Accurate event budgeting: where do the hidden costs lie?

Putting on an event on a budgetWhen organising an event of any kind, accurate budgeting is crucial. If you fail to allocate sufficient funds for your event, you’ll either be caught out at the last minute by unexpected hidden costs or else doomed to running an underwhelming event. Setting aside too much money is also counter-productive, as doing so is hardly the most cost-effective way to run a business. So how do you budget effectively for an event? What hidden costs might emerge down the line to scupper your best-laid plans? We’ve revealed five event management hidden costs likely to apply to your event below…


Equipment hire

Many of those new to the world of event management make the mistake of assuming that the venue they’ve booked will boast all of the equipment they may need on the night. While most venues will have their own lighting rigs, speakers and mixers, they’re unlikely to offer anything more ambitious than these basics. If you think you might need radio microphones, projectors and plasma screens, vision mixers and LED lighting or anything else more sophisticated, don’t assume that it will be there to pick up and use. Equipment hire is often a necessary expense ahead of an event, so be sure to budget for it accordingly.


Speakers / hosts

Some events and conferences are fairly light-hearted affairs, and you may choose to employ guest speakers or hosts to ensure that yours goes off with a bang. If you’ve chosen to book a comedian to compere your event or a guest lecturer to speak at a specific juncture, don’t underestimate their cost. Fees might be more than you bargained for while riders, travel expenses and other additional costs are not uncommon. It’s crucial that you set aside sufficient budget for guest speakers and hosts should you choose to use them for your event.



Depending on the nature of your event you may ask attendees to make their own way to the venue or arrange for their transport yourself. If you choose to take the latter approach then be sure to factor it into your budget. Hiring coaches or minibuses to transport your staff or other guests to your event isn’t going to come cheap, and the same is true if you’re looking to use taxis to ferry guests between the event, hotels and restaurants after the conference has finished. While we’re on the subject, don’t forget to budget for accommodation if that’s what you have in mind!



Events tend to differ in terms of format, content and style. Some are more formal, sit-down affairs and others tend to be casual in tone. If you’re looking to implement the latter, you may choose to cater for your guests in the form of a buffet or even a sit-down lunch. If so, don’t forget to set aside some funds for catering as there’s no such thing as a free lunch!


Resource reallocation

While the above are expenses associated with running an event, some of the other hidden costs occur behind the scenes of your organisation. Could the pressures and commitments of running an event force you to reallocate human resources away from where they’re needed? It’s not easy to organise an event, particularly if you’re new to the practice. Your employees’ time could be better spent elsewhere, potentially leaving your business further out of pocket in the long run.


These are merely some of the hidden costs associated with event management, and there are bound to be others that you fail to budget for if you’ve not organised an event before. Here at the R&B Group, we’re experienced enough to understand not only what event expenses your business might face but also how you can reduce them to save your company money. Why not take a look at our event production services or contact us to find out more about how we can reduce the costs of your event in future?