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How to Charge for Event Planning Services

Knowing how to charge for your event planning services is a struggle many planners experience at some point in their career because there are many variables that can affect your rates.

Setting your event planning rates is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when you start your events business. You don’t want to set your rates too low and lose money and you don’t want to set your rates too high and price yourself out of getting hired for the event planning jobs.

Dermining how to charge for event planning services is one of the hardest parts of starting your business so spend time considering the market in your area, what your startup costs are and consider if you’ll charge a flat fee or an hourly rate?

How Much To Charge For Event Planning Services

When I started my event planning career, I charged an hourly rate ($75 was suitable for the year, start up costs, my location and my experience) and I took a retainer that I used against the time spent on the event. My minimum retainer (or deposit) was $2500 (roughly 33hr of work). Full payments were due 21 days prior to the event, and I had everything outlined in my contract which I had a lawyer create for me (if you don’t know a lawyer or paralegal go to Upwork.com to find one) or use this event planner contract that’s already done for you.

For each event, my intern tracked my hours and sent an invoice to the client at the beginning of each month, which was due at time of receipt. After 6 months of planning corporate events I took all the invoices and looked at the hours it took me to plan each event, which allowed me to give my clients budget estimates (time to plan their event and their overall cost).

In this week’s episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV learn 4 items you need to consider before you determine how to charge for event planning services.

Plan Any Event With The Event Toolkit Get It!


  • Alisha says:

    Excellent – thank you for posting this!

  • Marla says:

    My name is Marla. I have a BA in Communications from PSU and an Event Planning certification from NYIAD.
    I really want to start a personal event planning business for showers/parties. My drive and attitude to do this is to the moon and back, but my wallet to start is very dry. Do you have any tips on my next steps?

  • kristina says:

    Hey great post ! Me and my partner are doing event planning and event décor part-time right now. We are in a very small city , not a lot of steady business or parties over $5k. Right now we are doing a flat rate that covers consultation , research, set and breakdown, plus the cost of supplies ( dependent on size of event). So we are basically charging for our time/work and for the supplies are we doing this backwards ?

    • Event Planning Blueprint Event Planning Blueprint says:

      Hi Kristina, This works but you have to know exactly how much time it’ll take you otherwise you’ll lose money on each event. You can either charge hourly for your services or add a clause to your contract that includes 10 hrs, for example, and anything over is at your hourly rate. Either way, for every event you plan, track you time so you know how long it takes to do each task (planning, managing, etc). Good luck!

  • Dayn says:

    I am starting to book an event space that is for about 300 people and it’s a very artistic gallery space, but we rent it out for a ton of different events from sweet 16 birthday’s to art showcases and brand reveals.
    Is it fair to charge the same rate per client?
    I like the idea of doing a $50 hrly rate that includes 30 hours, and charging for a deposit of %50 of that upfront at contract signing to get started with the rest due before the event. Including in my contract that any additional misc expenses along the way. Logging my hours, and then charging a flat on site day rate of $400. Do you think this is weird?

    • Event Planning Blueprint Event Planning Blueprint says:

      Hi Dayn,
      Always follow the simple KISS (keep it simple silly) rule. It shouldn’t matter who the client is, the rate should be the same . You may charge a different rate for different days of the year, but not for different people. That’s illegal in most countries! If you’re going to start booking venue space, do your research and see what other venues do in your area. As for the rate, there’s no way to say until you know your costs. Choosing an arbitrary number (ie: $50) may not work and you may lose money and go out of business quickly. Know your costs before you decide anything. But again, KISS. It’s OK to have an hourly rate but stick to one type of rate – either hourly or daily. Makes life A LOT easier for you and your clients. I’d recommend you check out our course to learn how to be an event planner, which covers how to determine your costs, what your exact rate should be, and more. Learn more here: http://howtobeaneventplanner.com/
      Good luck!

  • christal says:

    I’m trying to set up my event planning business and I don’t know if I should charge for consultation or how much? If I set an hourly rate for the planning of $50/hr should that be the price for the consultation as well?

    • Event Planning Blueprint Event Planning Blueprint says:

      Use the guidelines listed in this article to determine how much to charge. We do recommend that you stick to one hourly rate for all the work you personally do. Once you have a team, you may want to charge less for junior team members, but until then, keep it simple!

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