Recently, we explored the major differences between in-person and virtual event budgets. Although virtual events can certainly be cheaper than in-person events, they aren’t always. But we can’t just explore the ways that budgets differ without talking about their similarities. Because there are strong similarities between in-person and virtual event budgets, too. Some elements of your event that will always be the same—no matter where you host them. In this post, we’ll explore those areas so you can fully assess your in-person and virtual event budgets.

When you change a major part of your event—like its location—you can expect changes to your budget. Sometimes, even small changes to your event will heavily impact your budget. Although you’re considering changing the venue for your event, there will always be similarities between your in-person and virtual event budgets. These sections of your budget may change a tiny bit, but overall, you’ll want to keep the bottom line unchanged in your financial planning.

The Marketing

The Short Answer: Whether you have physical or virtual seats, you need to fill them! There may be minor adjustments, but your marketing budget is still crucial.

For an In-Person Event

No matter the type of event, marketing is essential, and your budget likely won’t change too much. After all, a social media campaign costs the same no matter what event you’re hosting. But it’s important to note that the way you market your event may change slightly. For example, at an in-person event, you may be able to market to the venue’s target audience as well as your own customer base. This could include additional or different social media campaigns, but it can also include signage at the actual venue, too. Admittedly, these changes are minor and won’t affect the bottom line of your marketing budget in a major way. It’s just a different approach where you may pay for printing signage instead of extra social posts.

For a Virtual Event

On the other hand, if your virtual event has sponsors, you may be able to leverage their customer base. But instead of posting signs at the venue, you’ll be investing in online campaigns.

Bonus Tip: No matter the format, social media marketing is key to attracting a broader audience.

And for every event, you’ll still want to email attendees from past events and any prospects that have engaged with your brand recently. Again, this doesn’t necessarily change your budget for either event. But the breakdown of your marketing budget may be slightly different.

The Talent

similarities between in-person and virtual event budget is talent

The Short Answer: No matter the platform, you’ll still need something for your attendees to experience. You may save on travel costs, but speakers and entertainers charge for their time, not their location.

For an In-Person Event

Speakers and performers charge for their time. We know this and you know this. It doesn’t matter if they’re spending time on stage talking to a larger audience or spending it on their couch at home. At the end of the day, you’re paying for their time and expertise, therefore speaker budgets don’t change. However, some speakers and performers also charge some or all of their travel expenses to come to your event. So you might see a slight increase in the overall cost for an in-person event if you’re covering travel and accommodations.

For a Virtual Event

Although you may see additional travel fees for an in-person event, those extra costs can still exist for a virtual event budget—they’re just not for travel. Instead of a hotel room, you may need to budget for extra equipment for your talent. Maybe they don’t have exactly what they need at home to join your event. Or perhaps you’ll have to purchase software to get them up and running. Of course, this isn’t always the case. But you’ll want to leave a substantial amount for your event talent in your budget, no matter where you host it.

The Team

4 similarities between in-person and virtual event budgets

The Short Answer: No event can happen without someone (or many someones) to plan it. Whether or not you have outside vendors for food or decorations, you’ll still need your team to coordinate every detail.

For an In-Person Event

You’ve planned an in-person event before, so you know how many people you need on your team. You need someone to coordinate with vendors and with the talent. But you also need someone to work on marketing and day-of materials for attendees. On top of that, someone needs to present on social media during the live event. And don’t forget someone to manage the budget and timeline throughout the whole process so it stays on track. You need lots of people to plan an in-person event—and you need all those same people for your virtual event, too.

For a Virtual Event

You may need new tools to work remotely on event planning, but you won’t need fewer people just because the event is virtual. Of course, if the event is smaller, you may need fewer people. But that isn’t determined by where the event is hosted. You still need to market the event, manage the event website, acquire equipment, find a spot to host the live stream, and keep the event and attendees on schedule.

Plus, attendee engagement is more intentional at a virtual event, when you can’t call and respond with an audience or make eye contact. Your team will have to find ways to engage with the audience virtually—which may be new for them. So keep your team budget the same; it’s one of the biggest similarities between in-person and virtual event budgets.

The Follow-up

The Short Answer: A post-event follow-up is almost always virtual, even if the guests attended in person. Surveys and additional materials are better sent virtually, after attendees have time to reflect.

For an In-Person Event

It’s always important to get feedback from your attendees or guests. Not only does it help you determine the success of your event, but it also helps you improve future events. You will rarely get feedback during your event. Instead, attendees will have input once the event is over. Some might have feedback that day, when the event is still fresh in their mind, while others might need time to reflect. Sending a post-event thank you email a few hours after the event with a link to a survey is a great way to ask for feedback. That way, guests can fill out the survey right away or the next day. (You may need to send a reminder to those who take longer.)

For a Virtual Event

Because post-event feedback is typically gathered virtually after the event, the costs will be the same for any event type. Sending the email itself will be free if you already have a communication program that you use. And you may need to pay for a program to collect and analyze the responses, too. But that’s just one of the similarities between in-person and virtual event budgets.


As different as virtual and in-person events are, they also share many similarities. That means that, although you may need to adjust parts of your budget, you won’t need to change the entire thing. You’ll still need your marketing budget, your team budget, your talent budget, and your follow-up budget. They’re all crucial parts of any successful event.

Can you think of other ways in-person and virtual event budgets are similar? Share them with us below!