Creating a realistic budget is an essential component of all successful events. Costs can add up at a frightening speed, and uncontrollable expenses have capsized many potentially successful occasions. Budgeting is one of the most critical aspects of event planning, less fun than the artistic and creative side of the profession, but often one of the hardest and most essential elements to get right. Here are 5 ways to take hold of your budget and have a successful event! 1. Set the budget. Research is the first phase of setting the budget. Your goal is to be as aware as possible of as many of the current costs as possible. Once you are aware of the typical cost of what's associated with the event, you can effectively plan. 2. Who is paying, and what do the additional funder expect? When an event has multiple funders, you must identify the goals and desires of the donors in order to provide a first-rate event. You'll be able to arrive at some consensus as to the type of event desired, the budget and the expectations of all concerned. 3. Setting Budget Priorities. When arriving at a workable budget for an event, separate all the various components that need to be accomplished. Set priority levels to all of the elements and assign approximate costs. If the budget is tight, you can then be sure to prioritize your client's most important needs by cutting the "nice to haves." 4. Raising Additional Funding. Sometimes, cutting costs may not be enough. There may be no easy way to trim expenses any further. However, additional funding such as sponsors, ticket sales, brochure advertisements, etc. will increase your budget. 5. Cost Factors. Having a good sense of all the components and how they affect the overall budget will help you decide what to keep and what to leave out. The number of guests who attend is a major component and the most common way to control cost. Components such as catering, alcohol, decorations, and entertainment are other ways to reduce the budget without changing the purpose of the event. Your primary job as a first-class event planner will be to find creative solutions to difficult problems!