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No brainer: the revenue you generate from athlete registrations must cover all the costs of hosting your competition. The best way to arrive at this fee is to work backwards. This process will help you build an organizational framework you can use to plan your next fitness competition. Read on to learn more about this basic budgeting checklist and template.

Expenses checklist

Here’s a basic list to get you started on estimating your expenses for your competition. These are all items to consider, but by no means are they all necessary. Every competition will be different, so use this list as a starting point.

  1. Venue – rental fees, licenses, permits, shade structures, tables, chairs
  2. Equipment & supplies – stopwatches, clipboards, photocopies, pens, extension cords
  3. Insurance – coverage specific to your competition
  4. Safety – emergency medical services, first aid supplies
  5. Sanitation – portable toilets, trash cans
  6. Software – registration system and digital scoring/leaderboard
  7. Personnel – security, paid staff, professional MC/DJ
  8. Marketing – website maintenance, advertising, videography/photography
  9. T-shirts – for athletes and volunteers, extra shirts for spectator purchase
  10. Prizes & swag – cash purse, swag bags, trophies

Participant estimation

Next, you have to determine the size of your competition by estimating how many participants you will have. There are two factors that affect this: how many athletes you can expect to register and how many athletes your venue can reasonably accommodate. Start with some market research to see what other local competitions have done to get a starting point. You want to have an idea of both a lower limit (the least amount of people you need) and an upper limit (a registration cap).

Basic budgeting

Finally, math: take your total expenses and divide by the number of athletes to get your registration price per person. Consider this value a minimum. It’s best to include some cushion in case you have extra expenses.

As an example: your estimated expenses total $3000 and the average in your area is about 50 athletes per weekend competition. Take $3000 and divide by 50 to arrive at $60 per person to register. If you raise that price to $70 per person (as long as that is also in line with the local average), then you have an extra $500 that can help cover additional costs.

Budget template

From this basic budgeting framework, you now know many of the factors you need to consider when planning a successful competition. You have estimated your major expenses, you have an idea of the size of your competitive field, and you have a projection for your gross revenue. You can adjust these variables depending on your goals.


Basic Budgeting for Fitness Competitions

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