Today I want to tackle a topic that any event manager is familiar with – especially when they’re just getting started and trying to secure repeat business.

The topic of money and getting paid to plan an event with a small budget is bound to come up sooner or later in any conversation you have with a client or potential client.

So what happens when your client’s budget is too low? Do you take the event planning job or not?

A few months after I started my event planning business, I was hired by a very well known brand to manage an ‘Amazing Race’ type of event for 40 of their employees and their families. At first glance, this seemed like a dream and would be so much fun to plan.

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

Then the topic of their event budget came up.

You know that sinking feeling you experience when you’re really excited about an idea, then suddenly a pit in your stomach replaces the feeling of excitement.

That’s what I experienced when they told me their event budget. After speaking with the client at length about all the fun and exciting event planning ideas we had, we realized 75% of them weren’t possible with their budget.

The worst part was that the client expected me to take a cut on my fee to accommodate their needs!

No joke.

At this point I knew it was going to take all my strength to not swear and to maintain composure.

We had a few choices, which leads me to today’s episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV, what do you do when your client wants to plan an event with a small budget? Is it worth it taking the job?

You’re probably wondering what we did. Did we plan an event when the client’s budget was low?

Simple put, no.

We tactfully explained the scope of the event and it’s requirements, including the amount of time it would take to plan an event like the “Amazing Race’. In the end, it just wasn’t a good fit for the client or us so we walked away.

The good news, we planned a different event for them a few months later!

Have you planned an event with a small budget?

Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you taken an event planning job where your client’s budget was too low? How did it work out for you?

Be sure to leave your comments below right now. We can’t wait to hear from you!

And, if you liked this content, subscribe to my YouTube channel and share it with your friends.

As always, thank you so much for joining me and sharing your insights and stories.


  1. Andrew Maxwell at9:38 pm

    I literally laughed when I read your comment where your client was expecting you to take cut in your fee. I can’t tell you how many times I, too, have had that line delivered. I totally agree there are programs for every budget. I accept that it can be a bit of a challenge convincing a meeting planner they may have to look at alternate venues/suppliers because their budget. But, once we get past that stage, the planning becomes a little easier and eventually the client ends up with a perfect program for their budget.
    Great episode, thanks for the information.

    1. Event Planning Blueprint at1:47 pm

      So true, thanks for sharing Andrew. It’s a common “problem’ for many event planners so happy you enjoyed it!


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