How to charge for event planning services is an important decision to make when starting your event planning business.
Rates too High or Too Low?
Set your rates too low and you’ll lose money; set your rates too high and you’ll price yourself out of the opportunity.
Pricing too high can make it difficult to get hired for event planning jobs.
Knowing how to charge for your event planning services is a struggle many planners experience, especially because there are so many variables that affect your rates!
Determining how to charge for event planning services is one of the hardest parts to starting your business.
So, it’s important to spend spend time considering:
- The market in your area
- Your startup costs
- Whether you’ll charge a flat fee or an hourly rate.
How Much To Charge For Event Planning Services
When I started my event planning business, I charged an hourly rate ($75 was suitable for the year, start up costs, my location and my experience). I also took a retainer that I used against the time spent on the event.
When Payments Are Due
My minimum retainer (or deposit) was $2500 (roughly 33hr of work). Full payments were due 21 days prior to the event, and everything was outlined in a contract that 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. The invoice was due immediately, at the time of receipt.
After 6 months of planning corporate events, I took all the invoices and looked at the hours it took to plan each event. This allowed me to give my clients an estimated budget.
4 Things to Consider First
In this week’s episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV, learn 4 critical things to consider before you determine how to charge for event planning services.
Fun Fact: 48% of Independent Event Planners Charge$50-99/hr For Their Services
Flat Fee or Hourly Rate?
After a few years of planning events – when I started planning events with +$1,000,000 event budgets -I switched to charging my clients a 10-15% planning fee. On top of that, I also charged a 10% service fee to cover my office and miscellaneous expenses.
My event budgets were fully disclosed (I recommend this) to the client because they were responsible for paying all event vendors and outside resources.
There’s no one-size-fits-all rate card for event planners and there are variables to consider before you decide what price and fee structure are right for you.
An event planner in the Los Angeles area can charge more than an event planner in Boise, Idaho. Think of the difference in city size, per capita income and types of events these two (very different) cities would require. Using Los Angeles prices in Boise would mean a lot of days staring at your phone hoping clients call you.
And, using Boise prices in Los Angeles might get you more work than you can handle… which can send you into the red very quickly, and possibly out of business within your first few events.
It’s important to know what price structure your area can support. Staying competitive helps you build your event planning portfolio so you grow your business and become the event planner to call in your city.
Be Confident About Your Rates
It’s really important to price your services correctly for optimal sales, cash flow, profit margins, and branding.
*Be consistent with your rates.
*Be confident with your rates.
Both will show you’re a professional who knows how to get the job done, which leads to more work (and more profit) for you!
Profitability Calculator – Grab this calculator to determine if you’ll make money from an event.
For more help with running your event planning business and charging for your services, check out our event planning courses here.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear your take on how to charge for your event planning services.
Do you charge a flat rate, an hourly fee or are you stuck and not sure what to charge? Let me know below…
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Thank you, as always for watching and reading!