Assignment: The Client Budget
Staying on budget is critical both in maintaining the event planner’s reputation and in allowing the event planner to stay in business. Budgeting includes not only budgeting for all the costs involved with an event but also including the independent event planner’s payment to themselves for their services. Allowing a percentage contingency is also a good idea for the unexpected issues that might surface during production.
The Progressive Auto Products Company, located in Detroit, Michigan, is a relatively new company launching their third product in May. Their third product is a windshield that gets progressively darker or lighter depending on the light conditions that are registered through light sensors on the glass (somewhat similar to eyeglass lenses) and based on state automobile windshield laws. They have contracted you as an independent event planner to produce this launch event with a total budget of $400,000 for the 2-day event ($200,000 for each day).
Friday: They want to have a launch event on Friday evening beginning with a reception that is not too loud for 1,000 attendees. The reception will last 3 hours, beginning at 6:00 p.m. They also want to showcase a car on a revolving stage with a spokesperson giving demonstrations using commercial lighting lamps to highlight the adaptive capabilities of their new windshield. There should be substantial hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar as well as decor to match with the theme you selected for the event. There will be a need for security guards, traffic and parking lot coordination, and personnel to staff the event.
Saturday: The event will continue on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with the same number of attendees. This event will be hosted at the local race track with a famous race-car driver demonstrating and commenting on the car’s new windshield and providing autographs. A skywriter will be hired to put the company logo in the sky above the racetrack in the company colors. There will also be demonstrations on the safety of the glass, a children’s area with rides and staff, and hamburgers and hotdogs with beans, salad, pie, and soft drinks, along with a popular band playing songs in the background.
Provide a prospective budget for either the Friday or Saturday event. Your client works in the finance world and will be questioning every budget item. Therefore, even though you have a large budget to work with, make sure you have examined each item and provided realistic and reasonable costs. You will not want to quote the highest price on any item without substantial reasoning.
- On Tab 1: Narrative, write a short (2- to 3-paragraph minimum) narrative on the theme and overall budget for either the Friday night or Saturday event (be sure to specify which event you chose). Remember to explain how you met the client’s needs while you maintained the budget. For example, if you chose the Friday event, make sure to explain audiovisual, staffing, and engagement needs, and for Saturday, please note the types of rides for the children. Put all the expenses on Tab 2. On Tab 3, provide the sources.
- Submit the completed Launch Budget Spreadsheet below to the Dropbox based on your choice of either the Friday or Saturday event. Feel free to add or modify any part of the spreadsheet to best fit your event.
Note: If you find your costs are too high, try providing a slightly different version of what the client wants.
Access the Launch Budget Spreadsheet template.
Disclaimer: The organization and characters depicted in this exercise are fictional. Any resemblance to real organizations or individuals is purely coincidental.