Virtual Event Budget - What To Include

Planning event budgets is a complex task, but it’s a whole different story when it comes to virtual events. You must be used to creating budgets and planning for in-person events, but how to plan and calculate numbers in the scope of virtual and online events?

This time around, things are very different due to the global pandemic and a shift from in-person to virtual dynamics. Social distancing has changes the game for the event industry; now, everyone is thinking about what will virtual management look like in 2020 and beyond? Technology has provided us a virtual event platform that is cost-effective and easier to host and attend. 

How to Plan Your Virtual Event Budget?

Hosting remote virtual events, instead of in-person events presents a learning curve for the event industry. A lot of things are absent, the ones you were used to, but there are new things to account for when planning a virtual event. So, if you are confused about planning the budget for your next online event, keep reading and possibly grab a pen and paper for notes. 

Virtual Event Budget – Basics

The key to creating a virtual event budget is to figure out all the parts of the event, including experiences and programs that may have additional costs. In the past, you had to consider every aspect of the event, including catering, venue selection, etc. Virtual Events might be misleading as one believes there are fewer things to include in a virtual setting. But don’t let it fool you!

Start with the basics of planning. Consider using a spreadsheet that allows for itemization and calculation. Include every single item of the event, including its details, and be mindful of the deadlines, to avoid extra charges. We recommend getting the help of corporate event management companies in Dubai to help you set up a successful online event and plan out all the details of your budget. 

Following are some of the basics that you should keep in mind when planning your virtual event budget:

  • List all the Items: List down all the items that may take some amount of your budget. Avoid jumping through hoops and be specific if you want an accurate budget. 
  • Description: Mentioning the name of the item will not be enough. To understand why items are necessary, you need to include the description of each item. 
  • Amount: Account for each item for the event and list their amounts so that you can cut down on expensive items.
  • Estimated Cost: There is a high possibility that you will not know the exact cost of every item, so write down an estimated cost that can be changed when you decide the kind of virtual event you need. 
  • Actual Cost: This is where you will input how much each item ended up costing. Keep this data of estimated vs. actual cost as a reference for future planning. 

Narrow down Available Platforms 

If you want to make sure your estimated costs are close to actual costs, you need to spend time researching all the available virtual event hosting platforms. When it comes to virtual event planning, technology is the number one thing to consider, as you don’t have to look for a venue or catering. 

Your virtual event platform will be your stage, your meeting rooms, breakouts, games, etc. Ask yourself these questions before picking a platform:

  • How long will the event be “live”?
  • How many attendees will be there?
  • How long do I want the site to remain active?
  • How many sessions are there in total?
  • What is my content type, is it video/slides, or audio/slides?
  • Is Playback live, Simulive, or on-demand?

Essential Things to Consider When Planning Virtual Event Budget

Following are some of the most important things to consider when are planning your virtual event budget:

1. Do I want to record the whole event? 

Recording your event might be the best option for you to generate an evergreen, high-quality event and make it available for people who could not attend the event live. If this is what you want, then consider the costs associated with it. 

2. Do I need sponsors?

Think whether you want sponsors and exhibitors in the event and how to incorporate them into your show. We recommend getting sponsors for your virtual event to make it more engaging and interesting. 

3. Do I need breakouts or small chat rooms?

Interaction and networking is the key to any event, be-it in-person, or online. You need to decide whether you want to recreate the experience of chat rooms or breakouts in your event so your attendees can interact in a casual space. 

4. What is my marketing strategy?

Just like a real-life event, virtual ones also need meticulous marketing to spread the word. You need to put effort into keeping people engaged before, during, and after the event. Before the event, you need to create a feeling of FOMO among the attendees. How will you do that? Think about whether you need social media campaigns and influencers, and how much will it cost?

Get in touch with an Event Production Company

Putting on a virtual event is not an easy thing, and planning an online event for the first time is terrifying and scary enough, especially for those who have no experience and idea where to begin! This is why you should contact an event production company, as they have previous experience, and know all the costs associated with planning. 

These event companies can give you sound advice on how to bring your virtual event to life and to pick the best technology for your experience to be successful and immersive. 

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