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 getting hired for event planning jobs easier.
Knowing how to charge for your event planning services is a struggle many planners experience, mainly because so many variables affect your rates!
One of the most complex parts of starting your business is determining how to charge for event planning services.
While many factors can affect your rates – such as the size and budget of the event, your experience and credentials, and where you live – there is no one “right” way to price event planning services.
Some planners charge by the hour, while others may prefer to set a flat fee for each service they offer. Ultimately, it comes down to what works best for you and your clients.
If you’re starting in the industry, it can be helpful to research pricing trends in your area. Consider reaching out to other local event planners for advice on setting the best rates for both parties.
With time and experience, you’ll better understand how to price your services and find the right balance for your business.
Ultimately, it all comes down to listening to your client’s needs, being clear about what you can offer, and finding a pricing strategy that works for you. With these tips, you can confidently set your rates and start booking event planning jobs!
As an event planner, pricing your services is one of the most important aspects of running your business.
Many factors can affect how you charge for your services, including the size and budget of the event, where you live, and your experience and credentials.
Some planners charge by the hour, while others set a flat fee for each service they offer.
Setting your rates depends on what works best for you and your clients. As a beginner in the industry, it can be helpful to research and talk to other local planners about how they price their services.
With time and experience, you’ll better understand how to set rates that work well for both parties.
So, it’s important to 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 set a 10% service fee to cover my office and miscellaneous expenses.
This was the best way to protect myself and my clients and maintain good relationships. For example, if I had a client who didn’t want to work with me anymore, it would be easy to move on, knowing that I’ll still get paid for the work I’ve done so far. Also, since I was only charging 10% of the project budget as my fee, my clients were only paying an extra 5-10% for miscellaneous expenses – which is very reasonable compared to other agencies/industries.
Of course, there are exceptions where some people will use Google Docs solely to write proposals or contracts, but recently, I have seen more and more companies open up to the idea of working with planners and agencies.
If you’re building your business around events, make sure that passing off these documents communicates what you do and how you can help your clients – this will increase the chances of people hiring you or at least wanting to learn more about what it is that you do.
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
You must 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.
Check out our event planning courses for more help with running your event planning business and charging for your services.
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!