Making Cents of Your Budget

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Let’s talk about which types of vendors will likely be disappearing from your budget, and the vendors that will take their place. With live events being drastically limited in comparison to previous years, what shift will your business see in your annual budget?

It is no secret that the year 2020 made businesses lose quite a bit of money. This means the annual budget will also decrease. Part of the Executive Assistant’s job involves hiring vendors for live events that his or her company holds during the year. This year, many find themselves in need of getting creative with a significantly lower portion of the budget going towards this year’s live events.

Practically Perfect PA, an online community that gives advice, support, and training to assistants, states “assistants are asked to manage different events from team-building activities to annual conferences and AGMs (Annual General Meeting), while also managing all of their additional tasks and responsibilities.” Proactive Executive Assistants typically have a list of vendors that their company almost always uses to provide food, transportation, drinks, the venue, or anything else taking part in a live event.

It is possible that your company can no longer afford some of the vendors and/or some of the vendors you normally work with are no longer in business due to the effects of the pandemic on businesses. What does this mean? Executive Assistants may need to go back to the drawing board and find new vendors he or she can try out through the events of 2021. At the same time, you will also need to reconfigure this year’s budget, which begins with the usual steps Assistants follow every year. Practically Perfect PA gives assistants a brief rundown of the normal steps when creating an event budget in their article Event Budget Health Check.

  • Everyone involved in the event must have an input when sending the budget

  • The above people must also sign off on the budget once it is set

  • Make sure it is realistic and based on experience

  • Cover each detail or element of the event

  • Include both income and expenditure

  • Show the actual against the projected

  • Incorporate a contingency budget

Now, Assistants can go back to the budget and modify it according to how much the world has changed the company he or she works for. The website for Iron Peacock Events helps Assistants understand the process of budgeting for live events in our “new normal” by giving the following pieces of advice in their blog post Event Budget Planning For Your 2021 Corporate Events.

  • Every year’s live event budget should include a contingency plan. With an increase in risks threatening the live event, this year’s budget contingency is more important than ever before.
  • Analyze what the competitors of your company did correct during the past events they hosted.
  • Plan your Return on Investment or ROI. A blog post on Iron Peacock Events’ website entitled The Essentials Of An ROI Formula goes deeper into the importance of this budget aspect.
  • Remember that the costs of vendors will vary after 2020.
  • Find additional sources of revenue.
  • Establish a new cost structure for the new types of vendors you may use in 2021, such as in the case you host an online event.

The word for this year’s budget planning for live events the company you work for will host is “flexibility.” Much like the new reality of working from home, you may even need to configure the life events for 2021 into virtual events.

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer