Put your email in the box below

and we’ll send you a FREE, updated, more comprehensive guide!

3. The Money

Right from the inital phases of your planning you need to have a clear idea of budget, what things cost and what costs can be avoided.

Decisions, Decisions

The first choice you need to make is to decide whether you wish to run the event at a loss, a profit or to break even. Once you have this figured, you’ll need a rough idea of attendance so you have some figures to start working with.

How to Budget

So as to be initially conservative, assume 50% ticket sales – ie. if you have a yeargroup of 240 people, assume 120 tickets will be sold. This enables you to begin working with ballpark figures to get a rough idea of how things might work while not having to count on everyone buying tickets.

What Things Cost

This is a rough breakdown of what expenses you may encounter and a guide to how much you could expect to pay.

Primary Costs

  • Venue Hire     £20-50 per person
  • Food      Inclusive in venue hire
  • Drink      Inclusive in venue hire
  • Bands     £200-1000
  • DJ     £200-500
  • Security    Inclusive in venue hire
  • Cloakroom service £1-5 per person
  • Transport £2-5 per person
  • Printed Tickets 10p-50p per person

Entertainment Costs

Further to the essential costs above, there are other things you may wish to budget for.

  • Magicians £100-£250
  • Ice Sculptures £100-£250
  • Light show £2000-£10000
  • Candyfloss Machine £100-£250
  • Photographers Expect to pay £5 – £12 per photo. Often the guests each buy for themselves but it can be included in the ticket price.

How to Raise Money

Before considering the many different ways you can raise money, first decide how much you need to raise. Do you plan on breaking even, making money or are you happy running the event at a loss?

If you have fundraising in place you may be able to afford to splash out a little more – for example, including things in the ticket that normally the guests would pay extra for.

Ways of raising money

These should be quick and simple to organise, be fun in their own right and raise enough money to make them worthwhile.

  • Sponsorship deals with local companies
  • Sponsored car wash etc.
  • Fancy dress day
  • Raffles
  • Event / Craft Fairs
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Car washing
  • Bag packing at a supermarket
  • Corporate sponsorship

Ticket Price

Depending on the type of ball, attendace, funding gained and style of event, ticket prices can vary over a wide range. For small, basic events with buffet meals, ticket prices in the range of £20-£25 a head are a good starting point. For larger events (100 – 250 people) that are well themed and held in premium venues, ticket prices in the range of £30-£45 are expected. Graduation balls, proms & summer balls and may balls are often higher grade events and as such may require larger budgets – as much as £80 a head. It may be a good idea to offer discounts for couples or groups so as to use peer pressure and discount incentives to increase ticket sales.


A great way of making tickets better value (and thus more likely to sell) is to have things included in the ticket price. Many ball organisers choose to include a glass of champagne and a photograph in the ticket price – the small cost to the budget is usually vastly outweighed by the increased ticket sales and the perception of value for money.

Jump to relevant forum section for more help & advice ›

Next Section ›

This free guide is provided by the lovely ball photographers at Peasy Photos.

Tags: easypeasy money transfar images, How to organise money