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6 Hidden Costs Event Organisers Always Miss


Planning and managing your budget are critical steps to deliver a successful event. Unexpected, last minute or additional expenses make the whole experience more stressful for everyone. Budget blow outs can disrupt or ruin your event and have a wider financial impact your business. Mapping out each item and cost is an effective way to make sure nothing is overlooked, but there are six common expenses we see event organisers regularly miss in their estimates and quotes.

1. Insurance, permits and safety:

The biggest oversight we see is with legal responsibilities such as insurance, permits and safety – particularly for larger, public and outdoor events. Your event agency should have sufficient public liability insurance but there’s more to it. Each state and territory, and local council has laws and rules for event organisers to follow, and then each venue or space will also have certain requirements. It all depends on the type of event and the activities that will take place – for example you may need food and alcohol permits. There may be significant costs involved, but without these safeguards correctly in place your event could be shut down.

2. Marketing and promotional materials:

Effective marketing can make or break your event! Whether it’s in the lead up to help sell tickets or on the day to create a cohesive and seamless experience, creating impactful marketing materials and products is important. Posters, invitations, tickets, lanyards, programs, booklets, brochures, table and room signage, banners, goodie bags and gifts, notebooks, pens and other branded merchandise – the list goes on and on. From the design and production to delivery, remember to include everything in your budget OR go digital to save money and the environment.

3. AV and tech equipment:

Event venues do not always include use of AV equipment as part of the room hire. This is usually treated as a separate service and cost, which is likely to involve the employment of specialist in-house or contracted staff – unless you have the ability to manage the equipment yourself. You may also find there isn’t sufficient AV and technology available at your chosen venue such as display monitors, specific lighting or other digital devices. You will need to hire these additional items and staff required.

4. Staff and contractors:

Having enough staff on the ground and on standby is essential for the smooth running of your event. You can use volunteers if you need to keep costs down, but there will still be costs involved in the recruitment and management process. Registration desk and wayfinding support are two roles that are rarely accounted for. Other staff commonly overlooked include security (this is not automatically included in venue costs), photographers and videographers (you may need more than one), and back up AV and technical support staff (especially if you’re doing this yourself).

5. Last-minute changes:

We can’t control every situation and unexpected fees and charges can still arise. From natural disasters, major accidents or malfunctions to key speakers or performers falling ill, anything can happen in the lead up to the big day. Setting budget aside for unforeseen circumstances is a clever strategy any experienced event manager will recommend and use. Having a backup plan for things such as venues, suppliers, speakers, entertainment etc. will also set everyone’s mind at ease if difficulties arise.

6. Post-event expenses:

Your event doesn’t end when the final guest leaves or even after bump-out. There are surveys to send out and feedback to collect. There are event reports to prepare and debrief meetings to attend. We see post-event evaluation activities left off event plans and budgets all too often. As a result, they don’t happen at all or are delegated to someone as an afterthought. We can’t emphasise the importance and value of a full post-event wrap up enough, but that’s a topic for another blog…

Hosting a professional event takes time, effort and money. You don’t want to leave anything to chance or make it more stressful than it needs to be. By working with a knowledgeable and experienced Event Production team like JTPM, you can expect to receive a detailed and transparent event budget with minimum last-minute costs or surprises.

Avoid hidden event costs and budget blow outs. Contact us to book an event design consultation today!