Hybrid Event Budget Basics

Jun 23, 2022

A budget is a detailed forecast of what will be happening financially at your event. It helps control your expenses and revenues, and measures the success of your meeting or event performance.

The importance of an event budget cannot be overemphasized. Although a well-planned budget takes time to create and manage, it can mean the difference between success or failure.

List your expenses

A key purpose of an event budget should be to guide the planner to properly allocate funds to the most valuable elements. For hybrid formats, these elements will be dictated by the event’s objectives.

Add a line item for every detail you will be accounting for.

Be extra careful with your deadlines since these, if not met can incur extra costs in the form of late fees

Include the expected number as well as actual costs in order to know if you’re going over the budget.

Venue

When planning the in-person version of your hybrid event, it’s important to book your venues well in advance not only to get the best rates, but to make sure you secure a venue at all.

Negotiate your venue budget

Venues are a huge chunk of an event’s budget, and in a post-pandemic landscape, you may see prices go up to cover COVID safety measures. When searching for a venue, don’t be afraid to ask questions about promotions, discounts and lower rates. You never know what a venue might be willing to offer you, especially after a year when many venues likely didn’t see any business at all.

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Choose an all in one event platform

We firmly believe that an all in one hybrid event platform is key to running a great hybrid event that can help you cut down on cost

Why leave attendee engagement, ticketing, programming and analytics to different tools?

When you use one product to run registration, another to publish your event schedule and another to handle sponsorships, for example, you might run into issues with compatibility and struggle to unite both the in-person and online versions of your event.

For any virtual and hybrid event, a key player is the technology platform provider. This is essentially your virtual venue. Make sure the platform you choose aligns with event goals.

Here are the basics you will need to take into account when you start your search:

What features are absolutely necessary?

How engaging do you want the experience to be?

What flow are you expecting between in-person and virtual?

Can the virtual venue be customized or branded for your event?

What is the accessibility level? You want a platform easy to access from any device and without installations if possible.

A few elements you want to consider for your virtual venue:

Virtual Lobby – Where attendees can see an agenda with sessions, information, speaker bios, network with attendees, exhibitor and sponsor gala, social wall.

Gamification – what entertainment options do they offer i.e escape rooms, scavenger hunts, etc.

Breakout rooms – game rooms, concert areas, lounge areas.

Customization – of the virtual environment from branding to items you include.

Virtual Booths – Essential for sponsors, stakeholder or partners.

Networking and Socializing – What interaction options does the platform offer?

Metrics and Reports – Vital to prove your event success but most importantly, vital to know where to improve and what you can double down on.

Navigation– Can attendees walk around the expo hall or other event spaces to meet other attendees?

Design– Support for custom environments or exhibitor booths design.

VR Support

Speakers

For both your remote or in-person speakers, ensure that you pick the right speakers with the experience that is the most relevant to your event. When hosting multiple speakers, choose speakers with varied viewpoints and versatile profiles so you may offer attendees a complete experience.

You’ll want to factor speaker fees as an expense but remember they are also an asset that can help with promotion.

Gift bags

Virtual or physical, gift bags with relevant goodies will go a long way to ensure recall and a positive experience for the attendees.

These could be virtual goodies, benefits, or giveaways. Content resources, free trials, coupons, or partner benefits.

You might want to consider sending out swag bags to your attendees and speakers before the event. These can contain merchandise that may be used during the event like t-shirts or caps and pretty much anything that can then be displayed while the event is on and would also provide a photo-op. Make use of your attendees’ own desire to be present and post on social.

The pre-event bag can also include relevant printed material for the event. Factor in hourly costs for your team members executing this part along with the cost of the products themselves.

Revenue

In order to cover expenses, different revenue avenues can be leveraged. For example, advertising revenues, concession, exhibit or exposition booth rental fees, management fees, registration, and sponsorship fees would be considered sources of revenue. This is by no means a complete list, especially for sponsorship revenue.

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