Once you’ve decided to organize an event, you’ll need to make a budget. To protect yourself from overspending, it’s important to remain conservative in your budget. Always include all of your potential expenses while underestimating your revenues. For example, it’s a good rule of thumb to budget only selling 60% of your tickets. For more information, please see our sample event budget.
As a presenter, you want your event to be a great success. Not only should the audience enjoy the show, you should also hopefully cover your expenses. With any luck, you’ll have also earned some extra cash to put towards another, equally successful, event in the future.
But where does the money come from?
Ticket sales are the main source of revenue for most performances. Finding the right price for your tickets is very important. Should you charge too much, you may lose out on sales; if you charge too little, your show may be perceived as amateur. A good strategy to price your ticket is to observe what others are charging for similar performances.
If you anticipate there will be high demand for the show, you may consider adding a second performance. Although this will increase your overall costs, some fees will only increase marginally, and you should be able to offset this with the extra revenue generated. Alternatively, you could arrange for the artist to host a workshop or master class while they are visiting, these are referred to as value-adding activities.
Partnerships with local organizations can be very beneficial for community groups looking to organize an event. Don’t get stuck in the belief that sponsorships must be a cash donation, get creative! Sponsors could donate all sorts of useful things that will decrease your costs, such as advertising, equipment, snacks or raffle items.
When approaching a business, be sure to come prepared with any information that could be important to them. These may include, but are not limited to, expected ticket sales, your target audience, the type of performance, and an explanation of how the business will benefit from the sponsorship partnership (advertising in program, goodwill, etc).
If it is permitted by the venue, sales of snacks and other merchandise can be a good way to offset the cost of a performance. These can be especially lucrative if you can convince a local business to provide the snacks for little or no cost. Raffles are more complicated because they require a permit, but can nonetheless be a fun way to raise some extra revenue. Information on obtaining raffle permits is available from the Regie des alcools, des courses et des jeux.
Applying for grants is a fantastic way to generate extra funds for your event. The following is a list of grants that community organizations may wish to consider. This list is not extensive; it is simply intended to be a starting point for presenters.
- Development of Official Languages Communities Program
- Canada Council for the Arts Literary Readings and Author Residencies Program
- Canadian Heritage Official Languages Support Program
- Human Resources and Skills Development Canada- New Horizons for Seniors
- Farm Credit Canada – FCC Expression Fund
- Canada Business Network
- Ministère de l’Education, du Loisir et du Sport / Ministère de la Culture et des Communications et la Condition féminine.
- Culture in the Schools Program
- Ministère de la Famille et des Ainés
- Quebec Regional Funding
- Pacte Rural
- Centres jeunesse
- Provincial MNAs
- Cultural Committees
- Corporations and Foundations
- Quebec- Labrador Foundation
- Townshippers Research and Cultural Foundation