The Complete Guide to Event Planning on a Budget

First and foremost, you need to know your costs before starting anything.

The basics are laid out in the list below:


  • Rental Space
  • Security Deposit
  • Insurance
  • Parking Passes


  • Catering
  • Types of meals to consider (steak, vegetarian, vegan)
  • Beverages and Alcohol
  • Bartending Fees
  • Labor Fees
  • Gratuity fees

Music and Audio

  • Dj
  • Microphone Rentals
  • Wifi Access
  • Specialty Equipment (speakers, set-ups)


  • Tables and chairs
  • Tents
  • Staging
  • Delivery and labor for setup and teardown


  • Props
  • Flowers
  • Lighting
  • Decoration
  • Themes
  • Party Favors


  • Invitations
  • Registration
  • Advertisements
  • Campaigns


  • Travel time
  • Employees Compensation
  • Office Supplies
  • Accounting




Ticket add-ons to increase your ROI

Ticket add-ons are a great way to sell merchandise,
food or drink tickets in advance.
Plus, gives you a boost to your budget!


Know your budget before you start spending

Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to create a budget to be your guide along your event planning journey.

Create a spreadsheet outlining all your costs, what you can spend on each item and add that to your total budget.

This budget sheet is your guideline and negotiation points when discussing costs with each vendor.

When your event has ended, you can return to your budget sheet and see if you exceeded your budget or not to help plan for expenses next year.


Go digital to cut costs

Going digital cuts down your costs substantially!

Electronic ads, newsletters, registration, and e-blasts reduces your use of print and keeps you organized.

You can even encourage your customers to participate in print-at-home tickets or using their smartphones to cut down costs on printing tickets for registration.


Start your planning early

Give yourself enough time to search out the perfect venue, catering, , etc. to compare prices and get the best option for you! Booking anything early is the best way to save money!

Most places offer an incentive to book soon such as “early bird discounts,” and by doing so, you’ll also have a wide selection to choose from with open availability before it’s too late.


Utilize free marketing tool

Because we are such a digital world, there are so many free options online to start marketing your event.

Social media scheduling, real-time analytics, websites, pop up tools, survey generations, email marketing, newsletters, blogging and so much more.

Here is a list of favorite marketing tools that are entirely free brought to you by Buffer.


Use volunteers and interns to save money on staff

There are plenty of people out there looking for experience, to grow their resume or community service by working volunteer events.

I can almost guarantee you won't have a problem finding volunteers to help out with registration, or internships looking for marketing and event planning experience.

Give college credit, references or free passes to your event, and you won’t have a problem finding extra hands to help out.


Reach out to sponsors

SponsorMyEvent and are just a few of the places you can post your event to get a sponsor to help with costs.

Promise a few advertisements or promotions during the event, mention them on your website, registration or pass out fliers ... whatever it is, it's easy to get a sponsor and a quick way to minimize your spending.



Start with saving money on your registration

If you're hosting a free/RSVP event, Purplepass
is also free to use. If your event is paid, our services 
won't break the budget. 

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