You’ve heard it a few times by now: meetings matter. So does the meeting budget. A lot. If you’re not already putting your budget under a magnifying glass, this checklist will help.
Establish the meeting’s financial objective: to make a profit, break even, or sustain a loss.
Develop a meeting budget by identifying and anticipating expenses and income.
□ Review financial history for a recurring meeting.
□ Research meetings of similar size and scope for a first-time meeting.
□ Calculate each line item as a percentage of the overall budget.
Create a functional expense budget by categorizing all expenses.
□ List all possible expenses.
□ Obtain reasonable estimates from all suppliers.
□ Predict future costs by estimating and figuring potential inflation increases.
□ Categorize expenses as fixed costs, variable costs or indirect costs.
Create a functional income (or revenue) budget by categorizing all income by function.
□ Include all income generating areas.
□ Project income line items based on history.
□ Calculate income areas based on contractual specifications, history, pricing policies.
Review income and expense budgets to see if financial objectives are being met.
Review the budget and the meeting’s financial situation continuously using actual registration figures.
□ Input actual figures on a regular basis.
□ Produce regular income statements (profit and loss statements) to compare actual figures with budgeted figures.
□ Produce spreadsheet control reports showing anticipated income and expenses by month and keep track of changes.
Implement a formal process for making changes to the original budget when they are needed.
□ Financial Performance Evaluation
□ Review and analyze actual financial performance after the meeting.
□ Confirm or change financial philosophies for future meetings based on this final review.
Checklist provided courtesy of the Professional Conference Management Association (PCMA).