WeCode budget

Here I am, again, the guy that only talks about budgets in conferences :P

We’ve (almost) closed the final budget for the WeCode. It is completely open, anyone can comment and I encourage you to do it if you have any doubts whatsoever. Here it is.

The big numbers are:

The starter budget estimated 144 attendees for a 14,481.68 € budget, so we spent about 7% more per attendee of what we estimated.


These are the main sources of revenue:

Sponsorships Regular tickets (85 sold) Extra sponsor tickets (11 sold) Early tickets (10 sold)
10,467 € 7,024 € 909 € 619 €
53% 35% 5% 3%

The earnings were split in half, but leaning in favour of sponsorships, 58% were due to sponsorships (+extra tickets) and just 35% being the regular tickets.

Thank you Finizens, Cognizant, Plastic, CARTO, autentia, ticketea, accenture, everis, NoLegalTech, Brooktec, Codesai, Colegio Informáticos, UVa, Agile Spain, Geek & Tech Girls, R-ladies and Valladolid office of tourism.


So… where did we spend the money?

Food Speakers Party T-Shirts Spk dinner Venue
9,605€ 2,385€ 2,272€ 1,995€ 827€ 480€
50% 13% 12% 11% 4% 2%


We spent 9,605€ on food, that’s about 50% of the budget. That includes 3,200€ in coffee and 6.380€ in the main menu for 2 days.

The main menu was 16.50€ per person for the regional day (‘oreja’, ‘callos’, ‘sopa castellana’… and it was not as successful as the regular one) and 20.0€ per person for the Saturday’s menu.

A bit on the expensive side and it wasn’t spectacular. But I think it was Ok.


We spent 2,385€, the second biggest cost, paying for the speaker’s hotels and trips. About 1,369€ in hotels and 1,000€ in trips (the farthest location being Cádiz and Granada).

This was a bet that I think went well. Preparing a talk or a workshop is very time consuming and this was our modest way of repaying it.

We had many invited speakers (19), and the average cost was 125€ per speaker. Seems a lot but the minimum hotel price was around 49€ per night (the conference was 2 days) and the common Madrid - Valladolid trip by train is 46€ (some speakers lived in Valladolid and we didn’t pay for their stay or trip).

Thank you all for coming, I really hope it was worth it and that you had a good time and learned something.

Other spendings

Friday’s and Saturday’s party

Friday was low key, just drinks and some food, 273€.

Saturday was a full-blown party with a private rented place, soft drinks, food (with sushi!), DJ, photographer… at the steal price of 2,272.73 €. It was absurdly cheap.

We were about 130 people at a 17€ per attendee price. Ridiculously cheap. We had to fight for this price but the quality blew our expectations. Definitely a keeper.

T-shirts, merchandising and marketing

We made t-shirts (I think they are awesome but I’m definitely biased). We asked for the sizes and ordered enough for everybody. I think it was worth it.

We had a small problem after washing 2 of them but it was limited to those 2 t-shirts.

Rollups, badges, stickers… amounted to 573€. The most expensive items in this category were, again, the stickers (!), 151€.


We managed to get a special price on the venue (just 2,6% of the budget) in exchange for 15 tickets :D (realistically that means 15 more persons to feed, so at least 1,000 € more).


Just 231€, 1.2% (!) of the budget. And one of the most useful spendings.

Autentia is uploading the videos here :D


We finished the event with a surplus of 656€, about 3€ per attendee.

As we mentioned beforehand, any surplus would be donated to an NGO. We again chose Proactiva Open Arms (we’ve donated to them in other events) and I’m pretty sure they’ll welcome the donation :)

About attendance

WeCode wasn’t a big conference, around 170 people. We had a hard limit with the main hall (around 150) so we even sold more tickets than we were expecting at the beginning!

It was a nice experience, to be sold out just hours after the ticket sale… not having to worry about quantities, selling just a few tickets or attendance.

Those are hard problems that we suffer monthly in the meetups and also in the lechazoconf.

About the price

100€ is definitely a lot of money. We don’t get to spend all of that, because of IVA/VAT, we just get 82€.

Food is 54€ (2 days, breakfast, lunch, and coffee) per attendee and t-shirts 11€. That leaves 17€ for paying the venue, speaker trips and hotels, decoration, stickers and dinners/parties. Saturday’s dinner cost those 17€, so sponsors paid for the rest. Even if it seems like a lot of money, and it is, it’s hard to fit on the budget.

We have, sometimes, phoned 27 places to get a venue (not this time though) or negotiated with 8 caterings to get one reasonably priced.

Or talked with 8? venues to find a place to do a concert, with several bands until the chosen place abandoned us (that happened in this edition).

Organizing is hard and attendees just see the end results, like the top of the iceberg. The search for places, caterings, trips, hotels, t-shirt providers or stickers just collapses in the end into only one result. The trip is hard though.

About the money

So… we haven’t closed the budget yet. We’re still missing an invoice (Renfe after 2 emails and 2 private conversations via Twitter. If we don’t get it we’ll lose around 130€ of those 652€ in profits because missing VAT returns.

We’re also missing 2 payments from two sponsors. Yeah, we don’t get the money before the conference, at least 1000€ is still pending.

As you can imagine, we had to pay in advance almost all the spendings (catering, t-shirts…). Ticketing companies usually pay after the event, to prevent fraud (or you have to pay extra for insurance). So we have to pay, in advance, from our own personal accounts.

If the event goes awfully we’ll personally respond with our funds. We can pay this kind of advances because it’s a small event, in the case of the CAS, with budgets close to 200.000€ and invoices of 130.000 to pay BEFORE the event it’s completely unfeasible.

In that regard, Agile Spain does an awesome work, helping events from other communities (like SCBarcelona or Madrid). It has a small remnant from other events and can help with advances (but definitely not 100.000€ payments). We didn’t need it but it was nice knowing that the option is there. We have to pay them the VAT though (because tickets have 21% VAT and catering 10%, we have to adjust the difference).

Final words

This is a brief analysis of the budget. We’re happy to answer questions about it or the event (never received one).

We want to be transparent and open about how the WeCode is organized and, with that goal in mind, the next step will be disclosing the trello we used with all the tasks (we have to remove sensitive information like passwords). More information in the next posts (I can’t promise when, though) :)

For example, all the things that needed to deal with information/voting (budget, retrospective, agenda, sponsors, ticket queue, party, speaker trips, diversity tickets, feedback, conference name) were stored in the same excel. It seems stupid but it was extremely helpful, we didn’t have to search for things and it was easy to see the progress in a specific area (like how many tickets are in the queue, which trips we have to book…).

See you in next posts with more info! :D