Expenses outline what is needed in order to produce a successful meeting. Once you have the Expenses and the anticipated Revenue… you may have more money available to add enhancements or you may have to look for areas to cut back... One of two things will happen - depending on what motivates your potential participants
If they are motivated by education and content, then the quality of the speakers will be high on their priority list and the destination plays a minimal role in their decision to participate. • If they are destination oriented , a good destination may increase both delegate and spouse attendance and while speakers still play a role, location may tip the decision to participate.
Revenue Considerations: It is important to look for ALL sources of income… • registration, members/ non-member rates; delegates/guest; • exhibits; sponsorship; advertising; • grants; material sales; tickets sales • investments. Look at past history for guidance, keeping in mind difference destinations incur different interests by the potential participants. Make sure you consider all potential sources of revenue BUT be conservative!!!
Expense Considerations: Make sure everything is included because the little things can kill you! • Actual current costs can be obtained easily from suppliers. However, when planning well in advance - add a percentage to the current price for inflation. Use historical data to predict future costs adding cost of inflation • Include a contingency fund for cancellation/attrition; admin charges - bank fees (credit card charges) insurance; committee planning meetings; site visits; comp registrations; overhead; temp staff, etc. Remember where you are going as, in some destinations, food and beverage, technical charges, etc. may be higher and provincial tax rates vary.
Now you have your expenses and revenue decide if they are close to your financial objectives. Decide if they work or if you need to shave in areas. History can tell you if one particular area (Food and Beverage or technical or whatever) is exceptionally high This becomes an area where cut backs might have to be considered. You might also show more surplus than you should. If you are asked to break even on a meeting, a surplus of $65,000 may not be acceptable. In that case you might be able to add program enhancements or reduce registration fees
Regardless of the philosophy your organization or client might have, they are important considerations when developing your meeting’s budget.