and so on.
If you dread having to crunch numbers and deal with financial statements, this article is for you!
Excel templates and formulas can make your calculations easier. You can even create an event budget template of your own to use it for your future events. With the right excel hacks and tips, you can shorten the time it takes to plan your event budget.
Event budget breakdown: an example
Many websites offer templates to download and use to speed up your event budget planning. For this article, we’ll be using the event budget template we’ve just linked to.
Let’s now look at the following example case. Suppose you have to organise a psychology workshop for managers and employees in your company. There will be 100 participants in that workshop. The entrance fee is £150 per ticket.
The first step is to determine the categories (bullet points) for your expenses. In this case, you’ll want to consider:
- Site rental
We’ll assume you don’t have any cost for marketing, as it’s an internal event.
Keep in mind that real world expenses can often exceed your projections. That is why you will need to reserve up to 20 percent of the event budget for these unpredictable expenses.
Creating your event budget in Excel
To start with, give your Excel spreadsheet a title, e.g. “Event Budget”.
It will help you save the completed template and protect it from accidentally being deleted.
The program will do everything for you: You won’t have to make any calculations. Using formulas, you’ll quickly have your event budget in Excel. Here are a few simple steps to follow.
1. Income vs. expenses
You’ll want to split your sheet into two sections: One for income and one for expenses
2. Event income
For the income part, you only have to fill in the “Description,” “Unit cost,” and “Quantity” columns. In our case, the income consists of entry fees. Using the formula “Unit cost * Quantity,” Excel will calculate the total amount:
3. Event expenses
For the expenses section, you’ll want to fill out the “Description,” “Category,” “Quantity”, and “Unit Cost” columns. Fill in the figures, and the program will calculate the total amount by using the same formula (“Unit cost * Quantity”):
4. Event profit
You now have the total amount for your expected event income (£15,000) and expenses (£8,440).
The “Summary” section shows you the total profit or loss. This is done automatically by using the formula “Income – Expenses”. In our case, your expected profit is £6,560:
5. Expense breakdown chart
Another useful feature of this template—and the main reason to fill out the “Category” column for your expenses—is a horizontal bar chart for expenses. It’s located next to the “Summary” and gives you a better understanding of where the biggest sum was spent:
6. Event budget report
Voila, you now have a complete and clear event budget report:
Some events aren’t made to turn a profit. To cover the costs for those, you might want to plan a fundraising campaign and save costs by involving volunteers.
One last tip: Examine the full event budget report in the spreadsheet. You might have skipped some items you need, so make sure to add them. You could also add a “Miscellaneous” expense row to track ad hoc expenses.
Pros of creating your event budget in Excel
If you’re planning a one-time event, you’ll likely opt for doing all planning and calculations on your own instead of working with an accountant or financial consultant.
The event budget template we’ve just demonstrated gives you confidence, since you now have the full overview of expenses at every stage of your event planning process. This template can help you keep your event budget up to date.
It also works well for keeping other parties in the loop. If you are organising the event with business partners (or possibly investors), it’s useful for all the parties to receive the summarised projected expenses at the very beginning to avoid unpleasant surprises later on. You’ll want to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Get your event budget sorted
The more you use this template (and others like it), the better you’ll become at predicting your event expenses. It’ll help you better allocate your event budget and make the right decisions about expenditures.
Good luck with your event!
Author: Hannah Sharron is a Lead Editor at Spreadsheeto. She is fond of writing Excel guides and how-tos. Besides, she is interested in digital marketing and SEO tools. In her leisure, she adores hiking and reading.