Many times when we are approached by event creatives or clients, they’re looking to get an idea of what they are looking to do is going to cost.
Sometimes it’s tough to give an accurate estimate because there isn’t enough information in order for us to draw the proper conclusion.

Today I’m going to layout a few things to take into consideration when budgeting for your light, sound and video design needs for your event.

How people get it wrong.

In cases where a budget gets in the way of a project being completed the way the client is requesting, I find that the client is trying to squeeze their into their budget rather than taking a step back and prioritizing the different parts of their event.

They’ll focus solely on the elements that they want to see and don’t realize how important other factors like scheduling and the installation of the selected elements.

The biggest part of cost to consider these days is labor. We spend more on labor because of adjustments to last minute event schedule changes or incorrect event/venue specs. Not planning accurately can have a significant impact on the final cost for your project.

What you can do about it.

Information. Information. Information.

In my opinion the best way to get an accurate estimate that doesn’t change much at the end of your event is to provide as much information about the project upfront as possible. Details that might seem insignificant at that time could be very important. Think specifically about loading times, event schedules, setup, breakdown, and of course the location.

There are a lot of venues and locations in New York that have very tight restrictions on the turnaround time, they have restrictions on the union labor versus the standard labor. There are many things that can come out of the closet at the last minute and you find yourself shuffling to decide what are you gonna do in this situation.

One example I can think of was when we worked on a project were we spent time budgeting with the client where we were supposed to begin setup at 6 AM. The client called back and requested we begin at 4 AM instead not realizing the labor numbers that we supplied are going be incorrect because we have a different labor schedule for people if we start at 6AM as opposed to starting at 4AM or overnight.

Same thing for the breakdown. If you’re planning to break something down the same night of the event, you might want to think about what’s the difference in cost of the venue for the next day as opposed to the labor cost of the overtime labor breakdown. Because again, once you start working at midnight you’re gonna have these challenges of cost for all different things that are associated with it.

Early in the process, put your budget together for the worst case scenario. This ensure that if you’re not sure what time your setup is will be, what the breakdown will be, when the changes on the room will happened or the band will begin to play. Whatever the different variables are – you can plan for the higher side so you’ll think “Ok, we’re gonna start at 6AM but if we have to adjust we’re still ok.”

Estimate on the higher side and that way it’s easier to make adjustments at the later stages of your project and flexibility to lower the budget as opposed to raising it.

Hopefully that was very helpful. If you have a project that we’re working on and you want some guidance where you just wanted to get an idea about something that you’re having the works, please feel free to contact us at Levy NYC. We have a very strong and dedicated team that can help you solve your problems and answer your questions. You can reach us at 212-925-4640 or . Thank you.