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A Foolproof Guide to Planning an Awesome Event (Part 2 of 3)

Part 2: Running the Numbers

In part one, you read our recommendations for brainstorming and where to find valuable resources. Need to know about budgeting details and the right promotions? Look no further, our advice is right here!

Staying within your budget, developing revenue, and finding the right promotions for your event are all important factors that can impact your bottom line. Make sure you stay on track!

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Budget-buster or penny-saver. Establishing the right budget for your event is crucial to planning a successful, enjoyable event. Knowing the budget ahead of time gives a planner plenty of time to consider every aspect of an event and all their options during the planning period. Budgeting helps to bring those brainstormed ideas into reality – or not if they were just too out of budget. In that case, put that idea in your back pocket and save it for next time.

Take into consideration how big your event is and what will make the event worth it for guests. Do you go big or go home with the budget, or do you keep conservative and plan a nice event within budget? Finding the line between totally outrageous and completely underdone can be a challenge when figuring out how to spend a budget.

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Pay Up. Once the budget is finalized, the next step is to figure out who needs to be paid for their services and how much. Costs to keep in mind include vendors, food, staff, venue, and entertainment. Other costs could stack up quickly depending on the extensiveness of the event.

On the flip side to paid staff, know where to find volunteers to help stay within your budget. Depending on the event and its location, look into organizations at local colleges and high schools. Most organizations are always looking to help in their community and gain service hours.

Have a plan set out for the volunteers. Create a spreadsheet with who is assigned to what station, where that station is, and the time they should be there. Designate a paid team member from your staff to direct those volunteers at that station, and have them reach out to their assigned organization before the event. This way, your staff member will be the direct form of communication and he or she can field any and all questions the volunteers may have without taking time out of your busy schedule.

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Promote in new ways. Sponsors aren’t looking to just donate money in return for a sign at the event or their logo on the back of a t-shirt anymore. Sponsors are looking for ways to interact with event attendees and make connections. Make these networking opportunities possible. Let the sponsor be a part of the event by having them do fun jobs, like pass out food and drinks, MC on stage, or sell raffle tickets. Also see if the sponsor would host the event at their business location. This creates foot-traffic for that business during and most likely after the event. See if they have any ideas too; always be open to suggestions and if they have any idea of how they would like to participate.

Find ways to cross promote the event without spending an outrageous amount of money. Having a band or DJ? Go to some of their events before yours and pass out food or offer a chance to win free tickets to your event. This costs you little money, but it is also a way of getting your event’s name out to the public sphere. By drawing their interest in that band, they will now be curious and consider going to your event.

Do something ridiculous. Promote your event by renting a costume and passing out flyers outside of a grocery store or at a local park (with permission of course). It’s something that will catch the attention of others and also show that it is a fun, family-friendly event. Dressing up attracts people of all ages to events because it is memorable. And, as always, use social media to reach out far ahead of time. This helps people get it on their calendar, share it with friends, or at least see it enough to be in the back of their mind.

Without proper budgeting and promotions, an event can run out of money fast and no one would know it was even happening. Keep track of funds and always make sure to promote in unique, inventive ways to grab your audience’s attention.

Now that you’ve got our tips on budgeting, volunteers and promotions, you’re ready for the day-of execution. Take a look at what we have to say in part three.