A well-planned budget should be the foundation of your event planning. Events within a region tend to share similar prices, but each individual event registration fee should reflect the actual expenses for the specific event. A budget will maintain and track the financial health of the event and can help serve as a checklist of tasks that need to be delegated to others.

The goal of your budget should be to cover all of the anticipated expenses of your event, including some income set aside for any unanticipated expenses. Extra income earned can go to support your robotics program or future events.

An event budget can be divided into several categories for the ease of delegation and tracking. Many EPs will start with the formation of a planning team. This team may be other staff at the organization or key volunteers willing to take on organization roles to better coordinate the different aspects of the event.

An example of a category that should be delegated is the organization of an event concession stand. Concession stands are often the largest source of income to support the event and involve several material and personnel matters that need to be organized in order to be successful. As such, it is recommended that this project be delegated to someone that has experience, such as a parent group or school club that can take care of all of the details while keeping the EP informed.

Event Budget Expenses

Venue-specific Items

  • Are there rental or facility fees?
  • Are there custodial or security services required?
  • Are there costs required for event insurance?
  • Will this location require floor protections or coverings, and is there a cost?
  • Does the location have appropriate tables and chairs, or will they need to be rented?
  • All events must be ADA Compliant or follow local inclusion laws. Will the event incur additional costs to meet this specification?

Game-related Equipment

  • Does the organization have access to needed game equipment, such as fields and elements?
  • Costs of any needed electronics? This includes computers, tablets, projectors, routers, cables, monitors, printers, power strips, extension cords, etc.
  • Make sure you arrange for any trophies you need for the awards you intend to offer. Additional trophies and plates from VEX are optional costs. Trophies can also be fabricated or purchased locally.

Office supplies

  • Paper and toner for the printer.
  • Clipboards, ink pens, highlighters, and general office supplies. Judges, check-in, inspection, and referees could all use pens. Judges and Check-in can use highlighters. Referees and judges may also need clipboards.
  • Gaffers or wrestling tape, clear tape, and sign/poster materials.
  • Post-it notes, paper, and notebooks for the judging process.

Volunteer Supplies

  • Referee shirts.
  • Volunteer shirts (optional). Many events will provide shirts to their volunteer staff. This helps to identify your volunteers during the event and will be appreciated as a memento of the day. Event Sponsors can be recognized as part of the shirt’s design.
  • Snacks, drinks, and lunch for volunteers. Feeding your volunteers makes them far more likely to volunteer again.

Concession Supplies

  • Delegate to an interested volunteer or parent group.
  • Running a concession stand gives participants access to food and drink and is an opportunity to recapture the cost of volunteer food as well as earn funds to support other aspects of the event.

RobotEvents.com Processing Fee

  • Each team outside of your organization that registers for an event will incur a $5 fee to offset the costs of maintaining the RobotEvents.com system.
  • Free Scrimmages and Workshops can be exempt from the $5 RobotEvents.com fee.

Event Budget Income

Event Registration Fee

  • Coordinate with your EEM/RSM to review the typical event fees in your region.
  • Event registration fees should cover the event expenses and can provide additional support for your robotics program.


  • Concession sales can provide a good source of income and be a convenient resource to teams during the event.
  • Delegate to a student or parent group.
  • Pre-ordering lunches is a great option at the event when food options are limited. Some businesses will give you a discount for ordering in bulk but may need advance notice and some general idea of how many pizzas or sandwiches to make. This ordering can even be done before the event by emailing team advisors.


  • Many EPs reach out to local businesses like car dealerships, credit unions, sign printers, and t-shirt vendors for support for their events. There is a lot of opportunity for mutually beneficial community engagement.
  • Some events may recognize their sponsors through banners and signage, naming fields after their major sponsors, putting logos on volunteer t-shirts, and inviting representatives from sponsoring companies to give out an award, serve as volunteers, or say a few remarks during opening or closing ceremonies. Recognizing the sources of support in your community will help you to maintain and build upon that support in the future.

Helpful Hints

  • Your EEM/RSM can provide an example budget spreadsheet to assist with estimating event expenses and income.
  • If you are giving out trophies beyond what is contained in your EP Trophy Pack, consider making custom trophies or printing certificates using Tournament Manager (found under reports).
  • Create a parent-driven fundraising team to explore additional funding resources.