The economic crisis coupled with the months-long, ongoing GSA scandal have led many organizations to cut event budgets in an attempt to appear frugal and fiscally responsible. 

This is shortsighted. The question organizations should ask themselves is not simply “how can we spend less?” but “how do we spend intelligently?” This means weighing expenses against the event goals and objectives and the value or experience you are trying to create for guests.

A budget is dependent in part on market prices, including labor and transportation costs, which vary from one city or one country to another, but analysis of the value added by each event component also is critical.

An event with a clear set of objectives and goals that support the organizational mission can more easily demonstrate – and hence justify -expenses that support and promote those objectives and goals.

The GSA scandal involved abuse and disregard of purchasing regulations and industry practices, and should not overshadow an important budgetary exercise that should be taking place at the onset of each and every event, regardless of how large or small the event budget – namely, how do the expenses further our mission.

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