Creating a budget for your first-ever virtual event might seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, with a bit of pre-planning and critical thinking, you can not only create a budget you can stick to, but you might be able to save some money along the way and get more bang for your buck.
#1 – Does Your Event Platform Allow for Scaling?
If you’re going to host a virtual event, you’ll need to choose a platform that offers you good value for the money you spend. By choosing a platform that provides you with on-demand scaling, you’ll save yourself plenty of headaches in the future. Some platforms limit the number of attendees that can join your virtual event based upon a preselected package. Others, however, give you the opportunity to scale up as needed without charging you for services that you don’t need. When it comes to digital events, flexibility is everything.
#2 – Estimate the Number of Participants
While scalability is important, it’s also necessary to accurately estimate the number of people who are likely to attend your event. It’s virtually impossible to guess the exact number of people who will ultimately join in the event, but with a few simple tools, you can estimate with enough accuracy for budgeting purposes. One of the best ways to do this is with an RSVP system. Many companies have had a great deal of success with asking their attendees to pre-register at least seven days in advance and providing an incentive for those who do. The number of pre-registrations usually accurately reflects the number of attendees you will have.
#3 – How Long will the Event Last?
In simple terms, the longer the event, the more it will cost. However, you should never short-change your event just to save a few dollars, either. It’s important to find a balance between delivering quality content and information to your audience and keeping the event short enough to fit your budget. Sitting down with an event checklist and determining how long your event will last is a critical part of accurately budgeting for that event.
#4 – Who Will Present?
In order to drive traffic and engagement, many event planners secure guest speakers to help keep the audience interested – and to get more people to attend in the first place. If a well-known guest speaker is on your checklist, make sure that you reach out very early and provide lots of advance notice. Generally speaking, the more notice you give, the more money you can save. Furthermore, remember that the more well-known speakers are also the busiest, so you can expect to pay them more.
#5 – What Will Happen After the Event?
Finally, it’s important to think about what will take place once the event is over. Will you provide gifts to those in attendance? Are you going to host a giveaway for a product or service? Are you going to send out surveys and ask people who attended for their honest feedback? Each of these things can add to your budget, so make sure that you consider them well in advance so you can factor them into the total cost.
The budget for your virtual event will vary significantly depending on all the factors above. The earlier you start planning, and the more meticulous you are about choosing the best value for the money, the more accurate your budget will be – and the less money you will spend overall.