Page 1

2014/15 edition

Event Budgeting

Contents 02 03 04 06 07 08 09 10 12 13 14


Contents Frequently Asked Questions Introduction Event Budget Approval Process How do we access risk? What requirements can be insisted upon? Setting up your event budget Expenditure Income Breakeven Analysis and submitting your budget Appendix One - Help and Assistance

Tell us what you think of this training publication Š 2014 Imperial College Union Version 1 - 2 June 2014


Event Budgeting 2014/15

This manual will:




Explain how to use the event budgeting functions in eActivities

Assist volunteers to understand and record fixed and variable expenditure, as well as fixed and variable income

Support volunteers to plan budgets to ensure events do not run at a loss

Frequently Asked Questions When am I required to submit an event budget? Refer to pages 5

What is the difference between the fixed and variable expenditure Refer to pages 10 and 11

What is the difference between the fixed and variable income? Refer to page 12

Event Budgeting 2014/15


Introduction The purpose of an event budget is to provide guidance for the structure and planning of an event, with particular emphasis on the financial viability of events. Event budgets are useful as an accurate (as possible) guide to the outcome of your event, whether it will make a profit, loss or break even. Event budgets are typically used for activities outside of the regularly occurring activities of your Club, Society or Project. It is important to do some research on your event in regards to its viability; do people want to attend? Is it something that has a history of being successful or something that has previously failed to preform to expectations? As a general rule of thumb ideally events should make a profit or break even. Losses can be incurred with events and as a result it is important to be as realistic as possible in your planning. Don’t be over-enthusiastic with numbers attending your event as this can lead to problems. Always try to go with the lowest number of expected income and attendance for events and work from this point as a break even. It is important to not make the mistake of associating event budgets with limited specific examples, event budgets are to be used for ALL events where expenditure over £20 is incurred. Every group can potentially run an event that will require an event budget to be submitted. These events can vary vastly, ranging from bar nights and sporting competitions to the performance of a play. If you are planning an event over a number of consecutive nights is it important to budget for the event as a whole, not individual nights. Often you will find that to run an event your Club, Society or Project may need to run into a short term negative financial position. Don’t be too concerned; this is a very regular occurrence, as often you will be required to make expenditure before recouping the costs through the event income. If you have budgeted sensibly you will be able to recoup the cost and run your event to break even or make a profit. If your group has sufficient funds, it is acceptable to run an event at a loss in some circumstances. However, it is important to be aware of the impact this may have on your groups’s financial position and members. You must not use Club, Society or Project funds to run events at the detriment of the group’s ability to carry out its core activities. If you intend to run an event at a loss, you must provide an explanation (in the notes section of the event budget form). You should also be prepared to be questioned about it by those authorising the budget.


Event Budgeting 2014/15


It is important to submit a budget in sufficient time before preparing for an event to allow for modifications to the budget and discussion between those organising the event and those who authorise the budget. You cannot carry out any serious planning (in terms of actual expenditure or contractual commitments) without having the event budget fully approved. When planning events with external venues, they will typically require an event contract. This must be signed by the Deputy President (Finance & Services). You cannot sign contracts yourself. If your event is not going to plan, don’t panic! The Union is here to help you. If you are concerned about your event and have made commitments in regards to it please contact the Deputy President (Finance & Services) as soon as possible.

Need help? Having read this training manual, if you have finance related questions or need any help, support or advice relating to your Club, Society or Projects finances, your first port of call should be your Management Group Chair or Treasurer. A contact list is provided in Appendix One – Help and Assistance. If they are unable to assist you, please contact the Deputy President (Finance & Services).

Event Budgeting 2014/15


Event Budget Approval Process All events with expenditure over £500 must complete an event budget. For events under £1,000 expenditure only Management Group approval for the budget is required. Management Groups may ask to meet about a budget but there is no requirement for them to do so. For all events above £1,000 expenditure, a Deputy President must also approve the budget. The club must have a meeting with a consultative group consisting 1 staff member and 1 sabbatical officer drawn from the following list: AA Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) AA Deputy President (Finance & Services) AA Membership Services Manager AA Student Activities Coordinator AA Student Activities Manager


Event Budgeting 2014/15

For this meeting clubs should prepare their event budget and also a short proposal outlining the aims of their event, and the details of how they intend to run it. Additionally events over £10,000 must be approved by the Executive Committee. They are first reviewed in a meeting as with all events above £1,000 before being passed on with comments to the Head of Finance. The Head of Finance will then pass the budget on to the Executive Committee with recommendations for them to make a decision, or alternatively where there are significant concerns refer the decision to the Finance & Risk Committee.

How do we access risk? The following criteria are taken into consideration in the event approval process. You should take these into account when writing up your proposal and preparing for the meeting: AA Experience; of the Committee as a whole and the individual event organisers, whether this is experience from running the event before, being on the Committee in previous years, or experience in running other clubs. AA Past budgets and issues; did the event make a profit in the past? What issues and problems arose, and have any remedial actions been taken to ensure no repeat? AA External changes; are there any new rules or regulations that will prevent the event running as it has done in the past? For example, new room booking charges or restrictions. AA SGI and general club finances; does the club have the capacity for absorbing any financial losses incurred? Financially risky events may be worth the risk if the loss can be covered. Running an event at a loss may also be an option where there is a sustainable method for covering the loss incurred. The % of turnover of the club that a loss represents should be taken into account here. AA Partnerships; are there partnerships that can be utilised to increase revenues or share financial risks? Equally is there risk of damaging a partnership if there is a financial loss?

AA Risk Assessment; has a risk assessment been undertaken for the event? Is there a likelihood that compensation may be required in case of risks ensuing? AA Contracts; have sponsorship contracts been signed and the income secured? Are there cancellation charges, hidden fees, minimum charges, or deposits in venue contracts that need to be factored in to the budget? AA Reputation; what are the reputational risks that the event could entail? Equally, what are the negative reputational risks that we run in not allowing an event to proceed. Will these have a positive or negative financial impact on the club and/or Union.

Event Budgeting 2014/15


What requirements can be insisted upon? Extra requirements that can be placed on events before they are approved include: AA A publicity plan. AA A Gantt Chart which shows the timeline of the key processes and which demonstrates at what point it is still possible to abort without losing money. AA Regular scheduled meetings with staff and officers to monitor and record progress. AA A risk assessment. AA The need to collaborate on the event with an internal or external organisation. AA Securing the income before any expenditure is committed. AA A realistic plan for how the maximum projected loss could be covered. AA Extra insurance cover.


Event Budgeting 2014/15

AA Cash handling procedures which may include a requirement to only sell tickets online. AA Clubs may be asked to reduce their expenditure through methods including: AA Using a cheaper venue or supplier. AA Negotiating a better contract. AA Eliminating non-core costs. AA Sharing the costs with other groups through economies of scale. AA Clubs may be asked to increase their income through: AA Securing sponsorship. AA Increasing ticket prices. AA Charging non-members a higher price. AA Securing donations from members and alumni.

Setting up your event budget

1 Go to eActivities > Login > Finance > Budgets > Event Budgets > New Submission 2 Fill in Event Name, Venue, Event Date and expected number of Attendees (go with the lowest possible number) 3 Then, enter income and expenditure details to view a summary of your budget, including any profit or loss

Event Budgeting 2014/15


Expenditure Fixed Expenditure Fixed Expenditure is that which you have to spend, regardless of how many people come to the event. For items such as programmes, you still need to order these before you know the numbers who will be attending, so it is still considered as fixed expenditure. Examples of fixed expenditure include venue hire, lighting, sound, ticket booklets, DJ and other entertainments, decorations, publicity materials, stewards, costumes, set/staging, make-up, programmes etc. Select the Event Expenditure tab, then Fixed Expenditure. For each item of expenditure, complete the description, the account code, the unit price, the number of units you are expecting to purchase and the appropriate VAT code. The VAT and Net amounts are automatically calculated.

1 Go to eActivities > Login > Finance > Budgets > Event Budgets > Event Expenditure > Fixed Expenditure 2 Fill in the description, account code, unit price, number of units and VAT code for each line of expenditure


Event Budgeting 2014/15


Variable Expenditure This is expenditure that depends on the number of attendees and is for items which you can order once you know how many tickets you have sold. Examples of variable expenditure include food, drinks, entry fees, accommodation etc. Select the Event Expenditure tab, then Variable Expenditure. For each item of expenditure, complete the description, the account code, the unit price, the number of units you are expecting to purchase and the appropriate VAT code. The total amounts are calculated by using the number of expected attendees which you have previously entered. The VAT and Net amounts are automatically calculated.

1 Go to eActivities > Login > Finance > Budgets > Event Budgets > Event Expenditure > Variable Expenditure 2 Fill in the description, account code, unit price, number of units and VAT code for each line of expenditure

Event Budgeting 2014/15


Income Fixed Income This is income that you will definitely get as long as the event goes ahead, such as sponsorship, donations and contributions from your Self Generated Income (SGI). You are allowed to use funds in your SGI to contribute to an event’s costs. Select the Event Income tab, then Fixed Income and complete this in the same manner as for Fixed Expenditure.

Variable Income This is income that varies with attendance such as ticket sales. Other variable income could include number of programmes sold, shirts, drinks etc. Select the Event Income tab, then Variable Income and complete this in the same manner as for Variable Expenditure.


Event Budgeting 2014/15

Breakeven analysis & submitting your budget

By navigating to the Final Overview tab you can view a summary of all the income and expenditure for your event and the breakeven analysis. The Profit/Loss section shows the expected profit or loss your event will make depending on the number of attendees. If the number is in RED then it means the event will make a loss if you only get those number of ticket sales (indicated on the left hand side).

1 Go to eActivities > Login > Finance > Budgets > Event Budgets > Final Overview 2 Review budget, particularly your Breakeven Number - it shows the number of ticket sales you need so that your budget balances

Event Budgeting 2014/15


Breakeven analysis

Your Breakeven Number is the one you are concerned with. This shows the number of ticket sales needed so that your expenditures and incomes balance. Any more sales than this will mean a profit for your Club, Society or Project. This is the first number where the Profit/Loss column gives a positive number, in the example below 120 attendees. Important: if your event makes a loss and your Club, Society or Project goes into debt, your group will have to pay it back and will be prevented from doing some activities until steps are made to pay back the debt - so do not make a loss with your event! Once you have finished adding items to the event budget you will be able to vary the attendance numbers and see how this affects your profit or loss by changing the number in the attendees box. When you are happy with the numbers you have entered in the event budget press the Commit button. The budget will then be reviewed by the necessary student officers and you will receive an email when it is fully approved.

Appendix One - Help & Assistance Contacts Alex Savell Deputy President (Finance & Services) 020 7594 8060, extension 58062

Alex is the Sabbatical responsible for finances. He is also responsible for approving all expenditure over ÂŁ1000.

Abigail de Bruin Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) 020 7594 1763, extension 41763

Abi is the lead Sabbatical for nonfinancial matters for Clubs, Societies & Projects.

Ally Cott Systems Coordinator 020 7594 6412, extension 46412

Ally is responsible for eActivities, speak to him if you discover an error with the system, he cannot help with financial content queries.

Malcolm Martin Head of Finance 020 7594 8069, extension 48069

Malcolm is the lead finance staff member. He can help with complicated finance queries.


Event Budgeting 2014/15

Appendix One

Management Group Contacts These are all volunteer positions carried out by students.

Group Chair



Oliver Benton

Jasper Stassen & Mohammad Ali Shahadat


Jonathan McNaught

Rachael Fletcher


Michael Chung

Huong Vu


Timothy Munday

Dmitri Ivanov


Nida Mahmud

ICSMSU Maredudd Harris

Alex Compton


Cem Hurrell

Kunal Wagle


Soo Hong

Shengze Wang


Benjamin Fernando


Richard Cameron

Benjamin Howitt


Serena Yuen

James Badman


Benjamin Warnick

Matthew Pike


Tom Rivlin

Soo Hong


Shorok Mombrikotb & Claire Bankier

Samuel Lloyd

Event Budgeting 2014/15


Imperial College Union Beit Quadrangle Prince Consort Road London SW7 2BB Registered Charity No: 1151241

Tel: 020 7594 8060 Fax: 020 7594 8065 Email: Twitter: @icunion

Event budgeting 2614