How to Make a Budget for a Corporate Event: Budgeting 101

When you’re organising a corporate event it’s essential to make a budget. This will avoid a failed event and possible financial disaster.

How to Make a Budget for a Corporate Event: Budgeting 101

Most of us don’t love the word budget. But sometimes it’s necessary (like when I’m on my third night of takeaways instead of eating what’s in the fridge). I’m sure we could all use a little budgeting in our lives. This is true for event planning. When you’re organising a corporate event it’s essential to make a budget. This will avoid a failed event and possible financial disaster. 

A successful event is directly linked to its financial foundation. Creating a detailed, realistic and organised budget can help pave the way to event success. At Navarra Venues we are passionate about events of any kind. We understand how important budgeting is. That’s why we offer packages with all sorts of inclusions If you’re looking for a function centre in Sydney.

So how do you make a budget for a corporate event? Well keep reading and you’ll find out!

What are the Common Expenses for a Corporate Event?

One of the first things you should do when planning a corporate event is to make a budget. Creating this budget will help you see exactly what you’ll need to make the event happen. It’s not only a budget but also a list of everything that needs to be done. It’s the foundation of your event. Let’s look at some of the most common expenses. 


The venue will most likely be your largest expense. You’ll need to look at capacity, inclusions, amenities, location, and staff when making your decision. For example, if you’re hiring a function centre in Sydney then consider parking. Do you need to organise shuttle buses for guests or valet? Never assume that anything is or isn’t included- ask questions. 

The venue and its inclusions will determine the rest of your budget. If food is included in the price, you can cross catering off your budget. Keep an eye out for any additional costs or fees. Be diligent and thorough when looking over the contract. 

Food and Beverage

If your chosen venue doesn’t provide food and drink, then you’ll need it in your budget. Luckily food is quite a flexible category. You can add or remove things based on cost. If you’re heading over budget, you can make some quick changes to the food. Most vendors will give you a price per guest. Don’t forget about staff, volunteers and the entertainment (they need to eat too!). 

Speakers and Entertainment

This will either be a small or large expense based on your requirements. For many corporate events, there will be a speaker of some kind. Plus, some music, which might mean hiring a DJ. Think about exactly what you will need and plan accordingly. Entertainment can make or break an event so if you need to spend a little more, go for it. You can always move things around in the budget to make space for important expenditures. 


Your venue may include some staff for general purposes. If you need more specific staff like registration staff, then don’t forget to include it in your budget. You will need to compensate them for travel, accommodation and food if required. 

Signage and Branding

Think about the vision and vibe of your event. What do you need in terms of signage and branding? It’s easy to overspend by forgetting small things like name tags or signs for the toilet. Think about the big picture and have a clear concept.


It’s always nice to receive a goody bag at the end of an event. After all, free stuff makes people happy! How much you spend on this is up to you. You can give everyone something small like a key chain or make an elaborate gift bag. You may give some people an individualised gift to say thank you (such as a keynote speaker or volunteer). Don’t forget about anyone, make sure they’re all in your budget. 

How do I Make a Budget for A Corporate Event?

When creating your budget decide what format works best for you. You can find plenty of templates online which you can customise to your needs. There is also lots of free event planning software. Or you can simply open up a spreadsheet and do it all yourself. If you decide on the latter don’t forget these crucial column headers:

  • Item name (e.g. Catering)
  • Item description – don’t be afraid to get detailed in this section
  • Projected expense – what you think it will cost (you can put quotes here)
  • Actual cost – how much it ends up costing
  • Paid – whether or not it’s been paid

If you’re working in a team, it’s a good idea to keep the budget in an online document that everyone can access. You may also like to have a printed version of your own which you can add notes to as things change. Here are some helpful tips when you make a budget:

  • Start early – it’s never too soon to make a budget for your event. It will keep stress to a minimum and give you a timeline. 
  • Get organised – keep a neat and detailed budget to avoid making mistakes. 
  • Review and update – budgets are living documents; they will inevitably change. Make sure you’re adding in the changes and constantly reviewing. This is very important if you’re working in a team. Everyone must be on the same page. 
  • Get multiple quotes – Don’t just agree to the first quote that comes in. Shop around and get the best deal. 
  • Plan for the unexpected – something will likely go off-track so have some leeway in your plan. An event will rarely go precisely as planned. So, leave some money in the budget to deal with any potential surprises..

Wrapping Up

The key to a successful corporate event is meticulous planning and attention to detail. Make a budget and use it- don’t just let it collect dust. It is one of your most vital tools in successful event planning. Spend your money wisely and where it counts. 

If you’re looking for a function centre in Sydney, then check out Navarra Venues. We have something for every occasion, give us a call today

enjoyed this article?

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop with all news related to weddings, lifestyle & events.