Tools to create your dream conference

Money, Money, Money: Developing a Budget for Your Conference

�Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.� - A. A. Latimer

Your budget is a key tool for decision making, controlling expenditure, negotiating with suppliers and determining your return on investment.

Developing a good budget will help you determine your registration fee. Download our registration fee calculator to help you determine your budget and registration fees.

Ten Steps to Develop a Good Budget:

  1. Do your research: Get the budget and conference proceedings from previous years and use this information to work out what should be included in your budget.
  2. Determine your expected attendance: This is a critical element in your budget. As a general rule forecast low and never budget for more people than attended last year.
  3. Determine your variable costs: These include expenses that change according to the number of attendees (e.g. meals, name badges).
  4. Determine your fixed costs: Fixed costs include expenses that are not affected by the number of attendees (e.g. Keynote speaker, rentals, telephone).
  5. Look for hidden costs: Check all your line items for hidden costs such as taxes and gratuities.
  6. Be cautious: Review your budget and round all your cost estimates up.
  7. Forecast your revenue: Forecast revenue from sponsorships, donations and advertising. Estimate low and use last year''s budget as a guide.
  8. Determine your breakeven number: Your breakeven number is the amount of revenue required to pay all your fixed costs, minus your revenue from sponsorship.
  9. Calculate registration fees: Your cost per person is your breakeven number, divided by the number of attendees plus the variable fees.

    Cost per person = All fixed costs � Revenue from sponsorship/donations
                                                                            Expected number of attendees
  10. Review your budget: If you registration fees are too high review your budget with respect to the meeting''s goals and objectives. Which of your budget items are "must haves� rather than "nice to have".

Click here for a download of Conference Manager�s Registration Fee Calculator

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