Events can be expensive. And, often the person with all the great creative event ideas isn’t the one in charge of allocating the annual event budget. So, how do you go about asking for approval of your event budget?
The key is to communicate the real value of your proposed event for the company in a structured face-to-face meeting with the right person. This conversation can be daunting if you're not prepared, so we’ve got a few tips to ensure you succeed in acquiring approval of your ideal event budget.
What kind of financial position is the company in? How much did they spend on events last year? How many events are you proposing to host in the coming financial year? Know how much you absolutely need and have a back-up plan or secondary proposal if you find out from the get-go that the budget is extremely strict.
Do your research
Arm yourself with all the bits and pieces of the puzzle so you’re prepared for the conversation.
Examine the position of your company and anticipate your boss’ answer beforehand, so you can prepare a strong, actionable proposal.
How many events or offsite meetings does your company usually host annually? Is it enough? Or, are you proposing that the company invests a little more in their annual events calendar? Do you have a good idea of the attendee numbers for previous years? The answers to all these questions will help you formulate the bones of your proposal, and they’ll let your boss know that you’ve really put thought into your proposal.
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Approach the right person
Approach the decision maker in your company, but make sure you have a good established relationship. If you approach the WRONG person, even a perfectly laid out proposal may be rejected at the first hurdle. Assess the situation for yourself before making any moves, but if you have a much better relationship with your direct manager than the GM or HR manager, present your proposal to them first.
Tie your argument to business goals and outcomes
How will this spend help the company? What is the ROI? Can you prove, or convince the decision maker that a larger investment in business events and social functions will contribute to the bottom line? Remember that business events and functions help employees to feel loyal to the company, and employees who feel valued are likely to invest more time and effort into their work. Larger events may even attract new clients, and bring big business.
The decision maker is likely motivated by one thing: the success of the business. And, they may even be worried that events and functions will get in the way of this success. The important thing here is to shift their thinking, and communicate the real value of events for the success of the company.
Make it short and sweet. Be succinct.
You’re presenting this proposal to a decision maker, and they’re very busy. Make the conversation short and sweet, and make it count.
Start by communicating your understanding of the company's current event calendar, propose the ways that a meaty event budget will contribute to the bottom line, then end by reiterating your key points. Simple.
Be prepared for tough questions
We’ll warn you now. There WILL be questions. But, as long as you anticipate this fact you won’t be thrown off, or swayed from the main point of your proposal.
Expect something along these lines:
- Is this the right time to be spending money on events?
- Are we expecting to spend this much on events every year?
- Where is the real monetary value here?
Present with confidence
A confident proposal is a successful one. Speak with confidence and enthusiasm to show that the proposed spend is truly important for the health of the company.
If you receive questions, respectfully defend your proposal to show that you truly believe in the ideas you’re presenting.
Events are important for the health and well-being of a company. They’ll bring the team together, promote a healthy work life balance and let the team know they’re valued as part of a larger work community.
Communicate the positive impact of your proposed event, and receive your ideal budget, then let the event planning fun ensue!
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