Event Operations

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Event Operations

Budgeting

One of the most important documents for an event director - in addition to a production timeline - is a thorough budget. One of the biggest mistakes that an event director can make is not making a budget that drills down deeply enough, overlooks major line items, or over estimates revenue. A good budget will help you avoid unpleasant surprises when it’s time to get out the checkbook and hopefully leave a little something in your coffers.

When budgeting for your event, be ready to go in and revise your numbers periodically to make sure your projected revenue remains greater than your expenses.  

Be realistic. 

If other similar events in your region attract 200 participants, then make sure you budget similarly – unless you have historical data that backs up greater numbers.

Look carefully at what your goals for the event are. If you want the greatest, grandest flyover in all of the land at your cross race, make sure you consider everything that would contribute to the expense of that item: materials, design, branding materials to cover it, does your city or town require structural drawings? do you have to pay for a safety inspection? 

Revise as you go. If your initial estimates for event participation was based on 200 riders and you realize that you’re looking at 800 instead, this will impact a number of your costs as well as increasing your revenue. You will need more porta-potties and perhaps larger tent space. You may need to increase your volunteer count and thus need more volunteer food and swag. In other words, make sure you are thinking about updating both revenue and expenses together.

When making your budget, get multiple estimates or bids. Talk to a few vendors for each service you need. Don’t use the first tent vendor you talk to. Look for creative alternatives. 

For example, inquire with your sports commission about using a local off-duty police service for traffic management and security instead of on-duty officers. That can make a huge difference in cost savings, if it’s an option. Do they know of organizations that provide on-site medical services for a donation perhaps? Or local hospitals that like to sponsor sporting events?

Your local sports commission is actively involved in a lot of events. Use them for references for both cost savings and quality.

Rely on USA Cycling too! If you are unsure of how many officials you will need, work with your Regional Manager or our Technical Staff to review and optimize your race day schedule. Our team has tons of experience reviewing schedules and finding ways to optimize the day. In turn, we can help you manage your officiating expenses in terms of number of officials needed and even help build a schedule that would help you paying over time. We want to help your event succeed!