How to Ask Your Boss for a Team Events Budget

Your team has been working hard & hitting goals, so you want to reward them with a fun team event. You have looked into a variety of activities and are excited to celebrate. Now, you need management buy-in to receive a budget for your event. Here are some tips for getting the green light. 

Visualize Your Event

Your first step is to flush out the high-level event details on paper. Take time to visualize what the ideal event will be. What is the purpose of this event? Will this be a virtual event? Will you require an event space? What feel do you want to curate for the team? Outline your ideal event on paper and know it well enough to present it to management for budget approval.

Tie Event Goals to Company Objectives

Many companies aim to live by their mission and core values. Another way to receive a budget for your team event is to showcase how your event helps your team do just that.

Perhaps your company is committed to supporting small businesses or highlighting stories from the LGBTQ+ community. Select vendors and activities that directly reflect these commitments. Not only will you help your company achieve its mission, but you will also show up as a thoughtful leader and planner of inclusive team events.

Align Your Event to Your Company’s Core Values

Once you have a clear picture of how the event could turn out, set goals and KPIs to measure its success.

For many, team events are meant to improve employee morale, engagement, and, ultimately, employee retention. Consider associating these long-term KPIs with leading indicators like event attendance or positive post-event survey responses. 

To really drive home your event’s value and justify a healthy budget, align your event goals with your company’s overall goals. For example, say a company goal is to increase sales efficiency by 15%. To support that goal, your Sales Team might invest in peer-to-peer coaching. So, one event goal might be to deepen bonds amongst the Sales Team, measured by a team participation percentage. 

Directly aligning your event to clear goals & company objectives is a great way to secure a budget for your event.

Breakdown Your Budget

With clearly defined goals, you can start laying out your major expenses. 

Write down the elements you need to make your event a reality. Key items may include venue rental, catering, transportation, decor, entertainment and gifting. Based on your goals, identify 2-3 priority expenses and note the others as nice-to-have. Estimate your total guest count based on past events. Then, add estimates of what the cost of each expense might be. Add a 10% buffer to accommodate unexpected fees. Use our free sample budget planner to jot this down.

Do Your Research

With a draft team event budget in hand, you can start shopping around.

Search for vendors & activities that align with your event vision & budget. Schedule calls to collect information like pricing, catering options & other requirements. Record your notes in a single place that you can easily refer back to – our event planner works perfectly for this!

Narrow down your choices to a recommendation that you are excited to share.

Socialize Your Event Idea

While there is often one single decision maker, a few folks tend to be influential in budget approval decisions. Identify who those key stakeholders are and find ways to socialize your event with them.

During lunch, or before a meeting, casually mention the research you have been doing and gauge their reaction. Test out how you articulate the alignment between your event goals, company objectives and core values to see if it resonates. Use their reactions & feedback to tweak your concept & pitch.

Present Your Recommendation

Now, you are ready to officially present your recommendation. Lay your event details into a scannable memo or slide presentation. Make sure to include event goals, ties to values and company objectives and your draft expenses. Add in details about your preferred vendors and activities. Then, schedule a meeting with management to discuss your plan. 

Make sure to invite the key decision maker and a few influential folks who are already bought into your plan. Those stakeholders can help persuade the person in charge!

Asking your boss for a team events budget could be faced with some pushback and negotiations before budget approval. Send your materials at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting to give attendees time to review and prepare questions. Be ready to offer alternative options or engage in productive negotiation. Before the end of the meeting, request clear next steps and a deadline. 

Ultimately, you and your boss are working towards the same goal: a happy & engaged team! By clearly outlining the value of your team event and coming prepared with specific examples and asks, you greatly  increase your chance of getting budget for your team event.

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