Virtual Event Budgets: Expenses to Expect

Photo by Nick Hirschmann, onsite at Production World.

UPDATE on March 17th! We have added/updated two sections below, #4 and #5, to help you even more!

Do virtual events have the same expenses as a live event? Do virtual events cost more to produce than live events? And the most common question we get asked, “Does your event management fee include the event platform and AV costs?”

There is a lot of uncertainty around what to expect when budgeting for a virtual event and where to start. The five main expense buckets that are quite typical for most virtual events are:

1. Event Management Fee:
The cost for your event and project management professional. An important reminder is to be sure to confirm pre-event, day of event, and post-event services required.

2. Virtual Event Platform:
The cost of your chosen virtual event platform, which may or may not include additional fees for certain thresholds of attendees, registration services, add ons, etc. An important reminder: don’t forget to note the currency!

3. AV Services:
The cost for AV support, Zoom/Vimeo/etc. live streaming services and licenses if needed, event recording, presentation pre-recordings, production support, technical staff for the event, presentation stages or studio spaces, equipment, etc.

4. Speakers, Entertainment, Experiential, and Professional Fees:
Examples of these expenses might include graphic design, videography if shooting footage behind the scenes, entertainment, speakers, speaker-related expenses, experiential home delivery packages, etc.

Please note that if your event has a lot of speakers or special guests, we suggest having these expenses broken out into their own section. The same methodology would apply if you have a lot of performances or entertainment. This section can be broken out further depending on the type of virtual event.

5. Contingency Funds and Miscellaneous:
Don’t forget to set aside a minimum of 5% of your overall event budget as contingency funds to cover any miscellaneous or unforeseen expenses.

Hopefully, this breakdown will help to get you started and feel more confident working with virtual event budgets. If you ever have any questions, including what services your event professional should provide when planning a virtual event, don’t hesitate to reach out!

– Your Tycoon, Eryne XO