10 Budget Considerations for Outdoor Events

Hamilton Hamilton

An event budget serves as a roadmap for critical aspects of your event. Creating and sticking to a budget may not be the most enjoyable or exhilarating part of the event creation process, but it is paramount to your event’s success. Understanding finances allows you to save time and maximize resources. Many components of event budget management remain the same, but certain events warrant specific discussions. In this guide, we closely examine the budget considerations for outdoor events. 

1. Venue Costs

Outdoor venues vary widely, and the cost of venue rental will drastically differ depending on the site you choose for your event. Outdoor events are unique because they may allow companies to reduce venue costs if that is the goal. Still, there are also plenty of elaborate and costly outdoor venues available. For example, if you are running a mobile marketing tour and want to arrange an event in a parking lot, the cost of the venue rental could be next to nothing. On the other hand, if you want to hold an event at a botanical garden in a major city, the venue rental may require a more significant portion of your budget.  

2. Permits, Licenses, and Insurance

Outdoor events commonly require permits or licenses from local authorities. Depending on the nature of the event, the requirements may include permits for the use of public spaces, noise permits, liquor licenses, health and safety permits, and more. It is essential to research the specific requirements for the location of your event. You should also understand any associated area fees and relevant deadlines. Additionally, liability insurance coverage is vital to protect against unexpected damages or accidents. 

3. Infrastructure and Equipment  

Depending on your event and venue offerings, you may need to rent or purchase infrastructure and equipment such as tents, stages, furniture, lighting, sound systems, generators, portable restrooms, signage, fencing, and more. Importantly, the rental cost is one of many items you must cover, including delivery charges and setup and installation fees. 

4. Food and Beverages 

If you plan to serve food and beverages at your event, it is crucial to consider the number of people attending. Consider the purpose of your event and determine the scope of your menu. Evaluating the associated costs for delivering, preparing, serving, breaking down, and cleaning up the refreshments after the event is also essential. 

5. Staffing

Whether you staff your event with current employees or hire temporary event staff, you must factor in staff wages and tips to your event budget. Determine the number of staff required to make your event a success, and consider the staffing needs before, during, and after the event. 

6. Architecture and Design

The architecture and design elements include physical components built or rented to bring the event to life. Event architecture and design typically comprise significant portions of indoor event budgets, but your outdoor event may not have costs associated with these elements. For example, if your outdoor event is held at a golf course and centers around a golf tournament, there are usually zero costs for architecture. 

7. Production 

If your event includes demonstrations, speakers, performers, or entertainment, your budget must have line items for talent fees and production expenses. It is also essential to factor in the potential costs associated with rehearsals, accommodations, and any other specific requirements of special guests. 

8. Marketing and PR

Event marketing and promotion often take up a lot of the event budget. Event marketing and advertising are crucial to the success of your event. The line items should include the strategy development, design, creation, and distribution of marketing materials and campaigns. It must also cover resources to sustain the event buzz after the point-in-time activities. 

9. Travel and Accommodations 

If your company or any VIP guests need to travel for the event, incorporate the cost of travel into your budget. Travel costs should contain airfare, car rentals, accommodations, and other perks to make the experience worthwhile. 

10. Contingency Fund 

Lastly, your outdoor event budget must include a contingency fund. Unexpected expenses will inevitably arise, and preparing to cover them is crucial. A best practice is to allocate 15-20% of your budget to the contingency fund to address unforeseen needs without impacting the rest of the event. 

To get expert help with your next outdoor event, contact Hamilton today!